There is no question of Nicky Morgan reversing Michael Gove's education policies, say ministers
Allies of Mrs Morgan have played down expectations of a breakthrough
The new Education Secretary will pursue Michael Gove’s reforming agenda, but attempt to improve the Tories’ image among parents and teachers, party sources have said.
One minister told The Independent: “Michael Gove was an epoch-making Secretary of State. There is no question of reversing his policies: the point is to preserve them with a little less controversy.”
In her first full day in the job, Nicky Morgan received detailed briefings from officials as she began working through a daunting in-tray.
Most immediately she will oversee the launch in September of teaching for the revised A-levels and GCSEs championed by Mr Gove, as well as the new national curriculum.
She will have to decide with whether to press ahead with the creation of more free schools and university technical colleges, both programmes which have divided opinion in the education word.
Mrs Morgan will oversee this month’s publication of a Government’s report into the alleged “Trojan horse” plot by hardline Islamist to infiltrate Birmingham schools.
A further piece of unfinished business inherited from Mr Gove is a commitment to bring in reform to the child protection system.
Video: Cabinet reshuffle analysis
Over the next few months Mrs Morgan will grapple with the huge budget pressures facing her department because of the growing numbers of pupils at primary schools.
And most challenging, she will have to decide how to respond to the Government’s bitter dispute with the National Union of Teachers over pay, pensions and workload.
NUT members walked out last week and are threatening fresh industrial action in the autumn.
Allies of Mrs Morgan played down expectations of a breakthrough, claiming that the union leadership is in the grip of Left-wing activists pursuing a political agenda.
Michael Gove was switched from Education Secretary to the Government’s Chief Whip after polling showed he was deeply unpopular with teachers (Getty)
But the new minister will certainly adopt a more emollient style in an attempt to take some of the heat out of the confrontation.
Mrs Morgan hinted at her new approach in a statement following her appointment.
She said: “I know that education can be the single greatest transformer of lives. It is also a crucial part of this Government's long-term plan.
“I look forward immensely to working alongside parents, teachers and schools to ensure we have world class schools and the skills that will get our young people great jobs.”
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...