Secretary of State for Education

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United Kingdom
Secretary of State for Education
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Michael Gove cropped.jpg
Incumbent
Michael Gove

since 11 May 2010
Department for Education
Style The Right Honourable
Appointer Elizabeth II
Inaugural holder William Cowper-Temple
Committee of the Council on Education
John Patten
Secretary of State for Education
Formation 5 February 1857
10 April 1992
Website DfE
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
This article is part of a series on the
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the United Kingdom

Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Education (frequently shortened to the Education Secretary) is the chief minister of the Department for Education in the United Kingdom government. The position was re-established on 12 May 2010, held by Michael Gove. Under the provisions for devolved government in the UK his remit applies only to England, covering;[1]

  • Early years
  • Adoption and child protection
  • Teachers’ pay
  • The school curriculum
  • School improvement
  • The establishment of academies and free schools.

A Committee of the Privy Council was appointed in 1839 to supervise the distribution of certain Government grants in the education field. The members of the Committee were the Lord President of the Council, the Secretaries of State, the First Lord of the Treasury, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. From 1857 a Vice President was appointed who took responsibility for policy.

In 1899, the Board of Education Act abolished the Committee and instituted a new Board, headed by a President, as of 1 April 1900. The members were initially very similar to the old Committee and the President of the Board was the Lord President of the Council; however, from 1902 this ceased to be the case and the President of the Board was appointed separately (although the Marquess of Londonderry happened to hold both jobs from 1903 to 1905).

The Department of Education and Science was created in 1964 with the merger of the offices of Minister of Education and the Minister of Science. In 1992 the responsibility for science was transferred to Cabinet Office’s Office of Public Service, and the department was renamed Department of Education. In 1995 the department merged with the Department of Employment to become the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) and in 2001 the employment functions were transferred to a newly created Department for Work and Pensions, with the DfEE becoming the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). In 2007 under Gordon Brown's new premiership, the DfES was split into two new departments; the Department for Children, Schools and Families, and a Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, under two new Secretaries of State.

The ministerial office of the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills was, in late 2009, amalgamated into the new ministerial office of the resurgent politician, Peter Mandelson, ennobled as Lord Mandelson as the newly created Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills – itself an amalgamation of the responsibilities of the Secretaries of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and Innovation, Universities and Skills – the Secretary of State has remit over Higher Education policy as well as British business and enterprise. As of 12 May 2010, it is headed by Secretary of State Vince Cable.

List[edit]

Vice-President of the Committee of the Council on Education[edit]

Colour key (for political parties):
      Whig       Conservative       Liberal

Name Portrait Term of office Political party Prime Minister
William Cowper William Cowper-Temple, Lock & Whitfield woodburytype, 1876-85.jpg 5 February 1857 21 February 1858 Whig The Viscount Palmerston
Charles Adderley Charles Bowyer Adderley, Lord Norton.jpg 12 March 1858 11 June 1859 Conservative The Earl of Derby
Robert Lowe Robert Lowe, 1st Viscount Sherbrooke by George Frederic Watts.jpg 24 June 1859 26 April 1864
(resigned)
Liberal The Viscount Palmerston
Henry Bruce 1stLordAberdare.jpg 26 April 1864 26 June 1866 Liberal
The Earl Russell
Henry Thomas Lowry-Corry No image.svg 26 June 1866 19 March 1867 Conservative The Earl of Derby
Lord Robert Montagu Lord Robert Montagu, Silvy.jpg 19 March 1867 1 December 1868 Conservative
Benjamin Disraeli
William Edward Forster William Edward Forster by Henry Tanworth Wells.jpg 9 December 1868 17 February 1874 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Viscount Sandon 2 March 1874 4 April 1878 Conservative Benjamin Disraeli
Lord George Hamilton Lord George Hamilton.JPG 4 April 1878 21 April 1880 Conservative
A. J. Mundella Anthony Mundella.JPG 3 May 1880 9 June 1885 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Edward Stanhope Edward Stanhope.jpg 24 June 1885 17 September 1885 Conservative The Marquess of Salisbury
Sir Henry Holland, Bt Knutsford1.JPG 17 September 1885 28 January 1886 Conservative
Sir Lyon Playfair Lyon Playfair.jpg 13 February 1886 20 July 1886 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
Sir Henry Holland, Bt Knutsford1.JPG 3 August 1886 25 January 1887 Conservative The Marquess of Salisbury
Sir William Hart Dyke, Bt William Hart Dyke by George W Baldry.jpg 25 January 1887 11 August 1892 Conservative
Sir Arthur Dyke Acland, Bt AHD Acland.png 25 August 1892 21 June 1895 Liberal William Ewart Gladstone
The Earl of Rosebery
Sir John Eldon Gorst John Eldon Gorst.jpg 4 July 1895 8 August 1902 Conservative The Marquess of Salisbury
(Unionist Coalition)

President of the Board of Education[edit]

Colour key (for political parties):
      Liberal Unionist       Conservative       Liberal       Labour       National Labour

Name Portrait Term of office Political party Prime Minister
The Duke of Devonshire (also Lord President of the Council) 8thDukeOfDevonshire.jpg 1 April 1900 8 August 1902 Liberal Unionist The Marquess of Salisbury
(Unionist Coalition)
The Marquess of Londonderry (also Lord President of the Council) Lord Londonderry, 6th Marquess.jpg 8 August 1902 4 December 1905 Conservative Arthur Balfour
(Unionist Coalition)
Augustine Birrell Augustine Birrell.jpg 10 December 1905 23 January 1907 Liberal Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Reginald McKenna Reginald McKenna photo.jpg 23 January 1907 12 April 1908 Liberal
Walter Runciman 1905 Walter Runciman.jpg 12 April 1908 23 October 1911 Liberal H. H. Asquith
Jack Pease 1910 Jack Pease.jpg 23 October 1911 25 May 1915 Liberal
Arthur Henderson 1910 Arthur Henderson.jpg 25 May 1915 18 August 1916 Labour H. H. Asquith
(Coalition)
The Marquess of Crewe Robert Crewe-Milnes portrait.jpg 18 August 1916 10 December 1916 Liberal
Herbert Fisher Herbert Fisher.jpg 10 December 1916 19 October 1922 Liberal David Lloyd George
(Coalition)
E. F. L. Wood
(subsequently Lord Irwin and 3rd Viscount Halifax)
Lord Halifax 1937.jpg 24 October 1922 22 January 1924 Conservative Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Charles Trevelyan Charles Trevelyan.jpg 22 January 1924 3 November 1924 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
Lord Eustace Percy No image.svg 6 November 1924 4 June 1929 Conservative Stanley Baldwin
Sir Charles Trevelyan Charles Trevelyan.jpg 7 June 1929 2 March 1931
(resigned)
Labour Ramsay MacDonald
Hastings Lees-Smith 2 March 1931 24 August 1931 Labour
Sir Donald Maclean 25 August 1931 15 June 1932
(died in office)
Liberal Ramsay MacDonald
(1st & 2nd National Min.)
The Lord Irwin
(3rd Viscount Halifax from 1934)
Lord Halifax 1937.jpg 15 June 1932 7 June 1935 Conservative
Oliver Stanley Oliver Stanley 1941.jpg 7 June 1935 28 May 1937 Conservative Stanley Baldwin
(3rd National Min.)
The Earl Stanhope Stanhope7.JPG 28 May 1937 27 October 1938 Conservative Neville Chamberlain
(4th National Min;
War Coalition)
The Earl De La Warr No image.svg 27 October 1938 3 April 1940 National Labour
Herwald Ramsbotham No image.svg 3 April 1940 20 July 1941 Conservative Winston Churchill
(War Coalition)
R. A. Butler RA Butler 1937.jpg 20 July 1941 3 August 1944 Conservative

Minister of Education[edit]

Quintin Hogg, Viscount Hailsham
Minister of Education 1957
Secretary of State for Education and Science 1964

Colour key (for political parties):
      Conservative       Labour

Name Term of office Political party Prime Minister
R. A. Butler 3 August 1944 25 May 1945 Conservative Winston Churchill
(War Coalition)
Richard Law 25 May 1945 26 July 1945 Conservative Winston Churchill
(Caretaker Min.)
Ellen Wilkinson 3 August 1945 6 February 1947
(died in office)
Labour Clement Attlee
George Tomlinson 10 February 1947 26 October 1951 Labour
Florence Horsbrugh 2 November 1951 18 October 1954 Conservative Sir Winston Churchill
David Eccles 18 October 1954 13 January 1957 Conservative
Sir Anthony Eden
The Viscount Hailsham 13 January 1957 17 September 1957 Conservative Harold Macmillan
Geoffrey Lloyd 17 September 1957 14 October 1959 Conservative
David Eccles 14 October 1959 13 July 1962 Conservative
Sir Edward Boyle, Bt 13 July 1962 1 April 1964 Conservative
Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Secretary of State for Education and Science[edit]

Margaret Thatcher
Secretary of State for Education and Science 1970–1974
Kenneth Clarke
Secretary of State for Education and Science 1990–1992

Colour key (for political parties):
      Conservative       Labour

Name Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Quintin Hogg
(formerly Viscount Hailsham)
1 April 1964 16 October 1964 Conservative Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Michael Stewart 18 October 1964 22 January 1965 Labour Harold Wilson
Anthony Crosland 22 January 1965 29 August 1967 Labour
Patrick Gordon Walker 29 August 1967 6 April 1968 Labour
Edward Short 6 April 1968 19 June 1970 Labour
Margaret Thatcher 20 June 1970 4 March 1974 Conservative Edward Heath
Reginald Prentice 5 March 1974 10 June 1975 Labour Harold Wilson
Fred Mulley 10 June 1975 10 September 1976 Labour
Shirley Williams 10 September 1976 4 May 1979 Labour James Callaghan
Mark Carlisle 5 May 1979 14 September 1981 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Sir Keith Joseph, Bt 14 September 1981 21 May 1986 Conservative
Kenneth Baker 21 May 1986 24 July 1989 Conservative
John MacGregor 24 July 1989 2 November 1990 Conservative
Kenneth Clarke 2 November 1990 10 April 1992 Conservative
John Major

Secretary of State for Education[edit]

Colour key (for political parties):
      Conservative

Name Term of office Political party Prime Minister
John Patten 10 April 1992 20 July 1994 Conservative John Major
Gillian Shephard 20 July 1994 5 July 1995 Conservative

Secretary of State for Education and Employment[edit]

David Blunkett
Secretary of State for Education and Employment 1997–2001

Colour key (for political parties):
      Conservative       Labour

Name Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Gillian Shephard 5 July 1995 2 May 1997 Conservative John Major
David Blunkett 2 May 1997 8 June 2001 Labour Tony Blair

Secretary of State for Education and Skills[edit]

Colour key (for political parties):
      Labour

Name Portrait Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Estelle Morris Estelle Morris at the PAS report launch.jpg 8 June 2001 24 October 2002
(resigned)
Labour Tony Blair
Charles Clarke No image.svg 24 October 2002 15 December 2004 Labour
Ruth Kelly RuthKellyMP.jpg 15 December 2004 5 May 2006 Labour
Alan Johnson Alan Johnson -9Oct2007-2.jpg 5 May 2006 27 June 2007 Labour

Secretaries of State for Children, Schools and Families; and Innovation, Universities and Skills[edit]

In 2007, the education portfolio was divided between the Department for Children, Schools and Families (responsible for infant, primary and secondary education), and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (responsible for further, higher and adult education). In 2009, the latter department was merged into the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Colour key (for political parties):
      Labour       Labour Co-operative

Sec.State for Children,
Schools and Families
Sec.State for Innovation,
Universities and Skills
Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Ed Balls Ed Balls 2.jpg John Denham John Denham.jpg 28 June 2007 5 June 2009 Labour Co-op (Balls)
Labour (Denham)
Gordon Brown
Post abolished;
duties transferred to
Sec.State for Business,
Innovation and Skills
.
5 June 2009 11 May 2010

Secretary of State for Education[edit]

The Department for Education and the post of Secretary of State for Education were recreated in 2010. Responsibility for higher and adult education remains with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, currently Vince Cable.

Colour key (for political parties):
      Conservative

Name Portrait Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Michael Gove Michael Gove cropped.jpg 11 May 2010 Incumbent Conservative David Cameron
(Coalition)

External links[edit]

References[edit]