Damian Hinds becomes education secretary

Damian Hinds becomes education secretary

Damian Hinds has been named as the new education secretary.

Mr Hinds was previously the government’s employment minister, serving in the role since July 2016. Prior to that he was exchequer secretary to the Treasury.

He sat on the parliamentary education committee between 2010 and 2012 and chaired the all-part parliamentary group for social mobility.

Mr Hinds took to Twitter last night to express his joy at being appointed as education secretary, following the departure of Justine Greening.

Mark Dawe, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, spoke enthusiastically about his apointment.

“AELP welcomes Damian Hinds to his new post,” he said.  “The secretary of state arrives in the light of some encouraging news on UK productivity levels but to make any increase sustainable, the government must continue to invest in skills training and technical education. 

“This means reversing an almost two-thirds cut in annual apprenticeship funding to small and medium sized employers which is potentially very damaging to the economy and the industrial strategy, especially when businesses are trying to address post-Brexit skills challenges. 

“We are delighted that the minister brings with him a shared commitment to social mobility where apprenticeships and traineeships play a vital role in transforming the lives of young people across the country and we look forward to working with him.”

Here’s what we know about the new minister:

  1. Born in 1969, Mr Hinds is 48 years old. The average age of an education secretary is 50. (Coincidentally, this is also the exact same age of Justine Greening who just left the position).
  2. According to Wikipedia Hinds was born in London. This makes him the 11th education secretary born in the capital. The last one was Nicky Morgan.
  3. Mr Hinds attended a St Ambrose Grammar School in Altrincham, Cheshire – one of the few parts of the country that still has selective schools. It became an academy in 2012.
  4. A touchy subject of late, but as the role involves children so directly it will be mentioned at times: Mr Hinds has three children. This is unusual for education secretaries as zero is the most common number. However he is not alone: Rab Butler, David Eccles, David Blunkett and Ed Balls also had three children each.
  5. Mr Hinds studied politics, philosophy & economics at Trinity College, Oxford University. Several other education secretaries also studied the subject, including Ed Balls and Ruth Kelly. Hinds is also not the first education secretary to study at Trinity. He is joined by Anthony Crossland, Labour’s education secretary who began the dismantling of the grammar school system, a few years before Hinds was born.
  6. While at Oxford, Hinds was president of the Oxford Union – a former glory he shares with Edward Boyle, Anthony Crosland, Quintin Hogg, and Michael Gove.
  7. According to his LinkedIn profile he worked in hotel management after university before becoming a strategy consultant. This is unique among education secretaries! Wikipedia also states that he did a stint in the Conservative think tank, the Bow Group, during the early 2000s.
  8. His predecessor, Justine Greening, was in role for 546 days. The average is 801 days, if you take single stints in office. If Hinds stays in office for the average number of days he will leave on March 18th 2020.
  9. In the past Hinds has voted in favour of gay marriage (something that tripped up Nicky Morgan) and has always voted for education reforms made by the Conservatives in the past.