Three priorities for the new education secretary  

By Donna Molloy | 17 September 2021

Nadhim Zahawi, the new secretary of state for education, returns to a department he’s familiar with, having served 18 months as children’s minister in 2018 and 2019.

However, he returns to a department operating within a hugely changed and challenging environment. Children, young people and their families are wrestling with the personal, social and economic consequences of fluctuating levels of lockdown over the past 18 months. At the same time, the services that would typically support these families and young people are facing new and increasing demands for their help, and the impact of multiple, competing calls on precious public resources. 

As challenging as the circumstances may be, there is a window of opportunity for Mr Zahawi and the government to make a series of positive changes to boost the availability, quality and impact of support that families and children receive.  

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