Zahawi's responsibilities as children and families minister confirmed

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The responsibilities of the new children and families minister Nadhim Zahawi have now been offically confirmed.

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Children and families minister Nadhim Zahawi

Nearly a month after his appointment as under-secretary of state at the Department for Education (DfE) in the Prime Minister Theresa May’s 2018 reshuffle, Mr Zahawi’s role and responsibilities have been published on the Department’s website.

It follows a tweet by Mr Zahawi, MP for Stratford-upon-Avon, on 9 January in which he appeared to confirm he had responsibility for early years, as well as adoption and fostering.

According to the gov.uk website, Mr Zahawi’s portfolio will cover children’s social care, special educational needs, safeguarding in schools, disadvantaged pupils, school food, early years, childcare policy, delivery of the 30 hours and social mobility.

The majority of his responsibilities match those of the former children and families minister Robert Goodwill, however the role no longer includes responsibility for cadets and military ethos in the education system and there has been the addition of a new responsibility for education policy in response to the race disparity audit (see below).

The DfE also confirmed to Nursery World, as previously stated on their website, that Mr Zahawi’s role as a junior minister is unpaid. This is because of constraints on the number of ministerial salaries that can be paid.

However, the DfE said that being unpaid no way affects the importance of the role or how much leverage Mr Zahawi has as a minister.

Responsibilities

 Nadhim Zahawi's responsibilities as junior children and families minister:

  • children’s social care including child protection, children in care, adoption, care leavers, social work, local authority performance and family law;
  • special educational needs including high needs funding;
  • education policy in response to the race disparity audit;
  • safeguarding in schools;
  • disadvantaged pupils – including pupil premium and pupil premium plus;
  • school sport, healthy pupils and school food, including free school meals;
  • early years policy including inspection, regulation and literacy and numeracy;
  • childcare policy, inspection and regulation;
  • delivery of 30 hours free childcare offer;
  • social mobility including opportunity areas.

The previous holder of the post Robert Goodwill's responsibilities as children and families minister:

  • child protection (including protection from child sexual exploitation and safeguarding), local authority children’s social care and family law;
  • children in care, care leavers and adoption;
  • childcare policy including delivery of the 30 hours free childcare offer, inspection and regulation;
  • early years policy including inspection, regulation and literacy and numeracy;
  • funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities (pupil premium and pupil premium plus);
  • funding and policy on free school meals;
  • special educational needs and disabilities (SEND);
  • school sports and healthy pupils;
  • cadets and military ethos in the education system;
  • improving social mobility in the 12 opportunity areas.
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