Quince appointed schools minister as caretaker roles confirmed

Brendan Clarke-Smith gets children's brief in shake-up following mass resignations

Brendan Clarke-Smith gets children's brief in shake-up following mass resignations

Will Quince is the new schools minister following a reshuffle prompted by mass resignations last week.

The MP for Colchester served as children’s minister from September until last Wednesday, when he resigned in protest over Boris Johnson’s leadership.

However, he rejoined the department on Thursday as a minister of state, and was confirmed as schools minister today.

Quince has announced he will retain responsibility for special educational needs and disabilities, including the SEND green paper, which he led as children’s minister.

Quince replaces Robin Walker, who also resigned last Wednesday. He had told Schools Week he was willing to return to the role, but has not rejoined the DfE ministerial team.

Brendan Clarke-Smith is the new children’s minister, while Andrea Jenkyns is minister for skills, further and higher education.

Universities and skills were previously two separate briefs but have now been combined, indicating the DfE will continue with just five ministers, one fewer than before the resignations.

James Cleverly was appointed education secretary last week, the third person to hold the title in just two days. Baroness Barran continues as academies minister.

Meet the ministers

James Cleverly, education secretary

Responsible for

Early years

Children’s social care


Teacher recruitment and retention

The school curriculum

School improvement

Academies and free schools

Further education

Apprenticeships and skills

Higher education

Oversight of the departmental coronavirus (covid-19) recovery

Will Quince, schools minister

Will Quince schools minister

Responsible for

Qualifications (including links with Ofqual)

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

Standards and Testing Agency and primary assessment

School accountability and inspection (including links with Ofsted)

Supporting a high-quality teaching profession including qualifications and professional development

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

Teaching Regulation Agency

Support for raising school standards including the National Tutoring Programme

School revenue funding, including the national funding formula for schools

School efficiency and commercial policy

Education Investment Areas, Opportunity North East and Opportunity Areas (jointly with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for the School System))

Pupil premium

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

School food, including free school meals

Coronavirus (COVID-19) recovery for schools

Brendan Clarke-Smith, children’s minister

Responsible for

Children’s social care


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

Early years and childcare

Disadvantaged and vulnerable children

School sport

Alternative provision

Behaviour, attendance and exclusions

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

Policy to protect against serious violence

Coronavirus (covid-19) recovery for children’s services and early years

Baroness Barran, academies minister


Responsible for

Academies and multi-academy trusts

Free schools and university technical colleges

Faith schools

Independent schools

Home education and supplementary schools

School governance and intervention in underperforming schools

School capital investment (including pupil place planning)

Education investment areas, opportunity north east and opportunity areas (jointly with minister of state (minister for school standards))

Admissions and school transport

Digital strategy and technology in education (edtech)

Safeguarding in schools and post-16 settings

Counter extremism in schools and post-16 settings

Departmental efficiency and commercial policy

Andrea Jenkyns, skills, FE and HE minister

Brendan Clarke-Smith gets children's brief in shake-up following mass resignations

Responsible for


Qualifications reviews (levels 3 and below)

Higher technical education (levels 4 and 5)

Apprenticeships and traineeships

Further education providers, workforce, funding and accountability

Institutes of technology

Local skills improvement plans and local skills improvement fund

Adult education, including, the national skills fund and the uk shared prosperity fund

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

Further education and higher education quality

Higher education reform

Lifelong loan entitlement

Student experience and widening participation in higher education

Student finance (including the student loans company)

International education strategy and international students

Coronavirus (covid-19) recovery for further education services, universities and higher education institutions

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  1. Keith Legge

    Don’t get too comfortable in your seats, hopefully a new ministerial team will take over soon, with a better vision for primary and secondary schools, an improved process for university admissions and financial support for students.