Michelle Donelan has been confirmed as the brand new Training Secretary following a transfer by Nadhim Zahawi to Quantity 11 Downing Road after a number of resignations within the Cupboard.
Mr Zahawi turns into Chancellor after senior ministers Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid resigned from their positions amid Boris Johnson’s dealing with of the row over scandal-hit former deputy chief whip Chris Pincher.
You are reading: Michelle Donelan takes up Education Secretary role
Ms Donelan may have a full in-tray as she takes up the put up.
2022 is the primary 12 months of full public exams following the cancellation of GCSEs and A-levels in the course of the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021.
Outcomes launched in August shall be decrease than these seen in 2021, when teacher-assessed grades had been awarded, as grading shall be set loosely at a halfway level between 2019 and 2021.
In a 12 months when the competitors for college locations has by no means been extra fierce, the frustration of kids who’ve additionally misplaced out closely within the pandemic may very well be tough to clean over.
She may also oversee the passage of the Colleges Invoice – unfinished enterprise – which Labour’s Bridget Phillipson lately described as having been “left in tatters” following the elimination of 18 of its 69 clauses.
Most of those associated to elevated ranges of centralised management over academies and had been fiercely contested within the Lords.
A 3rd space of concern is more likely to be the cost-of-living disaster and its impression on faculties.
Solely this week, faculty catering affiliation Laca reported how greater than half of caterers stated that college meals high quality would worsen if funding shouldn’t be ring-fenced by Authorities, with rising prices pushing staples akin to beef off the menus.
Heads have warned that rising prices, together with gasoline and electrical energy costs, might push faculties into deficit.
As larger and additional training minister, Ms Donelan has championed the rights of scholars to be absolutely knowledgeable about their programs, pledging to crack down on “low high quality” levels by way of “boots on the bottom” investigations.
She has referred to as for universities to make sure that their drop-out and development charges are clearly signposted in promoting, and has referred to as for motion on grade inflation, with each Universities UK and Guild HE asserting final week that they’d be returning to pre-pandemic ranges of first and higher second levels by 2023.
Ms Donelan has launched measures to assist folks examine at any level of their lives, such because the lifelong mortgage entitlement, the place people can entry the equal of 4 years of post-18 training.
At occasions she has clashed with the upper training sector, most notably on the problem of free speech. She lately referred to as on college vice-chancellors to “mirror fastidiously” over whether or not their membership of schemes akin to Advance HE’s Race and Equality Constitution was “conducive” to creating an setting totally free speech inside universities, which the sector pushed again on with a strongly-worded letter.
Ms Donelan has additionally spoken passionately with reference to scholar security on campuses, calling on all universities to signal a pledge to finish using non-disclosure agreements in circumstances of sexual harassment and assault.
And he or she broke with the Nationwide Union of College students, calling for his or her elimination from all of the Division for Training (DfE) departmental teams over long-standing considerations about antisemitism throughout the physique.
Like her predecessor, she has had an inspiring journey into politics, the primary in her household to attend college. The Chippenham MP, simply 38, was educated within the state sector in Cheshire, and has stated beforehand that her personal background led her to champion higher details about college programs for “first in household” college students.