Remedial works to address issues associated with Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) at Preston Lodge High School have been completed.

Through a phased re-commissioning process, all affected classrooms within the school were brought back into use by January. Work within the PE facilities has since been completed meaning the building will come back into full use this week.

The planning and delivery of the project has involved close partnership working between East Lothian Council, Innovate East Lothian Ltd and FES FM Ltd.

Head Teacher Gavin Clark said:

“The completion of the remedial work at Preston Lodge is an important milestone for the school. Throughout a very challenging time for our community, we’ve received terrific support. This has been really important to us in maintaining high-quality learning and teaching throughout and in supporting student wellbeing.

“As progress has been made, more parts of our building have become operational again. Although the temporary arrangements have worked well in difficult circumstances, we are obviously delighted to see the PE facilities reopening next week. I’d like to extend our thanks to all colleagues, students, parents and carers for their patience.”

Councillor Fiona Dugdale, Cabinet Spokesperson for Education and Children’s and Family Services, said:

“I’m really pleased to see the completion of this vital work at Preston Lodge High School. I would like to pay tribute to the many people who have worked together to resolve this issue as quickly and effectively as possible. I would also like to thank Preston Lodge students and their families for their understanding during what has clearly been an incredibly difficult period.”


Inspections last Spring confirmed that RAAC - a lightweight form of precast concrete, frequently used in public sector buildings in the UK from the mid-1960s to at least the mid-1980s - was present in some of the roof space at Preston Lodge. Inspections were carried out following the issue of new national guidance.

As a result of faults identified in a limited number of areas, some parts of the school building were closed as a precautionary measure, with temporary arrangements being put in place to maintain learning and teaching.

Following a detailed option appraisal by Innovate East Lothian Ltd and FES FM Ltd (contract partners for six of the county’s secondary schools), it was agreed that a new timber structure would be put in place in affected parts of the building, to support the existing roof. Implementation of this option has resulted in the RAAC becoming a non-structural component of the roof fabric with the roof fully supported by the new wooden structure. 

This provides a long-term technical solution whilst also enabling much of the school building to remain open, minimising disruption to learning and teaching.

Some temporary units within the school grounds were used for lessons whilst works took place. ‘Home room’ accommodation to provide some lessons for S1 students was established – initially located within local primary schools and other community buildings – while PE lessons were relocated to Meadowmill Sports Centre.

Published: Monday, 4th March 2024