New education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has signaled that children and their families will be the focus of his new drive to “build back better”.
In his first statement since replacing axed Gavin Williamson today, Zahawi said children have had a “tough time” during the pandemic.
The former children’s minister added: “I’ll be listening to them and their families as we accelerate our work to build back better and fairer.”
Children’s commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza met Zahawi this evening, tweeting that his first words were about his “absolute commitment to looked after children and to deliver for vulnerable children”.
In his statement, Zahawi said education was a “crucial part” of the government’s levelling up agenda, adding it was an “honour” to be back at the Department for Education.
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The MP for Stratford-upon-Avon served as children’s minister from January 2018 to July 2019, and was apprenticeships adviser to Downing Street during the Coalition years.
Zahawi, who fled Iraq to come to the UK when he was nine, added: “From my own experience, I know what a beacon of opportunity this country can be and I want all children, young people and adults to have access to a brilliant education, the right qualifications and opportunities to secure good jobs.
“That’s both vital for them and also our economy and is more important now than ever before.
“I can’t wait to get started, working with the amazing teachers and staff in our nurseries, schools, colleges and universities as well as employers and businesses.”