Justine Greening keeps her role as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities following this week’s post-election reshuffle. Edward Timpson, DfE Minster with responsibility for PSHE, lost his seat at the election, however, so we await news of ministerial responsibilities and possible replacements. Likewise Neil Carmichael, Chair of the Education Select Committee, lost his seat and we await an update on who will replace him on the Committee.
An article in Schools Week magazine this week outlines the possible implications of the election for education policies, including grammar schools. Regarding any Government arrangement with the DUP, Schools Week suggests that as education is a devolved matter, parties outside of England such as the DUP cannot vote on new school laws only affecting education in England.
As the Children and Social Work Act was made law pre-election the Government must honour the commitment to statutory relationships and sex education outlined in the Act, with a consultation on the detail expected to begin soon. The Act also gives power to the Education Secretary to make PSHE education statutory in its entirety, and this will be something the PSHE Association and partners will continue to press for.
PSHE Association Chief Executive Jonathan Baggaley said:
“We are glad that Justine Greening stays in place and look forward to working with her and her department on ensuring their welcome commitments to PSHE education and RSE meet their full potential. It is regretful, however, that champions of PSHE education Edward Timpson and Neil Carmichael have lost their seats. We would like to commend them on their support and we hope their successors are just as committed to exploring solutions that improve PSHE for all. We will continue to call for the whole of PSHE, including RSE, to be statutory in all schools, for all pupils taught by trained teachers through regular lessons. “