“I Will Visit Any School” says Nick Gibb MP

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Which schools has Nick Gibb MP visited in his role as Minister for School Standards?

On 9th March 2019, BBC’s Charlie Stayt asked Nick Gibb if he would be prepared to visit any school across England. You can watch the video below and read on to discover what I’ve found out using Freedom of Information access. Has Gibb actually kept to his word? And more importantly, is this the beginning of the end?

I decided to submit another Freedom of Information request to the Department for Education.

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What happened next?

“Please advise of the number of visits to early years, primary, secondary state schools, FE / HEI colleges and English independent schools (including education visits overseas) by Nick Gibb MP since 29th November 2018 to *Wednesday 15th May 2019. I would like this data broken down by where appropriate:

1) OFSTED grading
2) Type of school (including free school, grammar, studio etc)
3) Region
4) Date of visit
5) Name of school

It would be helpful if you could advise of the start (29.11.18) and end points of the data trawl (perhaps, 21 working days from the date of this request = *14.06.19).”

Freedom of Information

The request was returned four days late and since I have received the information, I have asked for further data to discover if there are any schools who asked Gibb to visit, but were denied, and for what reason.

“[We] have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The majority of the schools the Minister visits are arranged as a result of an invitation.” This data starts from 29/11/2018 and ends on 15/05/2019. Name of school and date of visit:

  1. Pimlico Academy, Pimlico on 26.01.2019
  2. All Saints Catholic School and Technology College, Dagenham on 31.01.2019
  3. King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls, Birmingham on 07.02.2019
  4. Lloyds Bank Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC) on 28.02.2019
  5. Patchway Community School, Bristol on 21.03.2019
  6. St Stephen’s CE Junior School, Bristol on 21.03.2019
  7. John Cabot Academy, Bristol on 21.03.2019
  8. Great Yarmouth Charter, Great Yarmouth on 04.04.2019
  9. Woodkirk Academy, Wakefield on 09.05.2019
  10. Elliot Hudson College, Leeds on 09.05.2019.

In comparison, I have visited 29 schools during the same time period.

Therefore, from the time Nick Gibb said on 9th March 2019 that he would “visit any school in the country”, he has only managed to visit 6 schools – three in the same location and two in another, all on the same day. One hour each? This is a pretty, diabocial record for someone who leads schools nationally …

Ofsted rating at the time of visit

I have taken a look at the Ofsted rating of these 6 schools.

  • Number of Outstanding schools visited = 2 schools
  • Number of Good schools visited = 2 schools
  • Number of Requires Improvement schools visited = 0 schools
  • Number of Inadequate schools visited = 0 school 
  • Number of Special Measures schools visited = 0 school
  • Number of schools with no Ofsted rating visited = 2 schools

It is clear that the Minister for School Standards has not visited enough schools across the country to understand funding pressures. This confirms that political bias is very much alive and breathing within the Departmenf for Educaiton and that we have much to do to to support the work of all schools. If you are interested in which schools Gibb has visited since his appointed, you can read my blog post summary and access the data here.

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In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...

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