Cabinet reshuffle: who’s who in the Education team?

Following the formation of a Conservative minority government with DUP support, Theresa May has completed a reshuffle of her ministerial team.

Whole School SEND members The Driver Youth Trust take a look at what this means for the Department for Education team:

Justine Greening – Secretary of State 

Justine Greening, the first ever comprehensively educated Secretary of State for Education retained her place in the Cabinet on Sunday. Since taking the position in July 2016 she has had the tricky task of navigating the government on grammar schools and the national funding formula – both vehemently controversial plans. However, Greening has been received more warmly than her predecessors by the teaching profession and has made the pursuit of social mobility a priority for the DfE.      

You can read our full profile of her here.

Robert Goodwill MP – Vulnerable Children and Families

Robert Goodwill replaces Edward Timpson, the minister who was responsible for SEND matters since 2012 and oversaw the Children and Families Act 2014, reshaping the system of support for disabled children. He lost his Crewe and Nantwich seat by 48 votes.

Robert has been Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby since 2005. He has served as Minister of State at the Department for Transport and more recently as Minister for Immigration. 

Goodwill has asked two questions in the House of Commons about special educational needs. Before 2010 he raised the struggles of parents trying to secure a statement, particularly those serving in the armed forces.  

Outside of politics he is a farmer and a managing director of an undertakers in the North Yorkshire.


Nick Gibb – Minister for School Standards 

Also managing to escape the ministerial chopping block, Nick Gibb will also be staying on as Minister for School Standards. Gibb has been a somewhat controversial figure in his time as Minister of State, following a series of reforms such as new tougher SATs, the English Baccalaureate and the roll-out of synthetic phonics.

Gibb’s remit will primarily be staying the same, though he will have to contend with the backlash from School Leaders and parents following complaints about new SATs difficulty and faces consultations on the new primary assessment system on the 22nd June. It is likely that Gibb will oversee the commitment by the Conservatives to build on the the phonics screening test, a new times tables check and delivering 75 per cent of pupils to enter the EBacc combination of GCSES by the end of the next parliament. 


Lord Nash – Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System

Since Lord Nash being granted his peerage in 2013, he has been instrumental in steering Education policy for the Government.

In January 2013 he was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, and one of his responsibilities was to push the controversial forced academisation of ‘coasting’ schools through the House of Lords.

In 2006 he set up Future, a charity designed to support young people by working with other small charities and sponsoring academies, including Pimlico Academy and Millbank Primary Academy.

He was a non-executive board member at the Department for Education for over 2 years before being appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools. His responsibilities include school governance, admissions and school capital investment. 


Jo Johnson – Minister for Universities and Science

Jo Johnson (brother of Boris Johnson) will be staying in his role as Universities and Science Minister, 

Johnson had previously come under fire for promising to ‘trace and prosecute’ students who avoid paying back their student loans. He also oversees the industrial strategy and a wrath of reforms to higher education. 


 The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP – Skills and Apprenticeships 

Elected as MP for Guildford in 2005. Anne trained as a nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London and worked for the NHS for 25 years, as a district nurse.

Between 2010 and 2012 she served as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Public Health), Department of Health and was appointed a Government Whip in 2012.

Milton will take the skills and apprenticeships brief, replacing Halfon who was dismissed by Theresa May on Monday night. 


The Driver Youth Trust is a national charity dedicated to improving the life chances of children and young people, with a focus on those with literacy difficulties and who may have SEND, particularly children with dyslexia.


Whole School SEND