New chair of Education Committee for England

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We welcome the new chair of the Westminster Education Committee, Robert Halfon MP, who was elected yesterday.

The Education Committee is the cross-party parliamentary body, independent of Government, that scrutinises the work of the Department for Education. The committee therefore has an important role in holding the Westminster Government to account.

We were really pleased when the committee established its fostering inquiry last year. We provided written and oral evidence to this inquiry but the committee was dissolved ahead of the general election and the inquiry is currently unfinished.

Robert Halfon does not have a previous background in fostering or looked after children, so we will be writing to him to request a meeting to set out what we believe his priorities as chair should be. Not least he must ensure that the fostering inquiry is completed, and that it reports in good time to influence the Government's fostering stocktake for England. In his manifesto for election as chair, he was keen to stress that he wants to pursue social justice and used the analogy of a 'ladder of opportunity'. We hope that this ladder will extend to all those children and young people with experience of foster care.

To find out more about the work of the Education Committee, visit its webpage.