Damian Hinds: 9 facts about the new education secretary

Damian Hinds is the new education secretary, having replaced Justine Greening earlier tonight after her unexpected resignation from the government. Here’s what we know about him…

  1. Born in 1969, Damian 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. 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: Damian 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. 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.