New Education Secretary – Friday 8 July 2022

In this most turbulent of weeks for the government I report on the new Education Secretary, the SATs results for this year and a DfE consultation to future proof the role of academy trusts.

James Cleverly appointed as new Education Secretary
Amid over 50 resignations in the government yesterday, Michelle Donelan handed in her resignation letter after less than two days in the post of Education Secretary. In the afternoon, following the Prime Minister’s resignation speech, a new Cabinet was announced to serve alongside Mr Johnson until a new Prime Minister assumes leadership. In the newly-appointed Cabinet, James Cleverly has been given the role of Education Secretary. He is a supporter of grammar schools and academisation.

SATS results 2022
As expected national attainment was down in this year’s SATs results as follows:

  • 74% of pupils met the expected standard in reading, up by 1% from 73% in 2019.
  • 71% of pupils met the expected standard in maths, down by 8% from 79% in 2019.
  • 69% of pupils met the expected standard in writing, down by 9% from 78% in 2019.
  • 59% of pupils reached the expected standard in all of reading, writing and maths, down by 6% from 65% in 2019.
  • 72% of pupils met the expected standard in English grammar, punctuation and spelling, down by 6% from 78% in 2019 (remember, however, that grammar, punctuation and spelling test (GPS) results do not count towards the school accountability measures).

Review to future proof the role of academy trusts
On Wednesday the DfE launched a review of how it works with academy trusts. The review will look at the standards trusts are held to, and the thresholds at which the government uses its powers to intervene in cases of underperformance, helping minimise trust failure and retain parents’ confidence. It will also look at how the government supports the growth of existing strong trusts and the creation of new strong trusts, helping trusts improve schools. The consultation will conclude by the end of this calendar year.