The Prime Minister has appointed Gillian Keegan as Secretary of State for Education, making her the fifth MP to hold the role in four months.

The Chichester MP has taken over from Kit Malthouse, who held the position for just over a month.

On Twitter Gillian said: “I’m deeply honoured to have been appointed as Secretary of State for Education by the PM Rishi Sunak. 

“Education transforms lives – I know that talent is spread equally around the country and I will work tirelessly to ensure opportunity is also.”

Gillian Keegan and Rishi Sunak. Credit: @GillianKeegan on Twitter

The cabinet shake-up follows Rishi Sunak becoming leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister earlier this week, after Liz Truss resigned last Thursday.

Mrs Keegan has previously held positions as: 

  • Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (September 2022 – October 2022)
  • Minister of State for Care at the Department of Health and Social Care (September 2021 – September 2022)

The other MP’s which have held the role in the past four months are:

  • Kit Malthouse (September – October)
  • James Cleverly (July – September)
  • Michelle Donelan (July)
  • Nadhim Zahawi (September 2021 – July 2022) 

Prior to that, Gavin Williamson held the role for just over two years.

A spokesperson for the British Youth Council told The Drop: “It hasn’t been ideal to have so many Ministerial changes at the top of government. Delivering change can be complex, taxing and time-consuming, and this can be exacerbated by leadership changes.

“We know young people want to see reforms to education, we stand poised and ready to support the department to ensure young people voices are part of their decision making”

The Education Secretary is responsible for the work of the Department for Education, which includes:

  • Early years
  • 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

The number of MP’s who have held the position in recent months has raised concern, with some referring to it as a ‘revolving door of appointments.’

Chief Executive of children’s care charity Become, Katharine Sacks-Jones, said: “Goodbye to another Education Secretary, the 5th in a year, at a time when urgent change is needed to improve the lives and life chances of children in care. 

“I Desperately hope the next Education Secretary commits to the reforms and investment needed as a matter of urgency.”