Fresh start for schools in Boris Johnson reshuffle – The Yorkshire Post says

BORIS JOHNSON’S reshuffle can be summed up by the immediate two-word reaction of a retired headteacher to The Yorkshire Post: “At last.”

This was Boris Johnson before he began to undertake his Cabinet reshuffle.

They were responding to the long-overdue departure of Gavin Williamson a full eight months after this newspaper became the first to demand the dismissal of the now former Education Secretary.

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But their response was also indicative of a wider frustration over Mr Johnson’s benevolence towards a succession of under-performing Ministers whose myriad shortcomings were failing both the Government and the country at large.

Gavin Williamson has finally left the Department for Education.

And that is the key test facing Mr Johnson’s new-look team – it will be expected to provide a level of competence, confidence and clarity of purpose that the previous Cabinet ultimately could not offer in the midst of Covid.

Now, after this belated shake-up and an attempt to advance social care reform, is the time for a fresh start and a relentless focus on the delivery of the policies of aspiration, enterprise and compassion that help Britain to recover and address those longstanding regional inequalities which have held Yorkshire and the North back for too long.

In short, policies matter far more than the personalities at the heart of this reshuffle and Mr Johnson’s ultimately errant decision to reward various Brexit loyalists when he took office and then again in February 2020.

This is most pertinent at the housing ministry, where Robert Jenrick has been replaced by Michael Gove at a key time for devolution, and the Department for Education where Mr Williamson’s inept leadership let down a generation of children.

Nadhim Zahawi has been promtoed to Education Secretary after a successful stint as Vaccines Minister.

And, while it has been long clear that schools and skills should be the foundation of the levelling-up agenda, the onus is on Nadhim Zahawi, as Education Secretary, and a revised Cabinet, to make make this happen – at last.

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