It's just been announced that I have been appointed as the new Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Rt. Hon. Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, replacing David Evenett, the MP for Bexleyheath & Crayford, who was made a Whip in the reshuffle.
It's a real privilege to have been asked to support Michael in his work (though I'll miss working with Greg Clark, who is one of the most decent people in the House of Commons as well as an excellent Minister - I am sure it is only a matter of time before he is promoted to the Cabinet). He is delivering much-needed reforms to our education system, which has in the past - under governments of both parties - let down many of our young people particularly those from more deprived backgrounds. I believe that the changes he is making - giving schools more freedom to innovate; giving teachers more power to impose discipline; closing down under-performing schools; focusing resources on pupils from more deprived backgrounds; encouraging pupils to study the subjects employers and universities value; and ensuring our curriculum and exam system compare with the best in the world - will ensure that our young people can compete in the global economy when they leave school and, by particularly benefiting those from more deprived backgrounds, make this country a fairer place.
National competitiveness and a fairer society - these are the issues that brought me into politics. And with the shortage of school places, particularly at primary level, a huge issue in Croydon, it's also a great appointment from a constituency perspective. I can't wait to start.