Visits to English Schools by Nick Gibb MP


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Nick Gibb

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

On 30th April 2020, I made a Freedom of Information request to the Department for Education (DfE). Is Nick Gibb MP keeping to his promise that he ‘will visit any school’.

I’ve waited one more year to see where Gibb has visited and I delayed my request until May 2020; conscious of the workload on our civil servants during lockdown. Some of you will know my fascination with policymakers and their visits to English state schools – this research is part a focus of my doctoral studies.

I’ve published where Nick Gibb has visited before (2015-2018) and when he claimed, “I will visit any school” with television presenter, Charlie Stayt (2018-2019).

Freedom of Information

My FOI asked: “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 16th May 2019 to Friday 20th March 2020

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

The Department for Education responded …

On 1st June 2020, the DfE responded with the following information which I have analysed for anyone interested. “The data shows the number of school visits carried out by Nick Gibb MP to early years, primary, secondary state schools and colleges between 16th May 2019 to Friday 20th March 2020.”

This is equivalent to 309 days.

Initial analysis

Since 16th May 2019, Nick Gibb has visited 16 schools throughout the 309 day period. This does not include the 139 schools he has visited since 2015. We’re both neck and neck in terms of how many schools we are visiting, despite me getting off to a later start in 2017.

If we analyse Gibb’s recent visits and remove the 6-week summer holiday, one week at half-term, plus two weeks at Christmas and also one week at February half term, this equates to 34 weeks of work for this request.

We know MPs have longer holidays than teachers, but I have used a broad figure in my calculations.

This means Nick Gibb has visited 16 schools from a possible 238 days in his DfE position. If we also remove the weekends (68 days) from the possible ‘school weeks’ the Minister for School Standards could visit a school, this leaves 16 schools out of a possible 170 days (over a ten-month period).

An average of 0.09 schools per school week. This is pretty poor considering what he has managed before.

  • Nick Gibb has a 6.1 school visit ratio from May 2015 to November 2018.
  • Damian Hinds has a 2.1 school visit ratio from January 2018 when he was appointed. (Collected 07.11.2018)
  • From 1st January 2017, Amanda Spielman has a 0.1 schools per week ratio! (Collected on 11.12.2018)
  • Gavin Williamson, from being in position, has a school visit ratio of 2.7 schools per week.

Let’s break down the demographics of Gibb’s visits:

  1. Nadcot Wood Junior School, 6th June 2019
  2. Watford Girls Grammar School, 6th June 2019
  3. Cardinal Vaughan School, 12th June 2019
  4. Angel Oak Academy, 7th November 2019
  5. Ashwood Academy, 19th September 2019
  6. The Costello School, 19th September 2019
  7. Sheringham Nursery School, 7th October 2019
  8. Myland Community School, 8th October 2019
  9. River Beach Primary School, 11th October 2019
  10. Torquay Boys’ Grammar School, 16th January 2020
  11. Torquay Girls’ Grammar School, 16th January 2020
  12. Nelson Primary School, Newham, 23rd January 2020
  13. Childminder visit, Bristol, 23rd January 2020
  14. Busy Bee’s, Bristol, 6th February 2020
  15. West London Free School, 27th February 2020
  16. Michaela Community School, 16th March 2020.

In comparison, I’ve reached 89 schools in the same period.

Ofsted rating at the time of visit

  • Number of Outstanding schools visited = 5 schools
  • Number of Good schools visited = 4 schools
  • Number of Requires Improvement schools visited = 1 school
  • Number of Inadequate schools visited = 0 schools
  • Number of Special Measures schools visited = 0 schools
  • Number of schools with no Ofsted rating visited = 5 schools
  • Number of visits unknown = 1 school

It is clear that the Minister for School Standards continues to ostracise the teaching profession by visitng schools with align with Conservative policy, [a no-brainer] rather than visit schools which benefit from his good leadership and insights.

If you are interested in the data, you can download a copy.

Image credit: UK Parliament


2 thoughts on “Visits to English Schools by Nick Gibb MP

  1. Fantastic and forensic research Ross. We are under no delusions at all that Mr Gibb actually has a genuine and realistic connection to education. It is all just sound bites.

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