Cabinet reshuffle: Education secretary Justine Greening resigns

The education secretary Justine Greening has quit government after being moved from her post in today’s cabinet reshuffle.

She is understood to have made the decision after refusing a transfer over to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Ms Greening hinted afterwards on Twitter that a dispute over social mobility, presumably with Prime Minister Theresa May, was behind her departure.

The MP for Putney, who has taken a close interest in technical education, had served in the role since July 2016, when she was drafted in by newly-appointed PM Theresa May.

News of her departure provoked many supportive messages from senior FE and wider education and political figures, including chief executive of the Association of Colleges David Hughes, and even shadow education secretary Angela Rayner.




Ms Greening has been a leading government voice on how the “gold standard” T-level qualifications should look, and on the need to get more employers actively involved with technical and vocational education reforms.

At the recent Skills Summit in London in December, in which Greening played a leading role, she used her speech to unveil a long-awaited T-levels consultation, and urged businesses and training providers to share views on how they should support the “skills revolution”. 

She also ruled out T-levels at level two and would not budge on mandatory three-month work placements, no matter what emerges from a new public consultation.

She previously announced the first three T-levels in October, the same month she enthusiastically backed the further roll-out of degree apprenticeships at Conservative Party conference.

First elected to parliament in 2005, Greening joined the Conservative front bench as shadow minister for London in 2009.

Following the formation of the coalition government in May 2010, Greening, a former accountant, became economic secretary to the treasury.

She then entered the cabinet in October 2011 as transport secretary, a role she held until September the following year when she became international development secretary.

Greening replaced Nicky Morgan as both education secretary and minister for women and equalities on July 14 2016 after Theresa May won the Conservative Party leadership election and became prime minister.

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