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Head warn of reshuffle ‘window dressing’

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There has been speculation about the future of Justine Greening in an expected reshuffle

Head teachers in England say any reshuffle of ministers needs to be more than “window dressing” – and must get to grips with core problems over school funding and staffing shortages.

Jules White, who led a protest by 5,000 schools over funding, says these “massive issues” must be tackled.

It comes alongside speculation over the future of Education Secretary Justine Greening.

A reshuffle of Cabinet ministers is expected later on Monday.

Mr White, a West Sussex head teacher who has co-ordinated letters sent to 2.5 million parents over school funding concerns, says that whoever is education secretary needs to make a priority of teacher supply and funding.

‘Moribund’

But he warns that too often political battles can mean schools policy is sidetracked by “dubious ideological pursuits” or “tinkering around the edges”.

Mr White argues there have been many too small-scale initiatives that “do everything except address the issues that every school and family knows are crucial”.

“Overall teacher supply, adequate funding and social mobility are left in a moribund state,” says Mr White, of the Worth Less? campaign.

There have been reports that Ms Greening’s position as Education Secretary is under threat, as Prime Minister Theresa May begins a reshuffle of ministers.

Although, Number 10 has described the reports as “guesswork”.

School funding became a doorstep issue in the general election, with campaigners warning that schools were having to ask parents for financial contributions.

In the wake of the election, Ms Greening announced that £1.3bn of the education department’s budget would be moved to schools.

She has also pressed ahead with a new funding formula, intended to tackle regional anomalies in funding for individual schools.

The education secretary also faces big decisions over higher education, including the future of tuition fees and university funding.

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