DfE, Politics

Meet the ministers: Who’s who in Liz Truss’s first DfE lineup

Ministerial responsibilities at the DfE have finally been announced,

Ministerial responsibilities at the DfE have finally been announced,

The government has finally confirmed portfolios for new Department for Education ministers appointed in Liz Truss’s first reshuffle.

Andrea Jenkyns remains minister for skills – although her title has been shortened from “minister for skills, further and higher education”. Meanwhile Baroness Barran – who had been minister for the school system – is now minister for the school and college system.

According to the DfE website, Jenkyns’ role now also includes strategy for post-16 education and covers funding for educating or training 16- to 19-year-olds, however higher education reform and Covid-19 recovery for further and higher education are no longer listed in her responsibilities.

Obligations she held for reducing NEETs (not in education, employment or training) and careers education and guidance have moved across to Barran.

In addition, Barran’s role includes education provision and outcomes for 16- to 19-year-olds, governance and accountability of colleges, and intervention and financial oversight for further education colleges.

The DfE has confirmed that universities will come under the skills portfolio, and said that the FE brief has been split between two ministers given its breadth. Jenkyns will drive the skills agenda and Barran take responsibility for the college system, it said.

Elsewhere, the previous schools and children and families briefs have been carved up and shared between new ministers Kelly Tolhurst and Jonathan Gullis.

In another sign Truss plans to make good on her promise to open more grammar schools, Tolhurst’s brief includes “strategy for schools, including standards and selection”.

She will also oversee exams and SEND. While Gullis will take charge of overseeing school accountability, behaviour and catch-up.

Here’s what’s in each minister’s brief…

Kit Malthouse, education secretary


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

Andrea Jenkyns, skills minister

Strategy for post-16 education


Qualifications reviews (levels 3 and below)

Higher technical education (levels 4 and 5)

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Funding for education and training for 16 to 19 year olds

Further education workforce and funding

Institutes of Technology

Local skills improvement plans and Local Skills Improvement Fund

Adult education, including basic skills, the National Skills Fund and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Higher education quality

Student experience and widening participation in higher education

Student finance and the Lifelong Loan Entitlement (including the Student Loans Company)

International education strategy and the Turing Scheme

Baroness Barran minister for the school and college system

Academies and multi-academy trusts

Free schools and university technical colleges

Faith schools

Independent schools

Home education and supplementary schools

Intervention in underperforming schools and school improvement

School governance

School capital investment (including pupil place planning)

Education Investment Areas (jointly with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for the School Standards))

Education provision and outcomes for 16 to 19 year olds

College governance and accountability

Intervention and financial oversight of further education colleges

Careers education, information and guidance including the Careers and Enterprise Company

Reducing the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training

Safeguarding in schools and post-16 settings

Counter extremism in schools and post-16 settings

Departmental efficiency and commercial policy

Kelly Tolhurst, schools and childhood minister

grammar schools

Strategy for schools, including standards and selection

Qualifications (including links with Ofqual)

Curriculum including relationships, sex, and health education and personal, social, health and economic education

Admissions and school transport

Early years and childcare

Children’s social care

Children in care, children in need, child protection, adoption and care leavers

Disadvantaged and vulnerable children

Families, including family hubs and early childhood support

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including high needs funding

Alternative provision

School food, including free school meals

Children and young people’s mental health, online safety and preventing bullying in schools

Policy to protect against serious violence

Jonathan Gullis, school standards minister

School accountability and inspection (including links with Ofsted)

Standards and Testing Agency and primary assessment

Supporting a high-quality teaching profession including professional development

Supporting recruitment and retention of teachers and school leaders including initial teacher training

Teaching Regulation Agency

National Tutoring Programme

Education Investment Areas (jointly with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for the School and College System))

School revenue funding, including the national funding formula for schools

School efficiency and commercial policy

Pupil premium

Behaviour, attendance and exclusions

School sport

Digital strategy and technology in education (EdTech)

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