News

Budget announcement and reshuffles at the Department for Education

5 November 2021

It has been a busy few months at the Department for Education with a comprehensive reshuffle for the political posts, which was followed a few weeks later by the Budget.

The chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extra £4.7bn for the schools budget in England by 2024-25.

There was also an extra £1.8bn to help schools and colleges recover following the pandemic.

However, critics have pointed that this falls far short of the £15bn that was requested by the education catch-up tsar, Sir Kevan Collins, who quit after he attacked the government’s ‘feeble’ schools recovery package.

The Chancellor also announced an additional £170m by 2024-25 for the funding paid to nurseries and early years providers for state-backed nursery places.

Unions and opposition MPs have said that education was among the losers in the budget.

Family hubs

Plans for a new £500m network of family hubs to support parents and children in England was also revealed in the Budget.

The hubs in 75 different areas are intended to be “one stop shops” that will offer support on issues such as mental health for new parents, breastfeeding and provide funding for antenatal and parenting classes.

In early November, the Department for Education also announced an evaluation of the best practices for the delivery of family hubs.

Reshuffle

It was all change at the Department for Education in the latest ministerial reshuffle in September.

Gavin Williamson was replaced by Nadhim Zahawi, a former children’s minister, as the Education Secretary.

Robin Walker, who was parliamentary private secretary to Nicky Morgan when she was Education Secretary, is the new schools minister.

Baroness Barran moves across from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, where was minister for civil society and youth, to become the new academies minister.

Will Quince replaces Vicky Ford as children’s minister.

Alex Burghart, a former teacher until he became an MP in 2017, is now the apprenticeship and skills minister.

Michelle Donelan remains in her post as higher and further education minister.


Education and children's services

Prospect represents nearly 3,000 professionals in education, children's services, early years, commissioning and children's social care.