Schools minister Nick Gibb visits Dartford Grammar School’s NCCE Computing Hub

25 September 2020

Schools minister Nick Gibb visited Dartford Grammar School to find out more about how the school is playing a key role in delivering vital digital skills across Kent and East Sussex.

Teachers and students at Dartford Grammar welcomed the Rt Hon Nick Gibb, Minister for School Standards, where he praised its ambition and work as a Computing Hub for the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE).

Mr Gibb MP met computer science teacher Steve Ireland and NCCE representative, Niel McLean, Head of Education for BCS, the Chartered Institute of IT, on his visit last week.

Speaking at the school, Mr Gibb praised its work to support students across the region, saying;

“'What is so wonderful about this school is its ambition; its ambition for the students, ambition for the curriculum, and ambition for taking part in Hub programmes - it is a centre of excellence that can spread out to other schools.”

Dartford Grammar is part of the network of 34 Computing Hubs across England which provide a focal point for computing education for primary and secondary schools, including providing training for teachers. It had been quick to switch to remote delivery of courses following the impact of coronavirus.

Niel McLean, Head of Education for BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, said;

“Dartford Grammar School is a great school.  It has championed high-quality computing within the school and with the schools in its region, ensuring young people develop the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the digital age.”

John Oakes, Headteacher at Dartford Grammar School, said;

“We are delighted to be working with other schools to support high quality training in computing in addition to our responsibilities as a national centre for the learning of Modern Foreign Languages. There is no doubt that all teachers benefit from these opportunities to work closely with enthusiastic colleagues in other schools.”

Dartford Grammar School has been a Computing Hub since July 2019 and, as well as being a centre for local computing training for schools, the hub also has links with industry and universities.

Steve Ireland, Computing Hub lead at the school, said:

“As a hub for the NCCE, our extensive range of high-quality courses, resources and support, provides teachers of computing with the knowledge and confidence to deliver a comprehensive and engaging computing curriculum.”

Dartford Grammar works closely with primary and secondary schools across Kent and East Sussex to support and improve the provision of computing education and increase teachers’ skills to teach the computing curriculum.