Meet the new Secretary of State for Education

  • 8th July 2024

Bridget Phillipson is the new Secretary of State for Education. Image, Lauren Hurley / No 10 Downing Street

Following last week’s General Election, new Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, has announced his Cabinet, including the appointment of Labour’s former shadow education secretary, Bridget Phillipson, as the new Secretary of State for Education.

Phillipson has been Sir Keir’s shadow education secretary since November 2012 following her promotion from shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

She was first elected as MP for Houghton and Sunderland South in 2010 and has served as an opposition whip under Mr Miliband and sat on several parliamentary committees, including the high-profile Public Accounts Committee.

Born in Gateshead in 1983, before running for Parliament she managed a refuge for women and children fleeing domestic violence.

She is one of 11 women in Sir Keir’s 26-strong Cabinet.

Of Sir Keir’s 26-strong Cabinet, 11 posts are held by women. Image, Lauren Hurley / No 10 Downing Street

And, within hours of her appointment, she pledged to begin work on the Labour Party’s manifesto pledge to recruit 6.500 new teachers.

As one of her first steps in post, the Education Secretary will write to all education workforces to make clear the valuable role they will play in the Government’s agenda for change.

She will also hold a reception with key education stakeholders as well as making it a priority to meet with teaching unions in the coming days.

And The Department for Education will immediately resume, and expand, its flagship teacher recruitment campaign, Every Lesson Shapes a Life, and its further education recruitment campaign, Share Your Skills.

Phillipson said: “From day one, we are delivering the change this country demands and putting education back at the forefront of national life.

“We will work urgently to recruit thousands of brilliant new teachers and reset the relationship between government and the education workforce.

“For too long the teaching profession has been talked down, side-lined, and denigrated. I have made it my first priority to write today to the people at the centre of making change happen: our workforces.

“I want all children to have the best life chances which means recruiting and keeping great teachers in our classrooms – today is the first step in that mission.”

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