Harlow MP Robert Halfon issues statement over re- building plans for SFG College

General / Thu 30th Nov 2023 at 08:51pm

Statement from Robert Halfon MP:

MANY of Your Harlow readers will be aware of the ongoing situation at the Sir Frederick Gibberd College (SFG), but following the Parents Meeting this evening with the Minister for the School System, Baroness Barran, I am pleased to be able to announce some good news.

Today, the Minister for the School System, Baroness Barran, has confirmed that the SFG building will be demolished and pupils and staff will be able to enjoy a brand new, and fully functional school building.

This is fantastic news, and the Department and Project Teams will be in touch with SFG in the coming weeks to begin project planning. 

I am grateful to the Department for Education, the Minister and the team of officials for listening to our concerns, and my representations on parents’ behalf as the local MP.

No parent, carer, pupil, member of staff, or the wider school community should have to experience the disruption caused by the situation at Sir Frederick Gibberd – and I am sorry that they have had to endure this. 

The Burnt Mill Academy Trust is a brilliant Trust, with an outstanding Chief Executive Helena Mills, and a respected and wonderful Headteacher at SFG in Dee Conlon. It has been an incredibly difficult time and they, along with all the heroic support and teaching staff, have gone above and beyond to keep our children learning.

Although there is still a lot of work to be done, I hope this news reassures parents, students and staff that they will be getting a brilliant new school and that we can come together and move forward as one to ensure that the whole school community comes back stronger than ever. 

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23 Comments for Harlow MP Robert Halfon issues statement over re- building plans for SFG College:

Cllr James Griggs
2023-11-30 21:06:52

A statement issued earlier this evening says it will be built by 2027. Well, we all know Mr Halfon is a past master of announcing dates for projects which are wildly optimistic and are left unfulfilled, the numerous reannouncements of the arrival of a new PAH to name but one! I would strongly recommend no student, parent or SFG staff member holds their breath

2023-11-30 21:07:24

This is Orwellian double speak. the government built a school, were not able to supervise properly the construction company. They the contracted company built it poorly, resulting in hundreds of students missing education and being messed about. Now they will go to temporary schools and made do, many for their entire secondary school careers. There is nothing good news or fantastic news about this. There is however desperation of an MP who perhaps is realising he might be out of office next year. How many millions are wasted, how many tax payers have had increased taxes (thanks Rob for the highest tax burden since ww2) struggled due to having less money due to increased taxes and cost of living. All to pay for cluster F**ks like this one and they happen all the time across the country. Please Harlow vote for an independent and not another political animal in Chris Vince, when we kick this MP out

Luke Burton
2023-11-30 21:15:56

This is not good news. How dare you, Halfon for calling this good news. I think you are absolutely disgusting for saying this. I don't usually go for ad hominem attacks but your character is fundamentally fatally flawed. How dare you say it's good news that SFG will be rebuilt by 2027? We all know this means it will a) NEVER be rebuilt under the Conservatives, or b) Be rebuilt in about 20-years behind schedule. Dear god, I hope the good people of Harlow give you a damn good electoral thrashing come next year. You disgust me.

2023-11-30 21:17:09

Luke it is rare we agree but this is the most outrageous statement I think I have ever seen from a MP.

Luke Burton
2023-11-30 21:17:32

How dare you invoke the good names of BMAT and SFG staff in your press release too. You are actively disrespecting them and the school for putting their names down on your gutter press release.

2023-11-30 21:26:14

Who inspected these buildings and declared them safe ahd fit for purpose? Just absolutely appalling

2023-11-30 21:29:15

And how is the demolition of a brand new school and displacement of pupils for at least 3 years good news ? It's appalling, depressing news. The pupils and staff should already be enjoying a brand new building. This sadly just goes to show how any negative news will be shamelessly spun to a Halfon win.

A Grandparent
2023-11-30 22:04:39

Yes it's not good news. It's a sham. And who is being held accountable? Who is to blame?

A Grandparent
2023-11-30 22:05:20

Yes it's not good news. It's a sham. And who is being held accountable?

2023-11-30 22:10:57

IT WAS A NEW SCHOOL!!! Why Robert Halfon are you making it sound like we should all be over the moon. Nothing good came out of the meeting. You make empty promises and it's about time you fought for these pupils and their future. Find a building to house these pupils and give them the education they deserve and is their right. Do that then kindly step down and let someone else sort the new hospital you lied about when you announced that 'good news'.

2023-11-30 22:39:32

“Fantastic news”? Seriously? Appalling comment. Why is the MP (and Education Minister) not fighting tooth and claw for his constituents children? Halfon and the DFE are ultimately responsible for this problem and couldn’t even be bothered (or was too scared) to attend the meeting. Resign now.

Full Time Working Mother with an SFG child
2023-12-01 00:07:03

This meeting was there to discuss our children’s present and current schooling reality!! Don’t politicise my child’s education!! Yes, there needs to be accountability but this issue needs splitting - the focus on present impacted children/school/Trust and current action/DfE funding/ support to provide high quality education in a good setting was never more required than now alongside the investigation / review / accountability on what occurred. Conflating the two is not helpful!! There are real children and real families and real staff who are living this reality now!! We need practical solutions that focus on our children today, their GCSE’s are only a few short months/ years away. Whilst answers are needed and the town absolutely needs the school rebuilding etc the DfE and the DfE legal processes back to contractors / DfE appointed building control) need to pick up the bill for their mistakes. This is not just rebuilding costs but today’s additional needs driven by the site issues/ poor site provision need to be funded. My child’s senior years are limited we need DfE action now in 2023!! Most current pupils don’t have the benefit of time for 2027!! Four school years’ worth of GCSE’s will have been completed before this building is likely to be ready!! We need action and concentration on delivery and wrap around care /spport/ trip opportunities/ extra curricular activities and additional lessons/ learning support for today’s children!! I’m glad tomorrow’s children will get a new school … so what’s happening for today’s children this cannot be a school matter only it’s a DfE / Essex County Council reality that must be funded properly in lieu of what’s been taken from our children. Don’t politicise my child’s education!! Provide tangible action for today’s child not just tomorrow’s!!! An example of positive action from the schools was a Saturday school / Summer school. Education will give the children choices…SFG ethos is all about education…. Support the school and Trust in educational delivery!! DfE need to take responsibility for its mistakes and grow the financial and wrap anround offer for today’s pupils!!! Now!!!

Mark Ingall
2023-12-01 09:12:47

I'm worried about Robert Halfon. He said he would meet SFG parents last night to answer their questions. We later learnt he couldn't be there in person because he had something more important to do in Westminster. Disappointing, but fair enough, because he said he'd answer questions online. So he turned up for the online meeting at 7.00 pm, made a brief statement and then disappeared. He didn't answer any questions. He wasn't seen again. He went missing, vanished, vamoosed. Perhaps he was abducted? Should I be calling the emergency services? After all, he surely wouldn't have promised to answer questions and then just ducked out, would he?

Nicholas Taylor
2023-12-01 09:50:56

The fact is of course that most of the pupils registered at that school now will have left education by the time the new school is built. It comes as no surprise that the list of Tory MP's indicating that they will not stand again at the next election is growing, I would suggest that Robert Halfon does the decent thing and do the same.

2023-12-01 10:36:59

Parents, pull all the pupils out of school, and refuse to send them back until you get satisfactory answers, and a temporary facility fit for purpose. The media (local and national) will be all over it. Watch the DfE, the MP and Baroness B**lshit get their act together then!! An entire school on strike....... never been heard of. Election coming up, so they will want to save the day, and maybe even start building the new school right away!!

2023-12-01 13:19:50

YES! Good news the school is being demolished👍👍🥂

2023-12-01 14:13:26

I know this is a very difficult subject, and I feel so sorry for the kids who’s education is being affected by this shambles. And I feel sorry for the parents and staff at the school too as they have been put in a terrible situation that isn’t their doing. I dont like to make our hopeless MP the centre of this as the kids, parents and staff are far more important than him. But he is front snd centre of this shambles. And it sounds like he didn’t want to even do the right thing and face up to the poor parents who rightfully demand answers. And the to make it sound like its good news that a new school will be built in 4 years time is no help to anyone who has kids at the school now. Im sorry - but this disaster, and the chaos that’s followed is a SCANDAL. And Robert Halfon should do the decent thing and RESIGN.

2023-12-01 14:22:08

MP Robert Halfon talks bilge again.

Steve Crewe
2023-12-01 21:22:13

Who is to blame for this, and will we get OUR money back ?

Disgruntled Mother
2023-12-03 11:52:18

What about the pupils who are going to SFG next September? I’m genuinely scared for my daughter’s education. The building won’t be finished until she’s in year 10? This is not acceptable so Mr Halfon needs to stop singing and dancing about it like it is

James Gamble
2023-12-03 12:39:01

Good news for the Tory party and their sponsors maybe after all someone has to profit from this mess. Construction barons are known to contribute to the Tory party. I wonder who will get the contract, friends and families as with the Covid contracts.

David Pincott
2023-12-03 13:41:45

Is the Trust taking legal action against the design team? Were separate collateral warranties obtained from the engineers, architects etc? If not, why not? Was legal or other professional advice taken on procurement method? Turnkey procurement is not the appropriate way to build modular buildings in my opinion if quality rather than cost is the objective.

Parent of SFG student
2023-12-15 12:49:55

And now it gets worse. The joke of a school have organised mocks first week back after Christmas. And students need to make own way their, no transport from SFG. Poor email sent out last day of school left open to interpretation if transport supplied or not. School hides behind DFE again saying its their decision. Amy one reading this DO NOT send your children to this joke of a school. Avoid at all costs.

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