Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - Cabinet reshuffle sees several new hands dealt to MPs

David Laws has been appointed education minister in the first major reshuffle for the Coalition government since the general election of 2010.

Today's news, tomorrow's lesson - 4 September

Cabinet reshuffle sees several new hands dealt to MPs

David Laws has been appointed education minister in the first major reshuffle for the Coalition government since the general election of 2010.

The announcement marks Mr Laws’ return to frontbench politics after a two-year absence. He was forced to resign as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in May 2010 after becoming embroiled in the MPs expenses scandal; he was later found guilty of breaking six parliamentary rules over claiming expenses for rent paid to his partner.

He replaces fellow Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Teather, who has withdrawn from frontbench politics in order to focus on work in her Brent constituency. Mr Laws’ appointment is a joint ministerial post - he will divide his time between the Department for Education and the Cabinet Office

Mr Laws’ appointment is one of many made by Prime Minister David Cameron today. In one of the biggest shake-ups, Welfare Minister Chris Grayling, who previously missed out on a place in the top line-up, is to replace Kenneth Clarke as Justice Secretary.

In another controversial move, Andrew Lansley, the architect of contentious changes to the NHS, has been demoted from Health Secretary to Leader of the Commons. He will be replaced by former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Hunt told BBC News: “It's a huge task. It's the biggest privilege of my life. I'm incredibly honoured.”

However, despite these moves, little has changed at the top of the government. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Home Secretary Theresa May, Foreign Secretary William Hague and Chancellor George Osborne will all remain in their posts. Education Secretary Michael Gove, who some had tipped for a move, will also keep his brief.

Downing Street said the prime minister wanted "strong reformers" to continue their work.

Questions for discussion

  • If you were going to be in charge of one area of government (looking after health, education, culture, etc.) what would you choose and why?
  • What would be your first act in your new role?
  • Do you feel that this reshuffle will have an impact on your daily life? Why/why not?

Related resources

Cabinet exercise

  • Turn your students into cabinet members – can they protect the interests of their department against inter-cabinet rivalry and budget cuts?

MP for a week

  • This multi-level online game that aims to help students develop their political literacy by putting them in the shoes of a backbench MP.

Government: how does Parliament work?

  • This unit of work explains how democracy provides for a parliamentary system, how Parliament operates and the role of MPs.

The Coalition

  • This lesson examines the formation of the Coalition after the election of a hung parliament at the 2010 general election.

Further news resources

First News front page

  • Help your pupils understand the features of the front page of a newspaper.

Write all about it

  • Get students creating their own news report with this step-by-step guide.

What is the News?

  • A sociological and media perspective on what makes an event 'newsworthy'.

On the box

  • Help pupils to write their own TV news broadcast with this handy PowerPoint.

Structuring stories

  • A scheme of work to help students structure news stories.

In the news this week

Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has apologised for the timing of controversial comments made about the winner of his 200m race.

The GB paralympic team bagged two gold medals on the first day of competition.

A talented team of pupils are set to mix studies with slam dunks next term as they tour Eastern Europe competing against some of the best players in the world.

Those once considered penny-pinching can now congratulate themselves for being chic savers; a new survey reveals Britons think saving money is cool.

In the news archive index