Justine Greening announced as new education secretary replacing Nicky Morgan

FE week is reporting that Justine Greening is the new secretary of state for education, replacing Nicky Morgan who has served in the role for two years.

Greening was tipped for the role by several news outlets after prime minister Theresa May was said to be seeking more women for top cabinet positions.

She moves to the role from the Department for International Development, where she has been secretary of state for nearly four years. Prior to that she was transport secretary for one year.

In 2014, during an interview with The Spectator, Greening talked at length about the importance of social mobility, referring to her father’s unemployment and her experience of “not starting in the best place”.

Adding: “The experience I had growing up, going to my local comprehensive, my family going through difficult times … it’s about understanding what it’s like to start from scratch”.

The majority of her comments in parliaments regarding schools have been about international schools, where she supported the development of low-cost private schools, but she has also talked about the need to make opportunities available for all young people in the UK.

She told the The Spectator: “My biggest concern is that we are ending up with a country where you have not one ladder to climb up but people are on different ladders. You might start at the bottom of a short ladder that will only get you so high. What we need to recreate is one ladder that everyone can climb up”.

More at: Justine Greening announced as new education secretary replacing Nicky Morgan

ATL’s comment on the appointment of new Secretary of State for Education

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: “We welcome Justine Greening’s appointment. It is good to have an education secretary who has been educated at a comprehensive school. 

“Ms Greening faces huge challenges in her new role in Government. A teacher recruitment and retention crisis threatens to derail the Government’s drive to raise educational standards. Botched qualification reform threatens to do damage to the teaching profession, to pupils and to the confidence that important stakeholders, such as employers, have in the education system. Nicky Morgan failed to acknowledge the scale and severity of these problems. Ms Greening must demonstrate that she has a firmer grasp of her Departmental tiller and that she has a keen eye for the detailed implementation of education policy announcements.

“Ms Greening’s interest in vocational qualifications should be of great benefit as vocational training and apprenticeships are incorporated into the DfE’s remit. This makes good sense as does the uniting of higher and further education, with compulsory education.

“We wish Ms Greening every success in her new, highly challenging role. ATL will seek to work with her to improve the educational standards and life chances of all children, young people and adults, all of whom should have access to life-long learning if the UK is to meet the skills challenge which has become even more acute post Brexit.”

Do you think she will make a good education secretory? What changes would you like her to look at first? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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