Will the new minister get to grips with pressing problems like teacher retention, or head for new directions?

Damian Hinds replaced Justine Greening as education secretary after she resigned from government yesterday. 

Hinds has been Conservative MP for East Hampshire since 2010 and has moved from the post of employment minister. He was educated at St Ambrose College, a Catholic grammar school in Cheshire, before studying philosophy, politics and economics at the University of Oxford.

After a relatively short 546 days in her post, Greening – the first comprehensive-educated secretary of state for education – refused the post of minister for work and pensions as part of a cabinet reshuffle. Her resignation comes just a month since she set out a new action plan for social mobility

Calls for stability

Hinds has worked on the issue of social mobility before, chairing the all-party parliamentary group on social mobility in 2012. But there are concerns he will scrap existing plans like this in favour of more headline-grabbing initiatives for the department for education. Speaking to Schools Week, Paul Whiteman, general secretary for the headteacher union NAHT warned new education secretaries ‘often feel that new announcements are obligatory’. Many hope Hinds prioritises stability over new initiatives. 

A long to-do list

Two other issues (among many) the education community hopes Hinds addresses are school budgets and teacher recruitment and retention. In science, retention is a particular problem, as science teachers were reported as 26% more likely to leave their school than similar teachers in other subjects.  

Education in Chemistry January 2018 cover

Education in Chemistry January 2018 cover