Invite Nick to visit your School – and find out how things are!

Nick Gibb at School

One of the blogs I read regularly is published under the @TeacherToolkit title by Ross Morrison McGill. His blog today refers to visits to Schools by Nick Gibb, the Government Minister responsible for Schools as part of the Department for Education. Ross has contacted the Department on a couple of occasions and has been handed the list of Schools visited from May 2015 when the Conservatives won the General Election under David Cameron until 15th May 2019. In that time Nick has visited 120 Schools which is an average of 30 a year or less than one a week (as Ross points out School years cover 37 weeks). Of these 120 Schools a total of 42 appear to be in London which is of course close to Parliament but it does rather bias his understanding of what is going on in other areas. The rest of the schools include three Kent Schools, four Surrey Schools, one Brighton and Hove School and one in East Sussex. There are also two West Sussex Schools although they are both part of the same institution which is despite the fact that his own constituency is in West Sussex. It is worth noting that of these 11 Schools three are Independent and then two more of them are Grammar Schools. So this reduces the number of conventional schools to six. Also nine of the 11 were visited more than three years ago and only one in the current academic year. It seems hard to imagine how anyone who is a policy maker could gain a significant exposure to the challenges facing Schools in our part of the South East region from such a limited series of visits:

  • Dartford Grammar School in November 2015
  • Sir Joseph Williamsons Mathematical School (Medway) in January 2016
  • Marie Curie Polish Saturday School (Merton – Independent) in January 2016
  • St Lawrence Primary School (Leatherhead) in January 2016
  • Brighton College (Independent) in May 2016
  • Yehudi Menuhin School (Cobham – Independent) in May 2016
  • Coombe Boys School (New Malden) in May 2016
  • Warden Park School (Haywards Heath) in May 2016
  • Warden Park Primary School (Haywards Heath) in May 2016
  • Oakwood Park Grammar School (Maidstone) in November 2016
  • Ark Castledown Primary School (Hastings) in September 2018

Apparently on the 9th March 2019 Nick offered to visit any School in the country and so it would be helpful for Schools in our part of the South East to invite him to visit them so he can understand how they are managing with the challenges that face them at the moment as opposed to three years ago. One of the major challenges facing Sussex Surrey and Kent is the number of rural schools and none of the Schools above are rural by most peoples standards so it would be great to see a much wider spectrum of locations as well as a much longer list of visits moving forward.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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