Robert Halfon MP meets with Harlowbury Primary parents and staff over safety concerns
Education / Sun 10th Sep 2023 at 07:31am
HARLOW MP Robert Halfon visited Harlowbury Primary school in Old Harlow over concerns regarding the concrete structure at the school.
Mr Halfon tweeted about his visit (see below).
The visit was welcomed by both the Headteacher of the school, Ms Vicky Early and the chair of governors, Yasmin Gregory.
Ms Gregory said: “Mr Halfon was fully supportive from the moment he became aware that Harlowbury was affected.
“We are very lucky to have the skillset of governors such as Lisa Honeychurch, a quantity surveyor.
“Ms Early has also been phenomenal in dealing with a multitude of commitments and requests.
Why did Mr Halfon vote in May to keep a report into the condition of school buildings secret? Why does Mr Halfon support a Prime Minister who promised to deliver 50 rebuilds per year ,when the National Audit Office said 400 arre needed to keep children safe? Were our children left in dangerous buildings because, as a senior Conservatives said "we need to keep a lid on this for two years and then it will be somebody else's problem? When will Mr Halfon answer some questions instead of doing photo opportunities?
I wonder if RH also has any comments on reports that his government, and his government department are targeting 20% cuts to the number of new education plans for children with special educational needs and disabilities? https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/sep/10/revealed-covert-deal-to-cut-help-for-pupils-in-england-with-special-needs Why did Claire Coutinho say there were no targets in place when there was a target of a 20% cut in place? And if cuts to education are needed, why is his department targeting children with special needs and disabilities?
Well said Mark 👏
Is Yasmin Gregory being taken for a fool here? Just when did Mr Halfon become aware of the issues at Harlowbury? Did she ask him why he voted to suppress the reports in May of this year? He knows that his boss Mr Sunak slashed the buildings programme, he also knows that his mate Mr Gove cancelled the entire rebuilding programme back in 2010. These crocodile tears of concern from Mr Halfon are fooling no-one except, possibly, Ms Gregory
https://www.theguardian.com/education/2023/sep/10/uk-government-did-not-carry-out-detailed-surveys-before-it-bought-free-schools-sites?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other In case anyone has a doubt about Tory incompetence...........
Isn't this the school that should have been rebuilt over at Gilden Park. In July YH reported that Harlow Council was in discussions with ECC, who had the land, to build the school. So, if the new school had been built there would not have been a problem, or have I got that wrong
I am surprised that Yasmin Gregory, a Harlow Green Party member, so readily accepted Halfon's line. Mark and Cllr Griggs have good questions that Halfon should answer. However, Labour's Building School for the Future project (BSF) was not that great. The National Audit Office (NAO) slammed BSF in a 2009 report for "cost overruns" and "slow delivery" along with the use of PFI and the high cost of consultants in key positions. Up to March 2011, a total of £11.1 billion was allocated to the BSF project, of which £4.5 billion was costly PFI schools. These and other PFI schemes by the Blair and Brown Labour governments were described in 2011 as "poor value for money" by MPs in a House of Commons Treasury Select Committee. The NAO said the same about PFI.
Also, Labour's Building Schools for the Future project was criticized for poor build quality. A BBC article from 2010 and updated in June 2011 says: "The Commission for the Architecture and the Built Environment audited 52 of the 124 schools that had been completed and found that the quality of building and design was "poor" in 16 and "mediocre" in almost half." See BBC article at https://www.bbc.com/news/education-10682980
There has been no mitigations put in place at all, all the report said was it was safe according to current building regulations which haven't been updated since the RAAC issues was highlighted and guidance changed so good way to get out of that one easily. He didn't meet with parents he was sat outside the office with the child that runs harlow council and the headteacher saying.the odd hello to people no meeting held for Q an A like a responsible MP should do
There has been no mitigations put in place at all, all the report said was it was safe according to current building regulations which haven't been updated since the RAAC issues was highlighted and guidance changed so good way to get out of that one easily. He didn't meet with parents he was sat outside the office with the child that runs harlow council and the headteacher saying.the odd hello to people no meeting held for Q an A like a responsible MP should do.
Concerned Parent makes some good points and is right to be concerned. The concerns about RAAC are sgared by leading construction journalist, tradesman and construction lecturer Roger Bisby. Roger's video offers a good insight and real world solutions at https://youtu.be/O4wOH5g_yzQ?si=baVi6BMs0JTeaUFX