Damian Hinds has been announced as England’s new Education Secretary. He will replace Justine Greening, who is leaving the government after the Prime Minister’s cabinet reshuffle. She was offered a transfer over to the Department for Work and Pensions, but is understood to have refused the position, over a possible dispute over social mobility.
Justine Greening, the first comprehensive-educated Tory education secretary, talked of a “social mobility emergency”, with the aim to reverse a trend in which bright, poor pupils are overtaken in school by wealthier, less able children.
Ms Greening had made social mobility the focus of her time in office and had built up links with the teaching profession, but there had been questions on whether her approach were the same as those of 10 Downing Street.
Damian Hinds, a former chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility, went to a Catholic grammar school and studied at the University of Oxford. Mr Hinds will have to tackle the push for more selection in grammar schools, and re-energise the Conservatives’ plan for schools.