“There are kids who can read and write today because of Nick Gibb”

That’s what a Special Adviser says – and his are words to ponder on this second day of the reshuffle.

Nick Gibb has been reappointed to his job as an Education Minister, serving under Gavin Williamson.  By our count, that makes the latter the fifth Education Secretary that Gibb has served under.  We make it: Michael Gove, Nicky Morgan, Justine Greening, Damian Hinds, and now Williamson.

Gibb’s still there because he is legendarily committed to his work, and in particular to the teaching of synthetic phonics – see here for example, and look elsewhere too.  Meanwhile, Secretaries of State have come and gone, and education fashion with them.  (Consider the twists and turns of policy over the years on grammar schools.)

All the while, Gibb has stuck to his cause; driven through change; refused to be distracted or daunted.  So it is that he has been at the Education Department, with one break, since 2010.  Politicians get a kicking, sometimes deservedly, but if you want an example of committed public service, look no further than Gibb.

We’ve nothing against Robbie Gibb, his brother, having received a knighthood.  But the disparity should make one think hard about the vagaries of the honours system.  If R.Gibb can become a knight, shouldn’t N.Gibb, in due course, become a peer?

Let’s hear it again: “there are kids who can read and write today because of Nick Gibb”


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