Will new Education Select Committee hold government to account?

10 Jun 2010

 The Children, Schools & Families Parliamentary Select Committee is to be renamed the Education Committee to match the new name of the government department it covers. It also has a new chair.

 Barry Sheerman, the previous long-serving chair, did not contest the post (attempting - unsuccessfully - to go instead for the chair of the committee covering the Business Innovation and Skills Department). The new chair is Conservative MP, Graham Stuart.

Mr Stuart is a privately-educated (Glenalmond), Cambridge graduate who ran a publishing business before becoming the MP for Beverley and Holderness in 2005. His voting record shows he is strongly in favour of greater autonomy for schools. He has also voted against a smoking ban, for a stricter asylum system and against further EU integration. 

He is not known for rebelling against his party. So, I fear, there is not much evidence in his past record to suggest he will want to pursue a particularly rigorous line holding the government to account over its policies on academies,'free schools' or the curriculum and assessment.

The Labour MP, Adrian Bailey, is the new chair of the Business Innovation and Skills committee, which  amongst other things will cover Higher Education.


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