The new Minister of National Education is the surprise of this reshuffle. Here is how Emmanuel Macron decided to recall it to the government.

The National Education portfolio was highly scrutinized during this reshuffle. The appointment of Amélie Oudéa-Castéra on January 11, then the chain of controversies, had finally exasperated the teaching world, already up in arms against the “shock of knowledge” announced by Gabriel Attal in September. To calm the situation, Emmanuel Macron decided to recall a former minister, retired from political life since 2020, in the person of Nicole Belloubet. A name that was kept quiet until the day before the reshuffle.

“The Belloubet hypothesis” emerged at the start of the week, regulars at the Élysée told Le Figaro. Last weekend, the Head of State and his Prime Minister agreed on one thing: the departure of Amélie Oudéa-Castéra from the Ministry of National Education. Macron then proposed his old ally François Bayrou to replace her, but Gabriel Attal expressed his reluctance. The Prime Minister, for his part, was trying to impose Fanny Anor, his deputy chief of staff, former advisor to Jean-Michel Blanquer. Ultimately, it was Emmanuel Macron who decided in favor of Belloubet.

The former Minister of Justice is not close to the president, but he appreciates her and respects her work. “I know her well, I know who she is and she has experience,” he told the press on Friday February 9, during a trip to Bordeaux. “I spent a lot of time talking with her,” he added. Their discussions this week finally convinced him that there was no incompatibility between Nicole Belloubet’s profile and the line initiated by Attal at the Ministry of National Education.

For her part, Nicole Belloubet had reiterated her loyalty to the Macronist camp as recently as January: “As long as the President of the Republic is there, I will remain loyal to Emmanuel Macron”, she confided to La Dépêche du Midi, ” which does not mean that I approve of everything that is done.” As soon as she arrived at the ministry, the former rector of the academy gave guarantees of consistency with the action of Gabriel Attal, speaking of the “values ​​of respect and authority”.

“It is presented as lax, but that is not at all the case,” says a close friend of Emmanuel Macron to Le Figaro, going against the criticism of the right and the far right. This same relative assures that Belloubet’s passage “to Justice made the scales fall from his eyes a little”.