Ex-education secretary takes lucrative second job at school company

Sir Gavin Williamson has taken a job worth £50,000 a year as an adviser to a private education firm – less than a year after leaving the job of education secretary.

Sir Gavin was Secretary of State for Education from July 2019 until last September. In this new role, he will become a member of the board of directors of the Regent Advisory Panel, which is part of the RTC Education company.

The company describes itself as an “education, property management and investment organization that owns and operates independent schools, colleges of higher education and an investment business”.

The former education minister will earn around £50,000 a year from his second job, according to The Guardian.

Sir Gavin was twice sacked as Cabinet minister and oversaw the 2020 exams fiasco during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ex-minister has been given the green light to take on the role of the Advisory Board for Business Appointments (Acoba), an anti-corruption watchdog which advises on post-ministerial jobs and is chaired by Lord Pickles.

An outcry last year saw calls for a reform of the rules around second jobs for MPs, before the government finally concluded it would be impossible to cap other sources of employment.

Acoba, who has repeatedly been branded as toothless and lacking enforcement powers, has set conditions for Sir Gavin to take office and noted the short time between his leaving government and taking over. function.

“There is an overlap with your work and your responsibilities as Secretary of State for Education and this role in the education sector,” according to Acoba.

“RTC has a stakeholder relationship with your former department as it is an education provider, although you did not meet RTC during your tenure and the Ministry of Education confirmed that you did not. ‘had made no decision specific to RTC Education Ltd or its competitors,’ the committee noted. .

He then concluded that there was only a ‘limited’ risk that Sir Gavin could gain access to sensitive information for the benefit of RTC Education.

“As Secretary of State for Education, you may have access to sensitive information that could present an unfair advantage to the RTC or any organization operating in the education sector.

“This risk is limited given that eight months have passed since you left office and the DfE considered that the information to which you had access would no longer be sufficiently up to date to be useful to the organization; with policy either changing significantly under the new Secretary of State or having already been made public.

The watchdog, in granting Sir Gavin’s approval to take on the role, stressed that the former education secretary should not rely on any inside information available since his tenure, while for two years from on his last day as minister, he is not expected to become personally involved in lobbying the government on behalf of RTC Education.

It also imposed other conditions related to lobbying and the provision of advice.

Sir Gavin, along with RTC Education, have been approached for comment.

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