Damian Hinds has replaced Justine Greening as education secretary in Theresa May's Cabinet reshuffle.
A former grammar school pupil, he spent 18 years working in the pubs, brewing and hotel industries, in Britain and abroad, before entering politics.
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As well as being a former member of the Commons Education Select Committee, he once chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility – a key issue for both the prime minister, and his immediate predecessor, Justine Greening.
In 2014, he called for the government to lift the faith cap that has prevented the Catholic church from opening free schools. As education secretary, he will now be responsible for the government's response to his predecessor's consultation on lifting this cap.
Delighted to be appointed Education Secretary – looking forward to working with the great teachers & lecturers in our schools, colleges & universities giving people the opportunities to make the most of their lives— Damian Hinds (@DamianHinds) January 8, 2018
Here is what you need to know about the minister now in charge at the Department for Education:
- He attended St Ambrose Grammar School, Altrincham
- He studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University
- According to his government biography, he “spent 18 years working in the pubs, brewing and hotel industries, in Britain and abroad”
- He has been Conservative MP for East Hampshire since 2010
- He sat on the Commons Education Select Committee from July 2010 to November 2012
- He is a former chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility
- He moves to the Department for Education from the Department for Work and Pensions, where he was a minister of state. He was previously a Treasury minister, and an assistant whip
In 2012, the All-Party Parliamentary Group he chaired published a report: Seven Key Truths about Social Mobility.
It argued that the point of greatest leverage for social mobility is what happens between the ages of 0 and 3, mainly at home, but “you can also break the cycle through education”.
It said the most important controllable factor was the quality of teaching, and described the policy challenge as “focus first on quality of teachers and teaching”.
It also stressed the importance of leveling the playing field for out-of-school opportunities.