ASCL comment on appointment of new Education Secretary

15/09/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the appointment of Nadhim Zahawi as the new Secretary of State for Education
 
Commenting on the appointment of Nadhim Zahawi as the new Secretary of State for Education, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“We welcome Nadhim Zahawi to the role of Education Secretary and wish Gavin Williamson well for the future. The missteps that have occurred during Mr Williamson’s tenure are well known and it would be ungracious to rehearse them again now. For our part we have always sought to work with Mr Williamson constructively over the course of the pandemic and we thank him for his engagement with us.

“The Department for Education may now be under new management but the same challenges remain. More ambition is needed on post-Covid education recovery, investment in schools and colleges, support for children with special educational needs, and closing the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers. The government must rethink its plan to scrap BTECs and similar qualifications as this will deprive young people of an established route to university, apprenticeships and careers. And it must be open to considering the future shape of qualifications and the curriculum so that they best serve all young people and ensure the country has the right skills for the future.

“What our members need from the new Education Secretary is a greater sense of strategy and support than has been the case in the past so that we can together provide children and young people with the very best start in life. We look forward to working with him and taking the next step forward in an education system of which we are hugely proud.”