Mary Bousted

Grammars are a welcome distraction for Justine

The education secretary's to-do list is long and complicated. Luckily, she's got a way of shifting attention away from it

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Justine Greening has been secretary of state for education just long enough to know what the key problems are that the government must address. Unfortunately for her, the “to do” list is long.

School leaders across the country despair when they hear Nick Gibb, the school standards minister, intone that teacher recruitment is a challenge. “No,” they cry, “it’s a crisis!”

The recorded rate of vacancies and temporarily filled positions in state schools doubled between 2011 and 2014, according to the National Audit Office – and this figure is unlikely to fully reflect the recruitment difficulties ...

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