DfE confirms briefs of new team


The Department for Education has finally confirmed the briefs of its new ministers, almost two weeks after the reshuffle that saw Nick Gibb, Robert Halfon and Gillian Keegan return to the team.

As expected, Gibb has returned to the schools brief, though he is now simply known as minister of state for schools, not school standards minister, which was his brief until last year and then held by successors Robin Walker, Will Quince and Jonathan Gullis.

Claire Coutinho is a junior minister for children, families and wellbeing. This replaces the schools and childhood brief held by her predecessor Kelly Tolhurst.

Baroness Barran, the academies minister, also has a different official title. She is now minister for the school system and student finance.

Halfon is minister of state for skills, apprenticeships and higher education, a bigger brief than the one he held at the department between 2016 and 2017, when he was just minister for apprenticeships and skills.

In a further sign that Liz Truss’s plan to lift the ban on new grammar schools is dead in the water, the word “selection”, which previously appeared in Tolhurst’s brief, is nowhere to be seen.

Gillian Keegan, education secretary


Early years and childcare

Children’s social care

Teacher quality, recruitment and retention

The school curriculum

School improvement

Academies and free schools

Further education

Apprenticeships and skills

Higher education

Nick Gibb, schools minister

PE sport premium ministers

School accountability and inspection (including links with Ofsted)

Standards and Testing Agency and primary assessment

Supporting a high-quality teaching profession including professional development

Supporting recruitment and retention of teachers and school leaders including initial teacher training

Teaching Regulation Agency

National Tutoring Programme

School revenue funding, including the national funding formula for schools

Pupil premium

School food, including free school meals

Qualifications (including links with Ofqual)

Curriculum including relationships, sex, and health education and personal, social, health and economic education

Behaviour, attendance and exclusions

School sport

Digital strategy and technology in education (EdTech)

Admissions and school transport

Baroness Barran, academies minister

schools ministers

Regulatory review and overall approach to academisation

Intervention in underperforming schools and school improvement

Academies and multi-academy trusts

School governance

Education Investment Areas

Free schools

Faith schools

Independent schools

School capital investment (including pupil place planning)

School efficiency and commercial policy

Departmental data strategy

Student finance (including the Student Loans Company)

Safeguarding in schools and post-16 settings

Counter extremism in schools and post-16 settings

Home education and supplementary schools

Departmental efficiency and commercial policy

Claire Coutinho, children’s minister


Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including high needs funding

Alternative provision

Children’s social care

Children in care, children in need and child protection

Adoption and care leavers

Early years and childcare

Family hubs and early childhood support

Disadvantaged and vulnerable children

Children and young people’s mental health

Policy to protect against serious violence

Freedom of speech in education

Online safety and preventing bullying in schools

Robert Halfon, skills and higher education minister


Overall strategy for post-16 technical education

T-levels and transition programme

Qualifications reviews (levels 3 and below)

Higher technical education (levels 4 and 5)

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Further education workforce and funding

Institutes of Technology

Local skills improvement plans and Local Skills Improvement Fund

Adult education, including basic skills, the National Skills Fund and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Careers education, information and guidance including the Careers and Enterprise Company

Technical education in specialist schools

Relationship with the Office for Students

Higher education quality and reform

Lifelong Loan Entitlement

Student experience and widening participation in higher education

Funding for education and training, provision and outcomes for 16- to 19-year-olds

College governance and accountability

Intervention and financial oversight of further education colleges

Reducing the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training

International education strategy and the Turing Scheme

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