SFG College remains closed after power cables stolen from site

Crime / Mon 20th Nov 2023 at 05:15pm

SIR FREDERICK Gibberd College remains closed after they suffered a break in at the weekend.

The chief executive of BMAT, Helena Mills has published the following letter.

Dear Parents and Carers, 

Following today’s closure, the school site will unfortunately have to remain closed tomorrow, Tuesday 21st November 2023, and potentially for the coming few days. I am sorry to write again with further bad news. We shall update you as we learn more. 

The reason for this is that, over the weekend, the SFG site was broken into, and tens of thousands of pounds worth of power cables were stolen. As such, there is no power on-site. We are working with our insurance provider and the Department for Education (DFE) to replace the equipment and get the power back up. All the necessary safety checks need to be carried out as equipment is restarted too, which is why it may take between 2-3 days to be able to reopen the site confidently.

We are sorry about this. There is security onsite provided by the DFE but this was a well-planned, sophisticated theft. We are now putting in place with the DFE additional CCTV, security personnel, as well as fencing around the generator to minimise the chances of this happening again.

A full timetable of online learning will continue throughout the period of the site being closed.

In order to maximise face-to-face-learning at SFG, the planned INSET day on Friday 24th November is now cancelled for years 8-11, and should the school site be open on Friday, face-to-face education will go ahead.

Year 7 will have their INSET day as planned this Friday and will not be attending school. Year 7 will be attending Mark Hall Academy as usual on Tuesday – Thursday. 

Please contact your head of year if you have any specific questions on wellbeing and support. For more general enquiries, as always, I would ask you to email: [email protected]

Rest assured, there are no plans to change the parent meeting with Baroness Barran and Robert Halfon MP next Thursday. 

I am very disappointed that our school has been targeted in this way after all the setbacks of the past few months. We are conducting reviews and working with the relevant authorities to get to the bottom of how this was allowed to happen. We are confident we will overcome this issue and will be able to resume face-to-face education as soon as possible. I ask for your continued patience and support during this difficult period.

Please keep an eye out for further communications about the issues being resolved and face-to-face learning resuming in coming days.

Many thanks

Ms Helena Mills CBE                            

CEO, BMAT Education

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18 Comments for SFG College remains closed after power cables stolen from site:

Luke Burton
2023-11-20 18:02:48

Life imprisonment for those involved in stealing from the school.

2023-11-20 18:05:41

This is absolutely outrageous. How many lost days of learning have these students had now. On-line teaching is not working. Surely the DFE will take into account the lost learning due to their incompetence for the gcse students. Baroness Barren and MP Robert Halfon this is beyond belief what students and working parents have had to contend with due to DFEs decisions.

2023-11-20 18:07:35

Just going from bad to worse the pupils are suffering what low life scum can do this to a school knowing what the school is going through already.. respect going out to the head and the teachers my daughter like many others is doing online learning and the teachers try and make it fun for them

Mark Ingall
2023-11-20 18:51:20

Really. We are supposed to believe tens of thousands of pounds of power equipment, connected to the mains, was stolen over the weekend without the 24 hour a day security team noticing until 7am on Monday? I'm not doubting the theft, but I am doubting that the site security, parents were promised, was delivered. Another DfE broken promise?

2023-11-20 19:03:49

Now this is hilarious - no security on site

Carl Smith
2023-11-20 19:12:23

Poor excuse

2023-11-20 19:17:41

This has been a complete and utter mess and the Government, the Dept of Education and Robert Halfon should be extremely embarrased and ashamed for what has happened to this school. i feel so sorry for the poor kids whose education has been severely disrupted by this farce; and for the parents and staff too.

Robert Dearle
2023-11-20 19:26:42

There is security..what did he hear? This whole saga is pathetic and embarrassing..I have three Grandchildren there, 2 in GCSE year. Complete failure from every party. Except the teachers..

Tommy Leroq
2023-11-20 19:47:18

The 24/7 security guard saw nothing eh? Has he bought a new flash car over the weekend? *cough*

2023-11-20 20:24:01

I think the DfE took the cheapest tender for the 24 hour site security. Turns out Trotter's Independent Traders, Security Division weren't up to the job. Who would have thought the thieves would have got past Rodney and Uncle Albert?

2023-11-20 21:09:49

😂😂The Driscoll brothers were actually seen in Lidl staple Tye over the weekend

Michael Price
2023-11-20 21:32:29

The smell of plastic insulation being burned off the cables will be hanging over Harlow shortly. Police action? None

2023-11-21 08:21:59

The rubber cable used in temporary electric installs isn't small or light. I fail to see how tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused had there have been even hourly patrols of the site. Having experience of temporary installations I know that a site like this with its duration of hire would be a very high risk as people can see the gems on offer easily being a public building making it even more tempting. In this instance the use of electronic beam perimeter guards would be advised to raise awareness of any intrusion... This is assuming the security act on the alarm and are awake of course. It seems the government yet again fail to understand people... On contrast look at the setup for DIY SOS. They swooped in over a couple of days, turned an empty field area into a functional TV studio, mess room, catering facilities and perfectly fit for use and secure. Most likely at a lower cost and more efficient. I really don't understand how the government procuring has gone so wrong and nothing seems to happen aside from an insurance payout. I bet the poor hire company those cables came from will likely have to claim on their own insurance because of DfE incompetence.

Nogin the nog
2023-11-21 11:26:28

It is unbelievable that these thieves could get in take all that cable and the security never soar them

Son of Old Man River
2023-11-21 11:57:42

The frustration of parents is completely understandable, but does the vitriol in these comments make anyone feel any better? Ah, but then perhaps the very point. I feel for the Senior Managers, the Head Teacher and Staff at SFG who I am sure would rather be delivering a propers service to their students than having to manage this disruption. And have then put up with people venting their speen about the matter whenever they log onto the local news forum!

2023-11-21 12:52:57

Is that site being run by clowns? They couldn't run a bloody bath.

mark ingall
2023-11-21 13:21:58

Old Man River. I don't think anybody is blaming the staff. Its clear the anger is directed at the Department for Education and its Ministers, including Robert Halfon. They made a catastrophic error in hiring Caledonia Construction, a company with a history of failures and they have since made a number of promises to mitigate the situation only for the promises not to be kept.

2023-11-21 14:50:06

Did they hire Epstien's prison guards to look after SFG, might explain why they saw nothing.

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