Education minister Margaret Hodge has been appointed to the
newly created post of minister for children in the latest
government reshuffle, writes Lauren
Still based within the Department for Education and Skills under
the direction of education secretary Charles Clarke, Hodge will
take over responsibility for children’s social services from
the Department of Health and lead the implementation of the reform
agenda to be set out in the forthcoming Children at Risk Green
Hodge’s responsibilities will include:
- Sure Start, early years, child care, Connexions, special
education needs, and the Youth Service
- The Children and Young People’s Unit
- Children’s social services
- The Teenage Pregnancy Unit
- Responsibilities for family and parenting law and support
(transferred from the Lord Chancellor’s Department)
- The Family Policy Unit (transferred from the Home Office)
A government statement said the integration of children’s
policy into the DfES would create “a single departmental
focus for children”.
The move follows calls from Victoria Climbie Inquiry chairperson
Lord Herbert Laming for a ministerial children and families board
at the heart of government and for improved co-ordination.
Hodge, who moves from the post of minister for lifelong
learning, further and higher education, has previously had
responsibility for child care and nursery education at the DfES and
has a long history in local government politics.
Her appointment follows the news that former leader of the
House, John Reid, has been appointed as health secretary after Alan
Milburn’s shock resignation yesterday morning.