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Five big issues Hinds ignored

Workload, recruitment, exclusions and more overall school funding not mentioned in keynote speech

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Workload, recruitment, exclusions and more overall school funding not mentioned in keynote speech

Damian Hinds talked about behaviour, sport and English in his first Conservative Party conference speech as education secretary.

But his speech was as notable for what it did not say as for what it did.

Here are five points he did not address:

  1. Increasing overall school funding. Mr Hinds did not give schools any hope that they would get any significant boost in overall funding, although he announced some relatively small pots of funding for specific areas. However, he told delegates that “we are strong investors in education when you look at us compared to other key comparator nations like the G7”, and highlighted investment in a supply of good places in schools
  2. Teacher recruitment. The government has missed its teacher recruitment targets for a number of years, but although Mr Hinds began his speech by praising the profession, he did not mention any new initiatives to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis
  3. Workload. The education secretary has made teacher workload his number one priority, but did not mention it in his speech.
  4. Exclusions and off-rolling. There is growing concern about rising numbers of school exclusions and worries that some schools are ‘off-rolling’ pupils to improve their league table positions, but this was left unmentioned. The government is currently awaiting the outcome of the Timpson review of exclusions
  5. Oversight of academies. There have been a number of scandals in the academy sector, most recently Bright Tribe, and calls for better oversight, but Mr Hinds did not mention this.


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