Many will have seen today that, in the latest Tory cabinet reshuffle by new Prime Minister Theresa May, Justine Greening MP was announced as the new Secretary for Education, with both Michael Gove and alleged goat-starer Nicki Morgan being shuffled out. Whilst their departure may bring a chorus of hurrahs from the flanks of the education system, Ms Greening may not be the successor many want.
Some readers will remember that some months back the very same Justine Greening, when the minister for International Development, came to Hampstead School with self-styled diplomat and demi-god Tom Hiddleston to promote, er, something. At the time we reported on her record as an MP on education issues. She voted for the bill (that was since reduced) to convert all schools to academies regardless of the benefits, against requiring consultation of parents before converting a school to an academy and voted to scrap support grants for university students. In fact, since 2010, she has only rebelled against the Tory whip eight times, making her a perfect leader.
When she was at the school, the Secretary of State said that after this meeting she wanted to go to the World Humanitarian Summit with some (pre-established) ideas and be “able to say ‘well this is what UK young people think’.” Not being funny, but the few students in the room at the time do not accurately represent what Hampstead Young people think and do, let alone what all 11 million children in this country think. It doesn't take a mathematician to tell you a ten kids from a single school does not make a great sample to extrapolate for all kids.
So, whilst the Head may choose to boast about his connection to the top of the education chain, students may have cause to be wary about what parts of the current agenda Justine Greening will continue in her reign.