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Who is Justine Greening?

Of all the announcements about the cabinet reshuffle on Thursday, one of the most significant was the removal of Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and the appointment of Justine Greening.

Justine Greening pic

So, who is the new education secretary and what does she stand for?  We have summed up her background, political career and values to give you a better idea of who will be calling the shots in education.


Justine Greening is the first education secretary to have attended a comprehensive school.  She is perceived as “breaking the mould” of education secretary, as unlike her predecessors Michael Gove and Nicky Morgan, she did not attend Oxford.

Greening studied economics at the University of Southampton and worked as an accountant before being appointed as MP for Putney in 2005.

Political career

Greening won the seat for Putney in 2005 with a 42% majority and was, at the time, the youngest MP in the House of Commons.  During the 2009 expenses scandal, Greening was ranked as the 9th best value for money MP.

She was appointed Transport Secretary in 2011 and International Development Secretary the following year.  Greening was listed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK in 2011.


Greening is a champion for gender equality and girls’ education, and recently staged a Girls’ Education Forum to help the world’s poorest and most marginalised girls to get a quality education.

She is the first openly gay education secretary and announced she was in a “happy same-sex relationship” on London’s Pride Day earlier this year.  During the EU Referendum, Greening campaigned for the UK to remain a part of the European Union.


The new education secretary will, for the first time, be responsible for further and higher education.  In her first meeting at the DfE, Greening outlined her commitment to the equality agenda set out by Prime Minister Theresa May, and said that she wanted her department to be “the best in Westminster”

Greening spoke warmly about the teachers who had made a difference in her life and said that she was committed to tackling inequality in education.

It is not yet clear whether Greening plans to implement the Educational Excellence Everywhere white paper, which was released earlier this year by former education secretary Nicky Morgan.

The leader of the NUT called for Greening to tackle issues around recruitment and workload, whilst education spokesman John Pugh said Greening should “put a stop to damaging proposals to scrap Qualified Teacher Status and parent governors, as well as plans to vastly increase numbers of academies”.

The leader of the NAHT, Russell Hobby, called for Greening to end the “chaos and confusion” of this year’s primary SAT’s tests.

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