Conservative Member of Parliament for Scarborough and Whitby, Robert Goodwill, has been appointed Minister of State for Children and Families at the Department for Education, following the snap General Election earlier this month.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, moved few ministers in the traditional post-election reshuffle but was forced to act when Edward Timpson, who had held office in the Department since 2012, lost his Crewe and Nantwich seat to Labour’s Laura Smith.
Goodwill has previously served in junior ministerial roles at the Home Office and Department for Transport, as a whip, and as a Member of the European Parliament. He is a farmer by trade and holds a degree in Agriculture from Newcastle University.
The new minister will have responsibility for early years, social mobility, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), as well as children's social care. However, School Standards Minister Nick Gibb has assumed responsibility for mental health and bullying, and John (Lord) Nash has taken control of alternative provision.
In a statement on his website, Goodwill said: ‘As a constituency MP, I've already spent a lot of time working with families, working with schools. I understand some of the problems, particularly in some of the more deprived areas. Certainly, my experiences in Scarborough and Whitby will be very useful for me, particularly as Scarborough's going to be one of the 'Opportunity Areas', with more money going in to help with some of the social problems.’
The Minister gave a further comment in the July edition of the DfE SEND newsletter: 'I am delighted to be appointed Minister of State for Children and Families. It is vitally important that all children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities, get a good start in life, have an education experience that allows them to reach their full potential, and lead a productive and fulfilling adult life. I am looking forward to hearing from families about their experiences, and to listening to partners who have expertise in this area. I want to continue to work with them to ensure we have an education system that provides the best possible support to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.”'
Elsewhere in the Department for Education, Justine Greening keeps her role as Secretary of State, and Ann Milton becomes Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, replacing Robert Halfon. Jo Johnson joins Nick Gibb and Lord Nash in keeping his junior role, whilst Caroline Dinenage’s previous role has not been continued as she moves to the Department for Work and Pensions.