Michael Gove is currently 8th in the longevity stakes however he’s only a fortnight away from overtaking Kenneth Baker and stealing 7th place* (UPDATE: By time he left, he got much further).
The winner of the overall leader board is actually David Eccles, who I originally placed outside the top ten on my spreadsheet (and hence yesterday tweeted that Gove was 7th). However, Eccles had two shots at the role – one stint of 809 days, another of 1004. Taken separately the periods aren’t noteworthy, but taken together the periods make him the longest-serving Education Secretary. Hence, I bumped him up (and Gove down). Eccles also lived for the second longest time of any Education Secretary (he died aged 94, outpaced only by Edward Short who lived to be 99).
UPDATED 25/5/16: Needed to update Michael Gove
|1||David Eccles||1823 (809 + 1004)|
|27||Quintin Hogg||444 (246 + 198)|
|30||Patrick Gordon Walker||221|
The average is 851 days. Unless you count the Hogg and Eccles periods separately, in which case the average becomes a rounded 800 days.
UPDATED 25/5/16: Taking account of Michael Gove finally having got to the end this table has been re-done. The new average time in office is 863 days altogether. Or, for single periods in office, it is 810 days.
UPDATED: Taking account of Nicky Morgan’s time in office the average for single periods in office is 801 days, and 832 overall.
*NB: Throughout this site I refer to all people in the lead education role as ‘Education Secretary’ even though I realise this role, technically, didn’t come in until 1964. Before that the role was merely ‘Minister for Education’ and up until half-way through Butler’s tenure the role was performed by a ‘President of the Board of Education’. At various times the role has also expanded to including Employment, Science, Children, & so on. I use ‘Education Secretary’ as a shorthand for all these roles. Please forgive me.