Sep 8 2022
What is sitting in the new Education Secretary's in-tray?
The “education prime minister” was how Liz Truss described herself during her leadership campaign this summer, and she offered plenty of proposals for how she would change things from primary schools up to universities. To help deliver her education reforms, Kit Malthouse has been appointed as Education Secretary – the fourth person to take on this role in the last 12 months. Although I’m sure everyone is now hoping for greater stability at the Department for Education, the rapidly changing political and economic landscape is unlikely to make the new ministers’ lives any easier. The new Education Secretary’s in-tray will be piled high with policy problems, financial problems and implementation problems, so he will have little time to gather his thoughts before having to make some important and potentially significant decisions. So how will Kit Malthouse navigate these stormy waters? What could and should he prioritise across schools, colleges and universities? And how easy will it be to deliver any new policies in such a difficult environment? To try to answer these questions, we brought together two policy experts just before Kit Malthouse was appointed so that they could give us their verdict on what awaits our new Education Secretary. Our two experts were Jonathan Simons, the Head of Education at Public First, a consultancy, and Andy Westwood, Professor of Government Practice at the University of Manchester.