Following prime minister David Cameron's cabinet reshuffle, that saw Michael Gove switched from Education Secretary to Chief Whip, the media have cast the spotlight on the replacement MP tasked with repairing bridges with teachers and teaching unions in the lead up to the 2015 election. However, little is known of Nicky Morgan MP outside political circles.
Ms Morgan, 41, has been the Conservative MP for Loughborough since 2005. Despite only having entered politics 9 years ago, the married mother of one has already climbed the Conservative ranks, landing a top job in Mr Cameron's Cabinet.
Many in UK education will no doubt be reviewing the stance Morgan took on many of the contoversial issues that made her predecessor so unpopular. According to TheyWorkForYou.com, a site designed to track MPs activity, Ms Morgan:
- Voted very strongly for greater autonomy for schools
- Voted very strongly for raising England's undergraduate tuition fee cap to £9,000 per year
- Voted very strongly for academy schools
- Voted very strongly for ending financial support for some 16-19 year olds in training and further education
- Voted very strongly for university tuition fees
On the stance of student tuition fees, Ms Morgan has stated that university is not a rite of passage and that there are other ways of continuing on education.
The former corporate lawyer and Oxford University alumni noted recently that she was upbeat about the challenges that lie ahead for her; that is fortunate given that only last week, members of the National Union of Teachers joined a public sector national strike to protest about changes to teachers' pay, pensions and conditions. On this basis, she certainly has her work cut out.