What AGE are the Greatest Edu Secretaries?

With mutterings about Cabinet reshuffles I was interested to see Rachel Reeves mentioned as a potential Shadow Education Secretary (though word on the street is that this is now unlikely). Reeves is great, but she’s still quite young. If she became Shadow Sec, and Labour won in 2015, and she remained in post – she would be the youngest ever Edu Sec.

That is not necessarily a problem. Both Rab Butler & Edward Boyle were in their 30s when they took the role and are regularly named as being among ‘the greats’. However, Ruth Kelly’s disasterous turn at the helm has since made people nervous of youth.

Fun Facts!

Mean age on entry – 50 

There is also most no difference between the parties. Labour average age on entry is 50.5, Conservative is 49.5.

The youngest EduSec is Ruth Kelly, who started age 36

The oldest was Keith Joseph, who began when he was 63

Age on Entry

Ruth Kelly 36
Rab Butler 38
Edward Boyle 39
Edward Balls 40
Michael Gove 42
Richard Law 44
Margaret Thatcher 44
Anthony Crosland 46
Shirley Williams 46
John Patten 46
Estelle Morris 48
Quintin Hogg 49
Mark Carlisle 49
David Blunkett 49
David Eccles 50
Reg Prentice 50
Kenneth Clarke 50
Kenneth Baker 51
John MacGregor 52
Charles Clarke 52
Ellen Wilkinson 54
Gillian Shephard 54
Geoffrey Lloyd 55
Edward Short 55
Alan Johnson 55
George Tomlinso 56
Fred Mulley 56
Michael Stewart 57
Patrick Gordon Walker 60
Florence Horsbrugh 62
Keith Joseph 63
  1. Hi Laura, I quite like the ones whose age tended to be around the mean of 50. They were in less of a rush to get everything done now, but at the same time still in contact enough with real education issues to offer valid views.

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