Log In or Sign Up
DWP Team July 2019
August 2, 2019
DfE Team July 2019
August 2, 2019
Gavin Williamson
Education secretary

The MP for South Staffordshire since 2010, Williamson previously served as Theresa May’s chief whip and defence secretary, before he was sacked following allegations he leaked confidential information, allegations he denies.

During his time as defence secretary, Williamson commissioned a report into how military values could benefit schools. It has yet to be published.

He has also previously campaigned for a better funding settlement for schools, focusing on regional variations in funding between his own rural constituency and other better-funded areas.

As well as leading the department, it has also been announced that Williamson will “lead” on skills, after the government failed to replace Anne Milton as minister of state for skills and apprenticeships.


  • early years
  • children’s social care
  • teachers’ pay
  • the school curriculum
  • school improvement
  • academies and free schools
  • further education
  • higher education
  • apprenticeships and skills
Nick Gibb
Schools minister

The MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton survived the latest reshuffle despite rumours of his impending departure from the department he has served for most of the past decade.

Gibb has already served a combined six years and five months in the role of minister of state for schools, and seven years and two months’ service at the department.

Appointed as schools minister by David Cameron in May 2010, Gibb served in the role until September 2012, when he was replaced by Liberal Democrat David Laws and returned to the backbenches.

But he didn’t stay away from the department long. He became a junior minister for school reform in July 2014, and returned to the minister of state role the following May after the Liberal Democrats left government following their heavy general election defeat.

He is the government’s main cheerleader for a knowledge-rich curriculum, strict behaviour policies and rigorous testing of pupils.


  • recruitment and retention of teachers and school leaders (including initial teacher training, qualifications and professional development)
  • supporting a high-quality teaching profession (including links to National College for Teaching and Leadership)
  • reducing teacher workload
  • admissions and school transport
  • national funding formula for schools and school revenue funding
  • curriculum, assessment and qualifications (including links with Ofqual)
  • school accountability (including links with Ofsted)
  • personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and children and young people’s mental health
  • preventing bullying in schools
  • behaviour and attendance, exclusions and alternative provision policy
Lord Agnew of Oulton
Academies minister

Agnew, the founder of the Inspiration Trust academy chain and a faithful disciple of the academies programme, also remains in his post following Johnson’s reshuffle.

The Conservative peer is a controversial figure, in part because of his background in business and outsourcing, but also because of his regular outbursts about school finances.

Last year, he got into hot water after he wagered schools a bottle of Champagne that he could find additional savings in their budgets. He has described himself as being like a “pig hunting for truffles” when it comes to making savings.

His personal wealth remains tied up in a blind trust for the duration of his time as a minister. He also does not receive a salary for his ministerial duties.


  • free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools
  • academies and multi-academy trusts
  • faith schools
  • independent schools
  • home education and supplementary schools
  • intervention in underperforming schools
  • school improvement (including teaching school alliances, national and local leaders of education and school improvement funds)
  • school governance
  • school capital investment (including new school places, school condition, land and playing fields)
  • counter extremism and integration in schools, further education colleges and sixth-form colleges
Kemi Badenoch

Children’s minister

The MP for Saffron Waldren replaced Nadhim Zahawi, who moved to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Previously a back-bencher, Badenoch has repeatedly called for an increase in school funding, acknowledging in parliamentary contributions that the government now asks schools “to do much more than they ever have”.

Schools Week reported this week how Badenoch will immediately face pressure from the schools community to address a crisis in SEND funding.

The think tank IPPR North recently found that the amount of funding available for pupils with the most complex needs has reduced by 17 per cent across England since 2015.

The government has also announced that Badenoch will help cover the skills brief handed to her boss Gavin Williamson after former skills minister Anne Milton was not replaced.


  • children’s social care including child protection, children in care, adoption, care leavers, social work, local authority performance and family law
  • special educational needs including high needs funding
  • education policy in response to the race disparity audit
  • safeguarding in schools
  • disadvantaged pupils – including pupil premium and pupil premium plus
  • school sport, healthy pupils and school food, including free school meals
  • early years policy including inspection, regulation and literacy and numeracy
  • childcare policy, inspection and regulation
  • delivery of 30 hours free childcare offer
  • social mobility including opportunity areas
  • DfE contribution to cross-government work to tackle rough sleeping
Jo Johnson
Universities minister

This isn’t the first stint at the DfE for the MP for Orpington and brother of Boris. He previously served in the same role between May 2015 and January 2018 before moving to the transport department and eventually resigning over Brexit.

Johnson was also previously a minister for London and cabinet office minister. Before that, he was director of the Number 10 policy unit, advising David Cameron.

Like his brother, he attended Eton College and the University of Oxford. However, unlike Boris, he is on the pro-European left of the Conservative Party.


According to the DfE, his responsibilities “will be confirmed in due course”.

Wave of Companies Join Apprenticeship Register.

A wave of organisations have been added to the refreshed register of apprenticeship training providers, while nearly 20 have been removed – in its first major update in almost 12 months.

Forty three additional providers have been allowed on by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, including 25 main providers, 14 supporting and four employers.

Nineteen providers, meanwhile, have been removed from the register, most of which were main providers.

Eleven have changed from being main providers to being supporting, so they can only work as subcontractors; and two have made the opposite journey.

This update follows a year-long review, started in October 2017, that led to new “stringent and challenging entry requirements” for the register.

These requirements were brought in by the ESFA after FE Week uncovered instances where companies run by their sole director from their home address were being given access to millions in apprenticeship funding, despite having zero experience of delivering government-funded programmes.

Analysis by this publication in December found that almost a third (580) of providers on the register did not deliver any apprenticeships in 2017.

But under this stricter regime, applicants had to have been trading for 12 months at least in order to be eligible, and provide a full set of accounts to be on the register.

Subcontractors delivering less than £100,000 of provision a year also needed to register.

Additionally, the agency will throw providers off the register if they go 12 months with no delivery after joining the register.

Getting onto the register, then, will be a relief for many providers, especially after most were left hanging by the government for months following their applications in December.

This is despite the ESFA planning to tell providers if they have been successful 12 weeks after their bid.

Since October 2018, only 23 other companies have been added to the register – all of whom were supporting providers.

The full list of new providers is below:

Devolution of the Adult Education Budget Effective from 1 August 2019

Six mayoral combined authorities and the Greater London Authority are now accountable for administering the adult education budget in their areas.

A map of the mayoral combined authorities and the Greater London Authority
AEB is now devolved to the mayoral combined authorities and the Greater London Authority (GLA). 

From 1 August 2019, the adult education budget (AEB) will devolve, to give 6 mayoral combined authorities (MCA’s) and the Greater London Authority (GLA) the opportunity to align adult education skills provision with local area needs. The move allows the MCA’s and GLA to make decisions about the allocation of the adult education budget, to support the needs of residents and local economic priorities.

The adult education budget supports eligible learners aged 19 and over and provides them with the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, an apprenticeship, or other learning.

The mayoral authorities receiving the devolved adult education budget are: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands, West of England and the Greater London Authority.

ESFA Chief Executive Eileen Milner said:

To prepare for the devolution of the adult education budget, ESFA and the Department for Education have been working collaboratively with the mayoral combined authorities and the Greater London Authority to support a smooth transition into operational readiness.

As part of this work, Memoranda of Understanding were agreed to provide clarity of roles and responsibilities, and to outline joint ways of working to support providers understanding of the changing landscape.

We have also ensured through our regular communications with providers and the sector, that they are aware of the changes and can plan accordingly.

ESFA continues to be responsible for:

  • the remaining adult education budget that is not devolved to combined authorities / GLA
  • continuing AEB funded learners in England, including residents in a devolved authority area who have not completed their learning by 31 July 2019 – for one year only
  • learners resident in England, including those resident in a devolved authority area, undertaking a 19-24 traineeship programme
  • providers who meet specified and published criteria to be funded nationally in 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021

More information on AEB devolution is available on GOV.UK.