The Department for Education spokesperson in the House of Lords has changed following the departure of Lord Nash, Sir Theodore Agnew will replace him…
The founder of the Inspiration Trust academy chain, Sir Theodore Agnew was confirmed as the new Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System by Downing Street yesterday.
The announcement came as Lord Nash stepped away from the government after three years as the lead for Education in the Upper House. Justine Greening thanked Lord Nash for the “dedication and passion he has given to his role as minister,” she added “(he) has overseen a transformation of standards across our schools during his tenure and I wish him the very best in his retirement.”
Agnew’s responsibilities will include overseeing the different elements of the school system, tackling school under-performance, school governance and the government’s approach to behaviour and attendance.
Having made his money in insurance, Agnew first became interested in education after being “frustrated with the level of numeracy and literacy skills in the UK.” He became heavily involved with the Policy Exchange think tank, funding research into the Pupil Premium funding and advised Michael Gove on academies policy in the early days of the coalition government, he was also a prominent Conservative donor.
Agnew founded the Inspiration Trust in 2012, with 12 schools in Norfolk and Suffolk. Although he is a strong advocate of free schools, Agnew is strongly against grammar schools. He failed the 11+ himself, telling the Eastern Daily Press: “I do remember very clearly feeling ‘Well, what does that mean for me? I’m a second class citizen from this day.”
Agnew will be made a Life Peer in the House of Lords shortly, where he will commence the unpaid role.
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