SFG College: Government ministers now won’t appear in person at crucial meeting in Harlow

News / Tue 28th Nov 2023 at 05:42pm

A NUMBER of government ministers who had been scheduled to meet SFG College parents in person in Harlow on Thursday night have now announced they will not be able to meet in person.

Chief executive of BMAT, Helena Mills said: “Unfortunately, the DFE has requested that the meeting this coming Thursday be moved online. Baroness Barran, the minister responsible for school facilities, has unexpectedly been called to a debate at the House of Lords late on Thursday afternoon and the only way she can make the meeting is if it is virtual.

We did emphasise our preference that the DFE meeting be in person, as we know that is what parents desired. But sadly, that is not possible.

As a result, all the panellists will be online and a link will be sent round for parents to join at the same time of 7pm until 8pm. There will be a facility to input questions.

While this is disappointing and not what we had hoped for, it is critical to the Trust that our parents are provided a forum to put their questions to the DFE. The meeting on Thursday will still provide that opportunity. Baroness Barran will be accompanied by John Edwards, a DFE Director General, and local MP Robert Halfon, who is also a DFE Minister (although school facilities are not his brief).

For those parents who have booked, and wish to do so, we are still inviting you to come onsite this Thursday evening from 6:30 to meet with myself and other members of the senior leadership team so you can speak to me in person and see the facilities, including the latest improvements. We will then have a provision for parents to watch the meeting onsite and ask questions which I will then put to the Minister live. I will then be around to speak to parents afterwards.

This will likely be an MS Teams Live Event and we shall share a link for dialling-in in the coming days for those who won’t be joining us in person. We shall do this once we are provided with the link by the DFE.

“While the change of format is frustrating, we remain committed to ensuring all parents can put their questions to the Minister and see the SFG site, I hope this solution will allow for this. As ever, we are doing our best for you and the pupils of SFG”.


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9 Comments for SFG College: Government ministers now won’t appear in person at crucial meeting in Harlow:

2023-11-28 18:00:49

I'll go first. What. A. Surprise. I won't lie, it tugged at the heartstrings to see my old school raised to the ground in the name of 'progress' but in no way did I forsee the utter clusterf*** that would come after.

Luke Burton
2023-11-28 18:47:12

I've been saying for the past few weeks - The Baroness Barran MBE does not give a damn about SFG. She is an unelected Member of the House of Lords. She cannot be held to account by anybody as her life peerage will NOT, and CANNOT be taken away from her no matter what. She is born to rule over the people of this country and has the power to legislate upon us forever. She could turn round tomorrow and say SFG will now be run out of mud huts and there isn't a single thing any of us could do to stop it.

Luke Burton
2023-11-28 18:49:13

Be in no doubt that this government does not give a solitary crap about school buildings. Why else would you appoint an unelected investment banker to run this particular portfolio?

2023-11-28 20:45:49

What a shambles. Parents, boycott the meeting, and don’t send your kids back to the school. The press will be all over it, an entire school with the pupils on strike! A first. Striking not for a pay rise, but a school with basic amenities fit for purpose. A UK first…….. How will they explain themselves then? Total shambles. Unite and fight.

2023-11-29 07:16:30

I thought there was a "pairing" system to neutralise an absence from parliament, unless of course you didn't want to attend the meeting!!

2023-11-29 08:47:47

So the Baroness can’t come because she’s been conveniently called away to a debate in the House of Lords. What is the reason why Robert Halfon and John Edwards aren’t attending? They aren’t in the Lords, so why aren’t they coming? Unless they never actually intended to turn up in person in the first place, which sadly wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

2023-11-29 09:34:49

I'm not one for strikes but I agree with Phil. The pupils need a say too. Another way could be a petition.

2023-11-29 10:04:02

Ok, so Baroness Barran is unavailable for Thursday night, could she tell us which day she will be available? We can wait, we have been waiting since August for an explanation of Conservative incompetence. So many questions need to be answered, with only an hour given over to discuss EDUCATION at SFG. Because so little time has been given to debate the issues it looked as though the meeting would be a “white wash” anyway. None of the Conservatives want to be held responsible, I can only imagine the excuses, “Not me gov, I wasn’t in post at that time” or “I was on holiday” or even “I was in the toilet”. If the Conservative government is not going to take the blame or come to Harlow for the shambles at the college the only other recourse is for a public enquiry, to be held in Harlow. The Covid public inquiry is showing us how incompetent the Conservative government is. As a foot note; this is the same Conservative government and Conservative Councils that want to build over 20,000 new homes around Harlow, bringing the local population to over 200,000 while Harlow provides all of the amenities.

Richard Adams
2023-11-29 11:08:41

Just another example of the Conservative government treating the public with utter contempt. Have they learnt nothing from No 10 party debacle?

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