It could be a disaster for phonics if Nick had been sacked along with former Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, in the upheaval to the Conservative party since the referendum re the European Union ('Brexit'), and subsequent resignation of former Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Theresa May is now the Prime Minister of the UK and she immediately made dramatic changes to the cabinet.
https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/br ... s-role-dfe
Mr Gibb stays on in DfE despite boss being sacked
Nick Gibb - the man thought to be the driving force behind the government roll out of the phonics screening test and tougher exams - has been spared his job at the Department for Education during new prime minister Theresa May’s drastic Cabinet reshuffle.
Mr Gibb, who is serving his second tenure as a junior minister in the Department for Education, has often been regarded as the former education secretary Michael Gove’s right hand man.
But despite his boss Nicky Morgan being sacked and his closeness to Mr Gove, the MP for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton has kept his role.
The minister's new responsibilities will include: teachers and school leaders; curriculum, assessment and qualifications; school accountability (including links with Ofsted); dealing with school underperformance and improving school-to-school support; school admissions, exclusions, attendance, behaviour and alternative provision.