Ms Kelly held on to her job after two narrow escapes. She avoided losing her Bolton seat on election night, when her majority was slashed from 5,518 to 2,064. She was then nearly replaced in the reshuffle by David Miliband, the former school standards minister. But Ms Kelly dismissed reports that she had been threatened with a demotion to the Treasury as "an awful lot of nonsense".
Schools minister - Jacqui Smith
Ms Smith is one of the most experienced members of the new team. She was school standards minister between 1999 and 2001. A former teacher, she was head of economics and business studies at Haybridge high school in Worcestershire until she was elected as an MP in 1997. Since her first stint at the Department for Education and Skills, the loyal Blairite has worked in the departments of health, trade and Industry and been deputy minister for women.
Universities minister - Bill Rammell
Mr Rammell lists education among his chief interests and was a member of the Commons education and employment select committee between 1997 and 1999. He is opposed to selection and has been described as looking like the manager of a Sunday football team. He was previously a junior minister in the Foreign Office.
Children's minister - Beverley Hughes
Ms Hughes resigned as immigration minister last spring after admitting that she had misled MPs unwittingly over a visa scam. Up until that scandal the loyal Blairite had enjoyed a rapid rise through Labour's ranks, with ministerial posts in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the regions and the Home Office.
Junior minister - Andrew Adonis
Lord Adonis is one of Tony Blair's most trusted advisers and linked to some of Labour's most controversial education policies including academies, top-up fees and the drive to give parents more power. The former SDP member joined the No 10 Policy Unit in 1998, became its head in 2001 and stepped down two years ago to concentrate on education.
Junior minister - Phil Hope
Mr Hope's jobs before becoming an MP included teaching science at Kettering school for boys in the late 1970s and he acted as head of the young volunteer resources unit at the National Youth Bureau. He is the author of several pamphlets on youth issues and was a member of the National Advisory Group of Personal, Social and Health Education. He was previously a junior minister in the Deputy Prime Minister's office.
Junior minister - Maria Eagle
Ms Eagle, an energetic, Merseyside bred solicitor, became an MP in 1997, following in the footsteps of her twin sister and fellow Labour MP, Angela.
She was a child chess prodigy, joined the Department of Health in 1999 and became minister for disabled people in 2001.
Shadow Education Secretary - David Cameron
Mr Cameron is a rising Tory star. He was the party's head of policy during the election and coped well with questions about its controversial plans to give state funds to some private schools. The Old Etonian has fought to stop closures of special schools including the one attended by his three-year-old son Ivan, who has chronic epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Mr Cameron is part of the "Notting Hill set" of modernisers and tipped as a future leader of the party.