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  1. ITV Report

Should education be treated as a 'special cases' alongside the NHS?

Since becoming Education Secretary in January, Damian Hinds has been on something of a charm offensive.

His first major speech in the role to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) in March was viewed as conciliatory by the teaching establishment: acknowledging the rising stress the profession has long-warned is causing falling recruitment and retention.

"Fear of inspection. Fear of a single set of bad results. Fear of being forcibly turned into an academy – all of this can create stress and anxiety, and that can percolate through the staff."

many were surprised today when the Education Secretary Damian Hinds suggested schools should be a Credit: PA

It's a far cry from Michael Gove's battle of "the blob" - the nickname he have the teaching establishment he accused of attempting to sabotage his vision for education.

Relations between the government and the profession reached breaking point during the Coalition years - his relentless drive to push through the reform led to constant clashes with the teaching unions

When they raised the issue of stress and workload with him at the NAHT in 2013, he showed little sympathy: "I make absolutely no apology for setting standards higher."

Gove's successors have been left to pick up the pieces.

Unions raised the issue of stress and workload. Credit: PA

Justine Greening struck a similarly conciliatory tone, but Mr Hinds has gone further.

He's told ITV News tackling excessive workloads and overwhelming stress is one of his top priorities, and suggested to the Guardian the answer lies in treating schools as "a special case" like the NHS by giving it extra funding.

His comments come as teachers break up for the summer holiday unsure whether they'll return to a pay rise in September, and crucially for schools, who will pay for it.

Unlike his predecessor, Mr Hinds' battle is more likely to be with the Treasury, rather than the teachers.