Education Secretary Michael Gove has praised the Scottish social workers who looked after him before he was adopted.

The Edinburgh-born Coalition Government minister said his life had been "transformed" by good social workers, who took him into their care for the first four months of his life after his birth in August 1967 to a young student single mother.

In a speech to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Mr Gove also said the best social workers deserved to be viewed on a par with doctors, barristers and teachers, although he also warned that the training of social workers needs major reform.

"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.

"A child's opportunity to flourish should not be a matter of chance - it should be the mission which guides all our actions.

"I believe we have not been either systematic, radical or determined enough in our efforts to reform the system of child protection in this country. But that is changing."

Mr Gove said many social workers believed their main role was to secure benefits and services for their clients, rather than forcing them to address their problems.

The Tory MP was four months old when he was given up. He was raised by his adoptive parents Ernest and Christine, both now in their 70s, in Aberdeen.