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Nicky Morgan: Who she is and what our presenters would like to see.

17 July, 2014

Nicky Morgan has replaced Michael Gove as Education Secretary, sparking many people to ask who the new Education Secretary is, and what her appointment means for teachers and education.

A quick bio:

As the former treasury minister and current MP for Loughborough, Nicky Morgan first stood for Islington South & Finsbury in the 2001 general election, then as a conservative candidate for Loughborough in the 2005 general election, and was elected to represent Loughborough in 2010. She has also stood on the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee (2010), as well as the Public Accounts Committee (2013-2014).

Previous to this, Morgan was brought up in Surrey and specialised as a corporate lawyer for 14 years, up until her election victory.

In terms of educational experience, she told the Leicester Mercury:

“As MP for Loughborough visiting schools and working with our heads and teachers has been one of the most critical parts of my role, both in terms of learning about how the local schools work and in terms of funding issues and building issues and new facilities.

“I intend to take everything I have learned so far and apply it in my new role.”

Previous Positions held:

  • Assistant Whip (2012-2013)
  • Economic Secretary to the Treasury (2013-2014)
  • Financial Secretary to the Treasury (2013 to 2014)
  • Minister for Women  and Equalities (2014 – On-going)
  • Secretary of State for Education (2014- On-going)

 

What do people want to see from the new Education Secretary?

When asked what she would like to see from the new Education Secretary, Isabella Wallace, co-author of “Talk-Less Teaching” and an experienced teacher and trainer, said that she

[quote align=”center” color=”#000000″]“Would like [Nicky Morgan] to consult real teachers and real school leaders about the best ways forward in education”[/quote]

A similar view has been suggested by Lindy Barclay, a former Associate Headteacher and TES writer:

[quote align=”center” color=”#000000″]“The restructure will give the teaching profession great hope. This may be the opportunity for teachers, headteachers and governors to be consulted about what really counts. From my point of view, with a wide experience of working with delegates from a vast range of schools I know we have a teaching profession who are desperate to be heard.”

“Speaking personally as someone who has led an outstanding school I am forever hopeful that the new Secretary of State will come knocking on my door.”

[/quote]

Jaz Ampaw-Farr, an expert in synthetic phonics and literacy commented that:

[quote align=”center” color=”#000000″]“Nicky Morgan has been appointed Education Secretary and, like anyone starting a new job, is going to be highly motivated to ensure a good start which is great news for children, parents and teachers.

We could send her a welcome email with some useful ideas for boosting literacy skills in schools.

Or…

We could wait for her to say/do/wear something slightly off and criticise her from our armchairs.

The second one may be easier but the first one is more resourceful.

Let’s do it!”

[/quote]

Another perspective is that of Pam Mundy, an internationally renowned Early Years consultant who has outlined her key areas for change:

[quote align=”center” color=”#000000″]“I’d like to see some stability in educational policy: giving settings and schools a chance to breathe, and focus on the main task of learning!

I would also like to see less ego-driven politics and more ministers who are authentic and sensitive about their role, and the impact of their reforms on real children and families.

I’d like to see teachers in this country given the respect and trust that their colleagues in international schools often receive.  

Finally, I’d like an appropriate and sensible appointment to be made regarding the Early Years and Childcare role. If we’re feeling really radical, how about someone who actually understands the sector?”

[/quote]

So it appears that there are a whole range of expectations about what Nicky Morgan will bring to the role, however, it is worth noting her comments to a think tank earlier this year, criticising “hearing politicians talk about who we hated – we’re anti-this, we’re anti-that, we don’t like them, we don’t want them here, we don’t want them doing this.”

“We never say actually we are on the side of these people, we want this to happen and we think this is great.” –  A mindset that many will be hoping she brings along to her new role.

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