Shock as Sir Frederick Gibberd College closed due to safety fears

Business / Mon 21st Aug 2023 at 12:44pm

FOLLOWING guidance from the Department of Education, the main building and the sports hall block on-site at Sir Frederick Gibberd College on Tendring Road will be closed with immediate effect.

Communication has gone out from tor school to parents and staff explaining the nature of the situation.

A spokesperson said: “This advice followed a report by technical consultants working for the DfE which identified structural irregularities. This situation is not of the Trust or School’s making. The Trust has been acting on the advice of the DfE and its technical consultants throughout this process.

BMAT Education was not involved in the commissioning, designing, construction, or quality assurance of these buildings and the DFE are taking full responsibility for resolving the situation. Even though this is a situation not of our making, we are very sorry about it.

“In April of this year, the DfE instructed a technical survey of the main school building which raised some queries about the structure, following further analysis of the survey information a report and risk assessment on the building structure was delivered to the DfE and shared with the Trust late last week. Having regard to the reports received the DfE is no longer able to verify the structural safety of the building, hence their advice to close.

“While this is an evolving matter, BMAT Education and Sir Frederick Gibberd College remain committed to delivering the very best education to pupils possible, while protecting all aspects of staff and student wellbeing.

Specific plans for how teaching will be delivered across the year groups shall be shared in due course. While teaching shall continue, the autumn term for the whole school shall start on a later date than earlier published by the school.

“An update on arrangements shall be communicated to parents and staff, and an updated statement will be issued later this week”.

YH has spoken to a number of parents who have expressed their shock at his news.

More follows on this matter on Your Harlow.

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24 Comments for Shock as Sir Frederick Gibberd College closed due to safety fears:

2023-08-21 12:52:32

I've just received this email as a parent. Does anyone have any info on what possible "structural irregularities" would cause the closure of all the buildings? I've never heard of such a thing before on brand new buildings, which had previously been signed off.

Son of Old Man River
2023-08-21 12:56:45

The DfE is headed up by 4 ministers, including one Bob Halfon MP. We have a goverment structurally unsound and at risk of falling down around our ears. Bring on the bulldozers and the next General Election!

2023-08-21 13:06:50

So a school like Burnt Mill is being knocked down because of its age, yet a brand new school like SFCC has to be closed because, presumably, it might fall down. I think Sir Fred will be turning in his grave over this

2023-08-21 13:08:17

Brand new buildings are thrown up in weeks and use cheap materials,so its no suprise.

2023-08-21 13:16:06

Meanwhile, in other (and completely unrelated) news: https://www.yourharlow.com/2023/08/21/company-that-built-sir-frederick-gibberd-college-made-losses-of-20-million-in-eight-months/

2023-08-21 13:32:58

Let’s hope the new hospital doesn’t go the same way with this lot in charge we may end up without one.

2023-08-21 14:25:23

Ultimate responsibility lies with the commissioners of this building, the Conservative led DfE. Robert Halfon and his band of Conservative chancers need to get out of the he way and let a competent team take over the government.

John Smith
2023-08-21 14:37:38

It would be great if the families connected to the school were told what is really going on. There isn’t any point hiding the truth, and then we can make decisions on the children’s education. Furthermore, a number of staff have not been briefed on what is happening due to being on holiday.

2023-08-21 14:41:47

I watched the school being built, it was made up of loads of prefabricated units being delivered and joined together. This is common in Scandinavia countries, so how did we get it wrong?

John Smith’s Bitter
2023-08-21 14:45:14

John Smith, what do you think is really going on that hasn’t been explained? What’s “the truth”? Parents have received a message explaining the latest and informing a further update will come soon. And staff that are on holiday are on holiday. Wouldn’t expect them to pick up emails and phone calls instantly but there’ll be information waiting for them to access it surely.

Guy Flegman
2023-08-21 15:10:28

If they are really committed to giving the best education possible, would they not have checked the building would not fall down first. Or maybe the place is at risk of collapse from the weight of debt. And to think they knocked down a perfectly useable building to build this

2023-08-21 15:26:35

Why did Passmores get knocked down in the first place? Then build another school, and change its name. Never made any sense to me.

Richard Adams
2023-08-21 15:35:31

This is another failure in the history of pre constructed modular buildings. The Three Hills Estates had to be pulled down in the end because they could not stop them leaking. Will we ever know what has gone wrong here? Was it poor design, poor construction or poor supervision. Either way it is the children who once again have their education disrupted through no fault of their own. Let’s hope the same mistakes are not made with the new hospital.

2023-08-21 15:47:10

Lol. Everything that has been built in recent years in harlow has been crap and had to be demolished or will be demolished,nothing has made this town better,nothing at all. Harlow was a perfectly good town that has been well and truly ruined forever. What a disaster and it is going to get a whole lot worse. How old is sherards house? Just saying.

2023-08-21 16:27:45

There are plenty of empty shops that can be converted so the pupils do not miss any more school. I wonder if the parents will fine the dfe for taking their children out of school just like they want parent penalised for take kids out term time !! How on earth did this company get through the procurement process ?? Backhanders ???

2023-08-21 17:14:39

Surely the building would have been inspected at different points during the build by building control? How can a new build go so wrong?

2023-08-21 18:00:18

Can latton bush not help half empty used to be a school don't see sfg being a short problem

2023-08-21 18:31:28

Can the government put a big boat in nettswell pond

2023-08-21 18:48:22

The DfE is responsible for the education of our children and need to take immediate action or this will be detrimental to the new year 11 students facing GCSEs next year. They have already had their education compromised due to covid. This situation should not have been allowed to happen and if the school is unfit after only 2 years were our students and teachers risking their lives. DfE and the local mp need to intervene so that our young people continue with an education and NOT homelearning.

2023-08-21 19:22:50

The word bodgit and cowboys come to mind.

Robert Dearle
2023-08-21 19:41:05

April... they suspected in April,, Why wasn't it closed straight away?

2023-08-21 19:48:24

More shoddy building work that was overseen by the Department for Education. And who is the Education Minister? Harlow's MP Robert Halfon! What a huge embarrassment for him and his (equally shoddy) Government. I hope when Harlow's new hospital is eventually built (I wont hold my breath), there will better checks to make sure the company responsible for the work aren't cowboys! #torychaos

2023-08-21 22:33:39

The company resurfacing the Harvey Centre car park also went into administration leaving job incomplete. Independent enquiry into Harlow Council tendering procedure is necessary and maybe check councillors bank balances for possible backhanders!!!!!!!!

Guy Flegman
2023-08-22 09:20:11

Seems to me the government has been sucked in by the snake oil salesmen promise of reduced cost/sustainability etc, and now they will be paying twice. Though it’s us that will be paying twice. Would have been cheaper to build it the traditional way. You take great risk when you are an early adopter of new technology. I for one would prefer my taxes spent more wisely.

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