SFG College: Education minister admits building could collapse in event of extreme weather

Education / Wed 23rd Aug 2023 at 06:53am

AN EDUCATION minister has revealed that there was a concern that Sir Frederick Gibberd College is a safety risk in extreme weather.

Conservative education minister, Nick Gibb was speaking to the BBC.


Mr Gibb said a survey revealed issues with its “modular mode of construction”.

Mr Gibb told BBC Essex that the Department for Education (DfE) requested a structural survey because of pre-existing concerns about the construction company.

He added “It identified issues that related to the structural integrity of the buildings, weakening its ability for example to withstand extreme events such as high winds or a big snowfall or indeed a collision from a vehicle,”.

Asked if the buildings could collapse because of a weather event, such as a winter storm, Mr Gibb said: “That’s the risk and we are not prepared to take any risk with children, or teachers or staff’s lives in a school, and that’s why we intervened very quickly.”

Your Harlow has requested a copy of the structural report.

All storis relating to SFG College can be found on our education page.


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10 Comments for SFG College: Education minister admits building could collapse in event of extreme weather:

Luke Burton
2023-08-23 07:18:49

Bloody hell - and you put children in this ticking time bomb? What sort of sick government is this.

2023-08-23 07:48:49

Another public sector failure, still only the tax payers who pay. Who let the contract? Who is being taken down capability process for letting such an appalling contract. I would suspect no one the blob that is government knows no accountability

Stephen Archer
2023-08-23 08:40:33

Someone, somewhere, at sometime prior to the hand over to the school, knew or should have known these buildings were not fit for purpose. That person or persons must be identified and held to account. It is simply outrageous and unacceptable that the lives of children and staff have been put at risk in this way.

Kim Oconnor
2023-08-23 09:13:13

If you think back to how old building we're built, you will find there still standing.... unless this government, theses councils haven't knocked them down....then ask your self why so many new builds are not with standing, resulting in poor structure irregularities, as this council is calling it... This is because of cheap labour, and cheap materials...you carnt call your self a qualified brick layer in a few weeks..This is a life long trade....materials are all so made cheaply, or using the cheapest product... this government, theses councils need to get to the bottom of why theses new builds will not stand the test of time.. A look around and see new builds thrown up all over the place, rushed work, bricks layed ,no proper pointing skills... just one example... It's all about a quick profit, done on the cheap ... but at what cost.... this could of been a lot worse... and thank god it wasn't..

Nicholas Taylor
2023-08-23 09:35:36

This experience has to make you wonder about the huge new flat block being built on the former Motorsales site near the station which has been built using huge prefabricated slabs which already have the windows put in them before coming on site. Having closely followed the Grenfell enquiry it is clear that not enough scrutiny of building materials and methods of construction takes place within the building industry, everyone involved blames someone else and at the end of it it is the taxpayer (us) who foots the financial bill. I hope they leave Burnt Mill School alone!

Nicholas Taylor
2023-08-23 09:41:12

Just to add, with the extreme heat during the last two summers and the heavy snow last December, we should all thank God or whoever you pray for that Harlow did not experience a disaster on the scale of Aberfan, where warnings were ignored for many months.

Guy Flegmen
2023-08-23 10:27:03

If the minister is truly putting the safety of people first then they would not have built a school with modern methods that are not tried and tested. Sounds like more double speak to me. I find it amazing that when things go wrong the people at the top seem to think they just need to say the right things and that will make things better. What we need is more positive action and less words.

2023-08-23 17:13:10

It hasn't been reported here much, but this is meant to be "education week" for the Conservatives. In the same way that "small boats week" was a disaster and humiliation, this is turning out to be the same. Some have speculated that poor quality materials or poor design have contributed to this. This may be true. If so, just because the materials were of poor quality does not mean that it did not meet the standards of this government. In the same way that "Grenfell" type cladding has required the demolition of Occasio House, this cladding was used because it met the reduced standards implemented by this government. It is entirely possible that poor quality materials and/or poor design also met the reduced standards of this government at the time of construction. It may not be "modern methods" that are to blame, but the reduced standards implemented by this conservative government in the guise of pandering to the Daily Mail to reduce "red tape". RH has said that the DfE takes responsibility. The whole conservative government should take responsibility. RH has said that the DfE will fund the replacement. The DfE will not fund the replacement, it is the taxpayer who will fund the replacement. Again.

2023-08-23 17:59:23

Last complete build of the bus station lasted only 19 years before they want to knock it down and start again. Occasia house was only in operation for a few years before it was shut down in 2016 and is being knocked down as we speak. Little walk closed and knocked down but nothing done. Westgate knocked down and nothing done. Harvey centre car part half finished flooring as company went bankrupt and the pièce de résistance, an entire school built where the building inspectors saw nothing wrong the whole time and now only weeks before it's opening, it looks like it has to be knocked down and built up again because it not only won't last the time promised but won't even make it to open. God help us when the new hospital is built and what type of tomfoolery councils, government departments, building inspectors and local politicians will do to that. Make no bones about all of the above, the government hasn't paid a single penny towards these, tax payers have.

2023-08-31 11:09:08

I have to say reading this I hope they take it down an rebuild and DO NOT repair If they are saying it’s that dangerous will a repair enough. I’m not sure about my child returning with a repair

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