Conservative MP for Stroud Neil Carmichael has told Schools Week of his excitement at being appointed as the new chair of the House of Commons education select committee.
Mr Carmichael, who takes over from Graham Stuart, said: “I am very excited by the opportunity. First of all I am delighted that obviously so many people voted for me, I don’t know the figure yet but I am very pleased. Secondly I am obviously really exhilarated with the challenge ahead in terms of the reports we will be able to have through the next five years.”
He said the next issue he has to address is the make up of the committee: “The next thing is the filling up of the spaces. I have heard one or two people express and interest in joining and so when they are all appointed we will get on with the task of doing some reports.
“One thing I am going to be doing very soon is discuss with the new business, innovation and skills chair, Iain Wright, our proposal of doing a joint report on dealing with productivity gap. We have already discussed this on the assumption that we both would win, we actually talked about it a week or so ago.”
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, welcomed the appointment of Mr Carmichael. He said: “Congratulations to Neil on this prestigious posting. The education select committee has provided essential scrutiny and challenge to government policy over the last five years and we hope this will continue.
“Education is too often subject to ideology and whim – scrutiny can cut through that.”
Former chair Mr Stuart held the post for five years and was a committee member for a further three, but put his name forward to become chair of the culture, media and sport committee. This role has gone to Conservative MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire Jesse Norman, it was announced today.