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Justine Greening: Ten of her hits and misses as education secretary

Grammar schools, funding and primary assessment among the biggest issues Greening faced

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Grammar schools, funding and primary assessment among the biggest issues Greening faced

Justine Greening may only have been education secretary for 18 months, but her legacy includes some changes that are likely to last for years to come.

Some of her actions that won favour from the schools sector simultaneously displeased 10 Downing Street and some in her own party. This helps explain her departure from the Department for Education.


Here are some of Ms Greening’s hits and misses:


  • Introduced the national funding formula for schools, which helps even out funding for similar schools in different parts of the country.
  • Secured £1.3 billion of new money for schools, although it was only for a two-year period and did not involve any new money from the Treasury.
  • Built a more constructive relationship with the teaching profession.
  • A pragmatic, detail-orientated approach to policy that contrasted to the more ideological approach of Michal Gove, including detailed work on the national funding formula, primary assessment, social mobility and qualified teaching status.
  • Major reforms to primary school assessment, which were broadly welcomed by the profession following a chaotic first summer of the new Sats.
  • Opposition to grammar school expansion. In public, Ms Greening backed Theresa May’s plan to create new grammar school expansion, but her private weariness was well known. In this, she was in line with the vast majority of the schools sector, and the policy was ultimately scuppered by the general election result.


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