Tehan has yet to outline his agenda as Education Minister, but much has already been made of his Catholic education and ties to Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) head Stephen Elder, with The Australian newspaper reporting a “good personal relationship” between the two.
As a result, Tehan is expected to help smooth out the Catholic school funding dispute that has dominated education headlines recently.
In a statement to EducationHQ, Tehan said the appointment was “a great honour".
“I look forward to getting to work straight away,” he said.
"As I have in all my roles, I will listen, consult and seek outcomes which are in the best interests of all Australians."
In 2010, while delivering his maiden speech to parliament, Tehan set out rural access to tertiary education as a key priority.
“Mr Speaker, education is a key reason I am standing here today,” he said.
“And nothing saddens me more than the growing gap between country students who access a tertiary education and their city cousins.
“The whole system of financial support that helps rural and regional students access a tertiary education needs to be reviewed. This growing gap needs to be reversed as a matter of urgency.”
Tehan is a relatively fresh face on the front bench, picking up his first ministerial appointment in 2016, when he was given the Veteran’s Affairs and Defence Materiel portfolios, along with a role as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC.
Following the 2016 election, Tehan kept his position as Minister for Veteran’s Affairs but was moved from Defence Materiel to Defence Personnel, while also taking on the role of Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security.
In December 2017, Tehan was promoted from the outer ministry to cabinet, trading in all of his previous portfolios for the job of Minister for Social Services, a position that he held until this week.
In the role, Tehan oversaw the passing of the Welfare Reform Bill this year, and the expansion of the Government’s Cashless Debit Card trial.
Representative bodies from the Catholic, public and independent school sectors have all welcomed Tehan’s appointment.
Senator Simon Birmingham released a statement on Sunday, reflecting on his time as Education Minister.
“It has been an honour to serve as Minister for Education and Training in Malcolm Turnbull’s Government, and to have been the longest serving education minister since Brendan Nelson,” he said.
“We have achieved great reforms over the last three years.”