‘Plans to expand the 11-plus may be shelved but Greening faces her trickiest test yet’

The TES reports that being spared the task of introducing new grammar schools could end up being a mixed blessing for Justine Greening.

So after enduring months of rumours that she was to be replaced as education secretary, Justine Greening lives to fight another day.

As she takes up the reins again, is everything set fair for an education secretary who will finally have a free hand to introduce the policies she really believes in? Maybe in theory. But in practice, Greening has been dealt an incredibly difficult hand post-election.

Even if she was personally against the idea of more grammar schools, introducing the policy would have had some significant political advantages for the education secretary.

The teacher recruitment crisis is real and effecting schools now. The Department for Education belatedly appears to have woken up to there being a problem, but the bad news keeps coming.

Then there is the looming chaos with GCSE grades likely to engulf education this summer. Have Ofqual and the DfE really done enough to ensure that parents and employers not only understand the new grades, but can also cope with two separate systems running at the same time?

Worst of all is school funding – or, rather, the lack of it. The issue has already made the leap from education into the general public consciousness, helping to deny the Conservatives a majority in the process.

The Tories will have to go way beyond the minimal extra funding in their manifesto to make the schools’ budget problems go away. And while angry parents have the bit between their teeth, they will continue to damage ministers and make the news.

Read more ‘Plans to expand the 11-plus may be shelved but Greening faces her trickiest test yet’

Where do you think Justine Greening should start? What do you think are her first priorities?  Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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