By Luke Stevenson and Andy McNicoll
Michael Gove has left his position as education secretary as part of a major cabinet reshuffle by David Cameron ahead of the 2015 general election.
Gove, who had served in the role since the 2010 general election, will take up the post of chief whip. He has been replaced as education secretary by Nicky Morgan, who was only appointed in April as financial secretary to the treasury and minister for women and equalities. Loughborough MP Morgan retains her role as minister for women and equalities.
As education secretary, Gove was a divisive figure among social workers. He oversaw landmark changes to social work – including his appointment of England’s first chief social worker for children, Isabelle Trowler. He also introduced a series of controversial social work reforms, including the 26-week deadline for adoption cases and new powers for local authorities to outsource child protection services that will come into force in Autumn.
During his time in office, Gove was particularly critical of social work education. In 2013, he told delegates at an NSPCC conference that he would strip out the “dogma” that dominates social work thinking in children’s services.
In a bid to “improve” the quality of entrants to social work training Gove backed the controversial Frontline programme, a fast-track scheme for children’s social work closely modelled on the Teach First model.
He also appointed Sir Martin Narey to conduct a review of social work education and produce a blueprint to overhaul the system. Narey’s review reported in February and hit the headlines after claiming that some social work courses were producing graduates that were “barely literate”. Chief social worker Trowler is to publish a list of recommendations from the report shortly.