Five things the general election 2017 result means for schools in Norfolk and Suffolk

Education secretary Justine Greening.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Education secretary Justine Greening. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

After the fall-out of the general election, education correspondent Lauren Cope looks at what it means for schools.

What will the general election result mean for schools? Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

What will the general election result mean for schools? Photo: Dave Thompson/PA Wire - Credit: PA

1. Grammar schools may be out

Theresa May's contentious grammar school plans, first announced last September, are likely to be shelved.

Though the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is pro-grammar - with much of Northern Ireland education selective - the weakened Conservative party will struggle to push forward with the proposal, which has been opposed by Tory backbenchers as well as Labour MPs.

Nick Timothy, the prime minister's joint chief of staff, was also said to be a driver of the grammar schools policy. His resignation on Saturday will come as another blow to the plans.


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2. A new top bod

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Education secretary Justine Greening managed to keep her seat in Putney, south London, with a very reduced majority of 1,554, down from more than 10,000 in 2015.

But there's been speculation that she could be reshuffled into a different role when the prime minister reconsiders her cabinet.

Though no-one has been confirmed, South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss - a former junior education minister - has been tipped as possible replacement.

3. The demise of the national funding formula

School funding, and the lack thereof, was put firmly on the agenda during election campaigning.

Parent groups and union campaigns made politicians listen - and education quickly became a key battleground.

But a minority government is likely to see any major plans for school funding shelved - including the proposed national funding formula.

No party holds a strong enough position to, for the time being, see it completed, while more pressing issues, such as Brexit, will inevitably come first.

Though its finer points were criticised, the principle of a formula was welcomed - and scrapping it will leave thousands of traditionally under-funded schools in the dark.

4. It could be good news for international students

The DUP is keen to avoid a hard border with Ireland and is therefore more likely to lean towards a soft Brexit.

It means guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens is more likely and jeopardising the UK's intake of international students is less so.

5. More confusion

With the matter of a cabinet reshuffle, deals with the DUP and Brexit negotiations in little over a week, anything non-business critical is likely to slip down the agenda.

The path of policy is likely to remain murky, and the future, both short and long-term, unclear.

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