Michael Gove has said "absurd" secrecy rules in care homes helps "gangs intent on exploiting these vulnerable children".
The Education Secretary's comments came as an in-depth report into England's children homes revealed councils spent an average of £4,000 a week to place a child in accommodation.
Many children were sent far away from their local area, which Mr Gove described as "indefensible".
The report, which is due to be published in full today, was written in the wake of the Rochdale grooming scandal and found that 30% of homes fell below the basic standard set by the Government.
More top news
A shot of a chameleon using its tongue to grab dinner has snatched a top photography award.
One story dominates Thursday's front pages with some newspapers printing emotive pleas to voters to keep the United Kingdom as one.
After a mild start temperatures should pick up, with the south of England seeing highs of 26C.