The Executive has stressed that responsibility for child care and pre schooling will be Mr McConnell's but the lack of titular emphasis comes as education authorities increasingly reconfigure themselves as "children's services". Ironically Stirling, where Mr McConnell ct his political teeth, has led in this direction.
The Scottish Childminding Association called on the new minister to demonstrate his commitment by appointing a commissioner for children's rights.
Bronwen Cohen, director of Children in Scotland, commented: "I am sure the reasons for the change in title are probably alliterative rather than real." Mr McConnell will be responsible for "the 3Es" - education, Europe and external affairs.