We welcome the announcement that Damian Hinds MP has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Education. For those of you unfamiliar with who he is, DYT answers questions on his experience and stance on education.
New education secretary has written "For many years, our educational focus as a country has been all but exclusively on exam results. Now, leading education jurisdictions such as Singapore are increasingly adding an emphasis on the ‘character development’ agenda"
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) January 8, 2018
I regard this as a largely status quo appointment. Hinds clearly shares the passion and sees the significance of social mobility in the same light as his predecessor, Justine Greening. He has been welcomed by many on the left of the Conservative Party, Education Committee Chair, Robert Halfon had this to say:
— Robert Halfon MP (@halfon4harlowMP) January 8, 2018
He certainly views the importance of education and especially teachers at the heart of the strategy behind driving social mobility, thus the vision and commitments made by Greening in her 14th December speech on the subject should remain seen as the mission statement of the Department for Education in 2018.
The one significant departure from the Greening tenure is in Hinds’ views towards grammar and faith schools. Whereas she was the first block to the Number 10’s plans behind “Schools that work for everyone,” he is likely to be happier to promote and push forward with the policy especially regarding faith school admissions. As TES says – “if this signals anything, it’s that N0.10 is determined to take back control of education policy.”
What is for sure is the fact that Damian Hinds inherits a bulging red ministerial box with a number of policy issues in need of resolving.
I will do a more in depth blog about the legacy of Greening and what Hinds’ appointment means for education and SEND policy going forward in the coming days.