Posted on Wednesday 10th Jan 2018
Damian Hinds has become the new Education Secretary, replacing Justine Greening. What are the questions waiting at the top of his in-tray? And what should he do differently to avoid the sudden exit of his predecessor?
1) How to get back the political initiative?
Damian Hinds will have to re-energise the Conservatives' vision for education, finding something positive that will connect with the public.
From the perspective of 10 Downing Street, it must have seemed as though Labour was making much of the weather over schools and universities.
Parents were worried about being asked to bail out cash-starved schools. And Jeremy Corbyn's promise to scrap tuition fees had seen Labour's student vote reaching record levels.
Justine Greening seemed unenthusiastic about the prime minister's Tory heartlands view of education, characterised by the push for more grammar schools.
19/10/21Further strikes threatened at universities this term
Students could face more strike action at universities this term after the academics' union opened a ballot over pay, pensions and conditions. University and College Union (UCU) general secretary Jo Grady said the UK's flagship university sector was built on the "exploitation of staff". They had experienced a decade of pension cuts, collapsing pay and insecure contracts, she said. University employers said the prospect of disruption was "disappointing".
01/10/21What changes are being made to GCSEs and A-levels next year?
Department for Education says 2022 will be a ‘transition year’
14/09/21Covid: Single jab recommended for 12 to 15-year-olds by UK's top doctors
Healthy children aged 12 to 15 should be offered one dose of a Covid vaccine, the UK's chief medical officers say.
29/06/21Covid: School isolation rules could end in autumn
The Covid control system in England's schools, where groups of pupils have to self-isolate if one tests positive, could be scrapped in the autumn.
26/05/21DfE had no plan for dealing with a pandemic, says critical report by MPs
Public accounts committee also said a failure to set standards for remote learning led to ‘unequal experiences’