Minister for Women promoted to Education Secretary

Michael Gove’s successor is taking over at a time of continuing unrest in the teaching profession.  What can we expect from Nicky Morgan? 

After studying law at Oxford University, Nicky Morgan worked as a solicitor from 1994 until her election as the Conservative MP for Loughborough in 2010. In April she was appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Minister for Women, the BBC reports.

Ms Morgan is married with a son. A committed Christian, she voted against the motion for same-sex marriage in February, although she supports gay civil partnerships. “There have been plenty of little changes down the years but what’s never been changed is the fact that marriage is between a man and a woman,” she said.

She is looking forward to the challenges ahead of her: “I am delighted to become Education Secretary and continue as Minister for Women and Equalities. I know that education can be the single greatest transformer of lives. It is also part of this government’s long-term plan,” she said. “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.”

Educational consultant Robbie O’Driscoll commented: “Nicky Morgan will hopefully bring a rebalance and harmonisation to what has been a turbulent period for Michael Gove. It’s no shock that David Cameron prized Michael Gove, but this bold move is surely to appease the ever increasing political disconnect between teachers and their unions passing no-confidence motions in Michael Gove, which led to them calling for his resignation. It’s clever political maneuvering to bring in what appears to be an unknown, but what is clear is that Ms. Morgan will be more conciliatory and less provocative than Michael Gove. With her extensive legal background she will clearly be a shrewd negotiator.”

Do you welcome Nicky Morgan’s appointment as Education Secretary? What do you think she will bring to the role?

16 thoughts on “Minister for Women promoted to Education Secretary

  1. I wait to be convinced that Mrs Morgan will tread a different path to Mr Gove in the short time to the next election. Can she undo the damage done? I hope that she will try, but the timescale is against much change occurring.

  2. If all these ridiculous changes and tinkerings are party policy, will there be any change?

  3. The lady has said we want “world-class” schools and skills to “get our young people great jobs”.
    Depressing, frankly. Haven’t we had world-class schools for a very long time? It used to be an accepted fact in the days when we knew our task was to run schools in the best possible way to suit us and our unique culture rather than wasting our time comparing our schools with those in other parts of the world with which we have little in common. And as for getting “great jobs”, that’s just empty cheap parent-appealing jargon which translates as “lets make sure all our youngsters are made as selfishly ambitious as possible and then send them all out with high expectations to keep our workplaces as relentlessly competitive and stressed as we can, then watch as they fall apart with mental illnesses leaving only the admirable “winners” taking all”. Perhaps one of her first tasks should be to list for our convenience which are the “great jobs” and which others speak “failure” even if they’re necessary for a sanely functioning society.
    Why, I wonder, are we told that Ms (or Mrs?) Morgan is a committed Christian? Surely she will then readily understand that there are many thousands of people in this country of ours, in monasteries, nunneries, in the free churches and communes etc, the vast majority of whom have learned the central Christian message that their lives are not about them. They are free from personal ambition, embrace true Christian humility and live only to serve. They are practically (or actually) penniless, but they have world-class intellects and are most certainly doing “great jobs”.
    I know I have cited an extreme here but I hope that the general point is made.

  4. Too late ! many good teachers gave walked the plank. I have myself given up teaching after 14 years. Good luck i say I think Gove killed teaching. I dont want to work along side with unqualified teachers without any real qualifications. I worked very hard and sacrificed a lot to become a teacher. SO thank you Mr GOVE you ruined my career.

  5. I think you made a good point George. Nicky Morgan was my local M.P and I am a teacher of 27 years. I hope she listens to teachers…and children.
    As for her being a Christian…personally I think we should keep religion out of schools.

  6. I won’t judge Ms Morgan until I have seen action (and as a teacher and senior leader, lived it) but I will say that it would be so lovely to have an education secretary with a teaching degree, significant hours clocked up in the classroom and experience of walking in your shoes….

  7. I agree with Helen and feel very undervalued. Our school continues to loose good experienced teachers and employ more inexperienced unqualified teachers. I wonder what the parents would think of that if knew.

  8. oh dear… a ‘committed christian’, sorry but in my (extensive) experience of ‘committed christians’ this means she will likely be narrow minded, blinkered, selfish, will consider herslf to have some sort of ‘privelege’ merely due to her apparent ‘faith’, will be arrogant, unhelpful and no doubt throw teaching even further back into the dark ages.
    I await to be dis/proved…

  9. What on earth does her faith (committed or convenient, Christian or Buddhist) have to do with her skills or abilities in relation to her new job? Why have we been told this in preference to any information about her intentions? After the (often misdirected) vigour and focus of MG, is education to be cast adrift in the hope that it drifts out of the public anxiety before the election?

  10. Ever since a rejection of British traditional education began with the ending of the tripartite system underpinned by the 11+ exam the rot set in and has been ever present under the guise of ‘progressive education.’ Nothing is going to change overnight because the education secretary that is appointed will have an uphill battle against the progressive teachers/bureaucrats who are responsible for leaving generations of children illiterate and under-educated.
    Their misguided and damaging belief in relevance, freedom, active learning, skills and self-esteem have become the unquestionable basis for such crass educational orthodoxy. Unfortunately hard work, rigour, intellectual excellence, knowledge, discipline and competition were deemed as unsuitable. Is it any wonder that such a dumbed down state school education system is a laughing stock…

  11. I cannot see how her faith or her stance on same sex marriage has anything to do with her new post?? Is this somehow suggesting that she will address the issues of same sex relationship education in Primary schools whilst also insisting on a Christian ethos in all schools? I hardly think so, so why mention it?

  12. I’ll just get this out of the way first: Excuse me, Mr Mizuno, Sir, you missed the question mark off the end of your last sentence.

    I still find it surprising that so many people lack the emotional awareness to realise that huge numbers children are actively turned off learning, by teachers whose priorities have been forced in the direction of record-keeping and “accountability”, instead of building the positive relationships necessary to counteract an increasing level of dysfunction in parenting, and therefore in children’s ability to adapt to the demands of our education system. The social problems which arise from this emotional handicap become compounded by the damage being done as a result of Michael Gove’s absurd notion that ten years of education are insufficient for some children to learn their times tables, or even how to read.

    Falling standards are the result of disengagement from learning, not from an inability to learn. That’s something I learnt conclusively in 1991, when I helped a fourteen-year-old boy, who’d been condemned to a special needs group for over three years (starting in his primary school). His mother had been told that he was a slow learner, and that he wouldn’t be entered for a GCSE in Maths. Just over two years later he celebrated getting a Grade B. On a similar note, less than a year ago on a three-week supply stint (to supplement my pension), I was told by the ex-Head of Maths at a different school, who was working two days a week to ease himself into retirement, that “Matthew’s a waste of time: I’ve taught him for three years and he’s never done a stroke of work.” Strange! I taught him for three weeks, and he decided he wanted to work after my first three days there. After that, I couldn’t stop him!

    The sooner we recognise that, as teachers, we’re in the unique position of being able to have a massive impact other people’s children, the sooner we’ll free ourselves from the false notion that we’re the victims, and the sooner we’ll be able to choose to make our impact positive rather than negative, regardless of what any Education Secretary may or may not think.

  13. It will be interesting to see what she actually does.
    Having just returned after four years working abroad I have been appalled
    by the unrelenting focus on targets at the expense of staff and students

    I am working as a maternity cover, in a school put into special measures who’ is only able to escape by converting to an academy.

    There was a very interesting interview on Radio 4 with her ex English teacher pointing out the very privileged nature of her own education

    When will privately educated politicians recognise it is not possible to re-create their own experience of education in the average comprehensive.

    I still love teaching but hope as a Drama teacher that the Arts will see greater recognition and support under Ms Morgan

  14. Well spotted Mr Brodie I used an ellipsis instead of a question mark,poetic licence on my part, I could pass comment on your letter but I won’t lower myself to such nit picking.

    In relation to your comments regarding falling standards,emotional awareness and social problems these are typical of the soft bigotry of low expectations underlined by the accepted truism in education debates where a child’s socio-economic background is the overriding detriment of their success. I am afraid deprivation is not destiny and such claims are not correct and never have been. They are as result of ‘progressive education’ and its ineffective teaching, use of trendy methods and of course a culture of excuses within the teaching profession that tolerates low ambition, rejects the pursuit of excellence and uses poverty as an excuse for low standards.

    Regarding your maths student who somehow managed a grade B in GCSE maths I would say that you have not factored in the facts relating to grade inflation. You must remember relevance has replaced rigour in the belief that it makes maths more accessible. Between 1990 – 2006 there was a steep decline in maths compared to previous years with a curriculum that is both broader and much shallower. In 1990 the percentage mark on the higher tier paper for a grade B was just over 60%, by 2006 this had fallen to about 40%. FACT.

    Please try and tell the whole story next time when blowing your own trumpet!

  15. I was very pleased to hear that Nicky Morgan is a Christian but also dismayed that we have a privately educated person in the role. I passed the 11+, went to a grammar school and then an independent grant school. My eyes were well and truly opened when I started my teaching career in a state comprehensive. I am afraid that Nicky Morgan will have very little idea of the task facing her and would do well to listen to experienced teachers and also to have a very good look at the German education system. I wish her well and hope that she is truly wanting to do a good job and not just chasing headlines as her predecessor was wont to do.

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