Nick Gibb

The National Education Union (NEU) has given its verdict on Nick Gibb’s time as a government minister. This follows his resignation as a school’s minister yesterday. Gibb’s resignation came alongside the wider cabinet reshuffle carried out by Rishi Sunak following the sacking of Suella Braverman.

Commenting on Gibb’s resignation, NEU general secretary Daniel Kebede: “Since 2010, Nick Gibb has been a near constant presence throughout a period in which the education system in England has been battered from pillar to post. Teacher recruitment and retention are now at breaking point. School buildings are crumbling. All the problems facing the educational system have deepened during the period in which Gibb has presided over schools. Preoccupied with Gibb’s own ideology, his department has been consistent in its neglect of the basic building blocks of a good educational system – adequate funding, fully-staffed schools. Under his leadership, the DfE has asked school leaders to deliver more and more with less and less.

“Gibb has been a centraliser. He has sought to micro-manage the teacher education curriculum,. He has imposed on schools his preferred method for the teaching of reading. Through establishing the Oak National Academy as a government agency, he has worked towards a degree of control over the curriculum whose educational consequences will be disastrous. In the name  of ‘standards’, these policies are actually reducing the quality of education, worsening the conditions of teachers and lessening pupils’ motivation and enjoyment.

“Ministers talk about school accountability all the time but rarely appear to feel responsible for the impact of national policies- such as policies to recruit sufficient teachers. There is collective responsibility for this failure, and Nick Gibb is deeply implicated in the failure to ensure that the teaching profession can attract sufficient numbers of new teachers, or retain teachers within the profession. There needs to be a fundamental change in the approach and attitude of the Prime Minister towards the future of education in this country and a far more genuine and open minded engagement by the new Schools Minister with the deep and instructive expertise of school leaders and education staff.”

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Image credit: Nick Gibb – UK Parliament