Education Committee

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:04 pm on 14th July 2022.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee, Chair, Education Committee 12:04 pm, 14th July 2022

I thank the Opposition spokesman for her question. To be fair, I do not think everything the Government have done is bad: they have done some very good things for vulnerable children, and it is important to mention that. My job as a Select Committee Chair, as well as that of my colleagues, is to provide challenge on some of the things that need to be improved.

My hon. Friend the Member for East Worthing and Shoreham, with his Man from Del Monte suit, made the point that there had been a lot of reviews and reports about this issue, and that we need action. Obviously, there will be a new Prime Minister in the next few weeks, but I very much hope that whoever takes the post of Education Secretary looks seriously at the MacAlister review and adopts many of its important proposals. I also hope that they look seriously at our report on educational outcomes and the educational poverty that too many children in care face, and respond to our recommendations as soon as possible and enact some of them sooner rather than later. We have waited long enough, and children in care need help and support. As I said in my statement, they should be given the chance to climb the educational ladder of opportunity along with everyone else, and it is wrong that we have not even brought them to that ladder to help them climb up.