Inevitably, whilst Parliament is in session MPs have to spend most weekdays at Westminster leaving Fridays and weekends for work in the constituency visiting residents, schools, businesses, hospitals and a variety of local organisations and interests. Tim’s time is split between the House of Commons and the Department for Education in Great Smith Street.
With Tim busier than ever now with his job as Minister for Children & Families he is keen to use constituency days to visit as many as people and organisations as possible whilst constituents are always welcome to come and visit the Houses of Parliament either to lobby MPs or join a tour of the Palace, usually in an organised group. Local schools are particularly welcome to visit and there is a special House of Commons Education unit which tailors special programmes for visiting school parties, usually in the Autumn term.
See this link for information on the UK Parliament's education website
As an ordinary Member of Parliament and as a Minister Tim has essentially three roles in Parliament:
- To take up issues and problems on behalf of constituents and make sure the people of East Worthing & Shoreham are getting a fair deal
- To participate in debates, deal with Parliamentary business, sit on committees scrutinizing legislation, handle questions and generally help make Parliament ‘tick.’
- As a Coalition Government Minister to put forward and explain Government policies
Much of Tim's time is therefore spent in meetings at Westminster away from the cameras and the chamber itself. The often unseen work in Committee where literally every line of a Bill will be scrutinised is one of the most important jobs of a Member of Parliament and must take priority. In addition Tim is often travelling around the country visiting children’s organisations and locations relevant to his brief or speaking at conferences. As Parliamentary Under Secretary for Children & Families in the Department for Education Tim’s immediate brief includes:
- Children’s Services inspection and intervention (inc. Ofsted)
- Children’s Trusts
- Safeguarding, inc. Vetting and Barring Scheme
- Social Work Taskforce and social work reform
- Children’s workforce
- ICS and eCAF (Common Assessment Framework) and lead professional
- Families with multiple problems
- CAFCASS and family law
- Children in care, fostering and adoption (inc. runaways)
- Domestic violence
- National Citizen Service (inc. Youth Community Action)
- Youth services
- Youth crime
- Dept efficiencies
For more information on Tim’s role within the Department for Education see the Departmental website at: www.education.gov.uk
Every word which is spoken in Parliament is recorded by Hansard. Records of debates since 1993 are available on the Parliamentary website www.parliament.uk and speeches from debates are usually available on the web by noon of the following working day.