From education to employment

Brown replaces Dfes with two new departments headed by Ed Balls and John Denham

Two new Government departments will replace the Department for Education and Skills in Gordon Brown’s reorganisation of Government.

In the Cabinet reshuffle Ed Balls will head up the new Department for Children, Schools and Families which has been given responsibility for pre-19 education along with family and children policy.

Meanwhile the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) will be responsible for the development and funding of further and higher education as well as “raising the skills of the wider adult workforce”. The former Home Office Minister John Denham will head this department, in a return to the Cabnet after he resigned in 2003 in protest over the Iraq war.

It will replace the DTI making Britain “one of the best places in the world for science, research and innovation” according to Mr Browns written statement to Parliament.

Commenting on the reshuffle, Dr John Brennan, Association of Colleges Chief Executive, said:

“AoC congratulates John Denham on his appointment as Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills with our very best wishes for the future.

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s bold decision to give special focus to skills with the establishment of this new department. It is of critical importance for young people, parents and employers that there should be coherence between pre and post-16 learning and skills and we look forward to working with the Government to see how this can be delivered within the new structure.

“We are sure that John will wish to work closely with colleges, which teach over three millions students, including two thirds of all young people aged 16-18 in education.

“As the voice of colleges across the country we anticipate a constructive future working alongside John to promote learning and skills in the UK, as we continue to be a source of ideas and expertise to inform and shape policy and practice.”

The UCU also welcomed the new appointment but with reservations. “Any new minister has a pretty full in-tray, but to be able to compete in the global knowledge economy the UK must match the levels of funding that other European countries and America enjoy as a proportion of GDP,” said Sally Hunt, General Secretary.

“The new prime minister has made very encouraging noises about the need for more people to have access to new skills in the past and we are pleased that this appears to be a significant part of the new ministers portfolio.”

Stay with FE News for further developments

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