Cabinet reshuffle

Zahawi: I’ll put children and families at centre of ‘building back better’

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.”

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  1. Dear Mr Zahawi

    Maybe you could start by outlining exactly how you intend to listen to children and families.
    Maybe you could take the time to read Professor Luke Clements research that was recently published outlining the parental blame culture that is rife at the moment in education health and social care. This affects many families leaving some on child protection which is completely unacceptable and traumatic.
    Maybe you could take a look at the investigation into social care that has recently taken place and take on board what has been said.
    Maybe you can look at making LAs properly accountable for their actions.
    Maybe you could contact the people on the ground who are living this nightmare every day and not the ‘professionals ‘ who tick box all the answers to provide a good outline to services.
    Maybe you could contact independent parent/carer support groups to have an honest, transparent understanding of how families are battling the system at every juncture
    If you truly intend listen to families and children then please do it with honesty, transparency, and in a true co productive manner, accepting that we are experts by experience………..oh and please don’t just listen and do nothing. Come back to the country and give us outcomes….true outcomes, with acknowlements and a plan going forward of what you truly intend to do……making yourself accountable if you don’t achieve your targets.
    Maybe you could think of all of this before you decide on your next steps.
    Talk with us, not to us
    Co produce not consult
    Take action not tick box
    Thank you