Schools minister visits Harlow to defend government record

News / Fri 26th May 2017 at 10:47am

Nick Gibb

By Trudy Harper

Nick Gibbs visits Holy Cross Catholic Primary School

HOLY Cross Catholic Primary School welcomed Education Minister Nick Gibb for a visit today (Thursday). Head teacher Sue McGuiggan was very positive to have the opportunity to discuss her issues in person and was very proud to show the visitor round the school.

Mr Gibb was keen to explain that the Conservative government have invested £41 billion in education, the highest level in the countries history and that under the new national funding plan no school will lose out. He conceded that over the last decade some schools have been underfunded , including some in Harlow and Essex, but that schools like Holy Cross can look forward to an extra £84,000 which is an increase of 6.3%.

Mr Gibb explained how it is important to bring the expertise of our universities into schools and said he hoped to have specialist Maths Schools in every city. This has already been established in Exeter and London. Although the schools are funded by the state the expertise and educational support comes from a university as in The Kings College Maths School , London which offers a state education to children with a love and ability for numbers.

Mr Gibb spoke of the ‘workload challenge’ facing teachers and said the government were taking this very seriously , narrowing down the pressures to three main areas; marking, data collection and preparation . He was reassuring in stating that data collection should be minimised and be for schools own use and that teachers should concentrate on what they do best which is teaching children.

Mr Gibb agreed that the mental health of our young children is a growing concern and that the pressures of the exam and testing season were contributory. He explained that some of the layers at GCSE and A level have now been removed as a more linear approach has been introduced.

He stated that Justine Greening, education secretary and the Prime Minister both take the mental health of our children very seriously. He said this was not only a matter for the government as a whole but also for the department of education saying ‘modern society is more stressful, social media is a factor. Children need to be aware as they go through school and address them’

Nick Gibb was talking to reporters in the grounds of The Holy Cross School following his visit earlier.

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