Skip to main content

James Cleverly becomes Education Secretary

Details: Written by Eleanor Lodge |

James Cleverly is announced as Education Secretary, following the resignation of Michelle Donelan after just 35 hours in the job.

Amid continued political change, James Cleverly who is MP for Baintree in Essex becomes the third Education Secretary to serve in three days, following the promotion of Nadhim Zahawi.

From a military background, Cleverly has quickly progressed his political career following his first election in 2015 and now takes on the role of Education Secretary.

Who is James Cleverly?

Born in Lewisham, Cleverly served in the army before working in magazine and digital publishing. Politically, Cleverly’s background is within the Brexit department and foreign affairs office, with the move to education a first in his political career.

Quoted from his website, Cleverly says: “I previously served as Minister for Europe at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), Minister for Middle East and North Africa and as joint Minister of State in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development.”

Cleverly was the son of a midwife and a small business owner, and attended Colfe’s School in London, a co-educational Independent day school. Cleverly is quoted saying he would “love to give everyone enough financial freedom” to make the same choice that his parents made in educating their child privately.

What does the move mean for the education sector?

Cleverly will take on numerous challenges facing the education sector, including catch-up after covid. This comes amid new stats revealing a continued drop in reading, writing and maths standards among year 6 pupils following the pandemic.

Alongside catch-up resolution, Cleverly will be faced with combatting rising costs for schools and educators and his role will oversee the passage of the Schools Bill.

Find out more here