New education secretary must be bold

New education secretary must be bold

And so we welcome another new Secretary of State for Education and I for one am hoping Damian Hinds’ appointment heralds a return to the government’s election promises.

It’s been said that Justine Greening was removed from the brief as she did not exactly see eye-to-eye on the Prime Minister’s vision for grammar schools as a way of helping boost social mobility.

If that is the case then hopefully it means the new education secretary is set to put grammar schools back on the political agenda.

We need a bold vision to drive up standards in education and pave the way for more academically bright children – particularly those from poorer backgrounds – to reach their full potential.

Sadly, that vision has been lacking since the Conservatives were re-elected but I am hoping this new appointment at the top of the education department signals real change.

As recent figures revealed – more and more parents want their children to benefit from a grammar school education.

This has resulted in grammar schools increasing in size; with the boost in pupil numbers being the equivalent of 11 new grammar schools.

Allowing grammar school extensions or even new grammar schools opening (and I would like to see this happen in deprived areas first) would be an opportunity to support what’s actually happening out there.

I also hope the new education secretary will place more resources and finances in primary education. To get education right, you have to get it right from the start.

As chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility, he oversaw a report on social mobility.

Mr Hinds has previously argued that early beginnings and quality of teaching play a huge role in helping children reach their potential and I am in full agreement.

It’s good to see some new blood in the Cabinet and I’m looking forward to seeing what Damian Hinds will set out to do. Very early days but I am cautiously optimistic.

Let’s go back to the education policy that was in the manifesto and implement it. It’s time to stop backing off and be bold in education.