'Justine Greening faces huge challenges as new education secretary', says union boss

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Written by Mary Isokariari on 15 July 2016 in News
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The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), have spoken about the challenges Justine Greening will face in her new role as education secretary.

She will be responsible for schools, colleges and universities and become the minister for women and equalities. Credit:PA

Greening, who went to school in a Rotherham, was previously secretary of state for international development.

She replaces Nicky Morgan, said she was "looking forward to getting on with the job" when she arrived at the Department for Education.

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Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: "We welcome Justine Greening's appointment. It is good to have an education secretary who has been educated at a comprehensive school."

"Ms Greening faces huge challenges in her new role in Government. A teacher recruitment and retention crisis threatens to derail the Government's drive to raise educational standards. Botched qualification reform threatens to do damage to the teaching profession, to pupils and to the confidence that important stakeholders, such as employers, have in the education system.​

"Nicky Morgan failed to acknowledge the scale and severity of these problems. Ms Greening must demonstrate that she has a firmer grasp of her Departmental tiller and that she has a keen eye for the detailed implementation of education policy announcements.

"Ms Greening's interest in vocational qualifications should be of great benefit as vocational training and apprenticeships are incorporated into the DfE's remit. This makes good sense as does the uniting of higher and further education, with compulsory education.

"We wish Ms Greening every success in her new, highly challenging role. ATL will seek to work with her to improve the educational standards and life chances of all children, young people and adults, all of whom should have access to life-long learning if the UK is to meet the skills challenge which has become even more acute post Brexit." 

Greening studied economics at Southampton University and before entering the House of Commons in 2005 had worked as an accountant.

As well as being responsible for schools, colleges and universities, she becomes the minister for women and equalities.

She will inherit a higher education bill, which could raise tuition fees in England, with a second reading due next week.

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