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Gillian Keegan appointed UK's next Education Secretary

Details: Written by Kate Hutchinson |

Gillian Keegan appointed UK’s next Education Secretary

Rishi Sunak has scripted history this week as the first Indian heritage PM, youngest PM and first PM to be appointed by King Charles III.

Amid this fresh wave of change, Sunak has been forming his front bench, with Gillian Keegan being promoted to Secretary of State for Education. Keegan will be replacing Kit Malthouse, who held the role from 6th September to 25th October 2022.

Who is Gillian Keegan?

The Lancashire-born MP was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office prior to her promotion this week. Keegan was previously Minister of State for Care at the Department of Health and Social Care between 16 September 2021 and 7 September 2022.

Keegan will be the fifth Education Secretary to serve in the role in four months, the sixth in 14 months and the tenth since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.

What will she do?

As Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan will inherit the same responsibilities her predecessor Kit Malthouse led upon within the Department for Education including:

  • Early years
  • Children’s social care
  • Families
  • Teacher recruitment and retention
  • The school curriculum
  • School improvement
  • Academies and free schools
  • Further education
  • Apprenticeships and skills
  • Higher education

What are education leaders saying?

Following news of Keegan's appointment, education leaders have stressed the need for continuity and stability, and said that the challenges the sector faces, are urgent.

Paul Whiteman, General Secretary of National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said:

“School leaders will be hopeful that in Gillian Keegan we might now finally have an education secretary who understands that education should be seen not as a drain on the nation’s finances, but as the best investment that can be made in our country’s future – and who stays the course to the next election to make education a priority for this government again”.

If you want to know more about our new Education Secretary, click here