iNews reports that Justine Greening is understood to be the most high-profile Cabinet minister to lose her job in Theresa May’s imminent reshuffle. News of the Education Secretary’s removal, be it a demotion or outright sacking, will be a significant blow to the teaching profession.
In her 18 months in the post, Ms Greening has come to be seen as a force for good in regards to schools, at least.
But during her brief stint, Ms Greening has often taken a conciliatory tone when it came to dealing with union leaders. Her approach was at complete odds to that of the combative Michael Gove, who saw it as a key part of his job to battle the unions by pushing through reform after reform.
A trained accountant, Ms Greening saw her immediate task of getting her house in order. She took to running the department as she would a company that was in dire need of restructuring after the chaotic Gove years and the period of neglect that ensued under Nicky Morgan.
But it was her choice of policies that impressed most among the teaching profession. Her changes to primary testing, including her decision to consult on scrapping Year 2 Sats, was widely welcomed among primary school staff, who feared children were being overtested in their younger years.
She also planned changes to Qualified Teacher Status, pledged to do more to allow flexible working for teachers and had put in place an overhaul of sex education, all of which were well received across the profession. And this was part of her problem.
It is understood that Theresa May took a dim view of her less than enthusiastic backing of grammar schools and she was seen as being too close to the unions.
Critics have often pointed to her being strong on details, but lacking any grand vision which is so often how Cabinet ministers are measured, regardless of whether a sector is in need of policy reform.
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