Michael Gove: My life was transformed by social workers - but standards must improve


Michael Gove will pay tribute today to the social workers who “transformed” his life by placing him with loving adoptive parents when he was a baby.

Describing social work as a noble and inspiring vocation, the Education Secretary will urge the profession to drive up standards and strip out outdated dogma from its approach to vulnerable children. He will also signal plans for an overhaul of social workers’ training.

In a speech on child protection, Mr Gove will draw on his upbringing to argue that all young people should get the same opportunities as he received. He spent four months in care as a child. “As someone who started their life in care, whose life was transformed because of the skill of social workers and the love of parents who were not my biological mother and father but who are, in every sense, my real mum and dad, this is personal,” he will say.

He will also argue that social work requires levels of skill and professionalism as high as for doctors, barristers, teachers and lecturers.