Ministerial role

Minister of State for Children and Families


The minister’s responsibilities include:

  • child protection (including protection from child sexual exploitation and safeguarding), local authority children’s social care and family law
  • children in care, care leavers and adoption
  • childcare policy including delivery of the 30 hours free childcare offer, inspection and regulation
  • early years policy including inspection, regulation and literacy and numeracy
  • funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities (pupil premium and pupil premium plus)
  • funding and policy on free school meals
  • special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • school sports and healthy pupils
  • cadets and military ethos in the education system
  • improving social mobility in the 12 opportunity areas

Current role holder: Robert Goodwill MP

Robert Goodwill was appointed Minister of State at the Department for Education on 12 June 2017. He was elected Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby in 2005.


Robert was educated at the Quaker Bootham School in York, and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture in 1979.

Political career

Robert was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 1999, serving in Brussels and Strasbourg until the 2004 European election. He was Deputy Leader of the Conservative MEPs during his term. He was elected to the House of Commons at the 2005 general election for Scarborough and Whitby.

After spending 18 months as a member of the transport select committee, he was appointed as a government whip in 2006 and promoted to the post of Shadow Roads Minister in the transport team in 2007. He was re-elected at the 2010 general election and appointed to the government as a whip with responsibility for HM Treasury and Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs business.

Robert Goodwill served as Minister of State at the Department for Transport from December 2015 until July 2016. Robert was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport.

Career outside politics

Robert has been a farmer (since 1979) of 250 acres of land near Malton, which has been in his family since 1850. He has been the managing director of Mowthorpe Ltd since 1995, which offers environmentally friendly burials in the North Yorkshire countryside.

Previous holders of this role

  1. Edward Timpson

    • 2015 to 2016
  2. Sarah Teather

    • 2010 to 2012


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  1. Consultation on disadvantaged entitlements under Universal Credit

    • News story
  2. Research partner announced for children’s social care project

    • News story
  3. Healthy eating guidance published for the early years sector

    • News story
  4. Chair of Residential Care Leadership Board appointed

    • News story
  5. Robert Goodwill: speech to Nursery World Business Summit

    • Speech
  6. £20 million improvement programme for children’s social care

    • Press release
  7. Advisor appointed to boost local support for care leavers

    • Press release
  8. Multi-million fund reaches record number of adoptive families

    • Press release
  9. Childcare service opens for parents with children under five

    • News story
  10. Benefits of 30 hours confirmed as free childcare places soar

    • News story