Cabinet reshuffle: Why Justine Greening’s departure could be good news for faith schools

Jan 10, 2018 by

by Harry Farley, Christian Today:

Justine Greening’s departure as education secretary and Damian Hinds’ appointment could represent a significant shift for faith schools in the UK, particularly Catholic schools.

Greening clashed repeatedly with religious groups, telling the Church of England it should ‘keep up with modern attitudes’ by allowing gay marriage and introducing plans for sex and relationships education that one former bishop described as ‘unnecessary and coercive’.

But in her role as education secretary, Greening was particularly at odds with Catholic bishops in the UK over her personal objection to removing the cap on new faith schools’ admissions.

While it was her ‘patronising’ tone that irritated the Prime Minister, according to briefings in the weekend’s papers, Greening’s own ideological objection to both faith schools and grammar schools – two key aspects to Theresa May’s education agenda – meant her tenure was always going to be short-lived.

Despite a manifesto commitment to remove the 50 per cent cap on free schools admitting pupils on the basis of religion, Christian Today reported last year that under Greening officials were ‘laying the groundwork for a U-turn’.

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