Department for Education

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Department for Education
Department for Education.svg
Department overview
Formed 2010
Preceding Department Department for Children, Schools and Families
Jurisdiction England
Headquarters London, England, UK
Annual budget £57.6 billion (current)
Minister responsible Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education
Department executive Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary
Child agencies Education Funding Agency
National College for Teaching and Leadership
Standards and Testing Agency
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
This article is part of a series on the
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The Department for Education (DfE) is a department of the UK government responsible for issues affecting people in England up to the age of 19, including child protection and education.

A Department for Education previously existed between 1992, when the Department of Education and Science was renamed, and 1995 when it was merged with the Department for Employment to become the Department for Education and Employment.


The DfE was formed on 12 May 2010 by the incoming Cameron Ministry, taking on the responsibilities and resources of the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

In June 2012 the Department for Education committed a breach of the UK's Data Protection Act due to a security flaw on its website which made email addresses, passwords and comments of people responding to consultation documents available for download.[1]

Predecessor bodies[edit]


The department is led by the Secretary of State, currently Michael Gove. The Permanent Secretary is Chris Wormald. DfE is directly responsible for state schools in England. The predecessor department employed the equivalent of 2,695 staff as of April 2008 and planned to reduce to 2,620 by the end of April 2009.[2]


The Department for Education's Ministers are as follows: [3]

Minister Rank Portfolio
The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP Secretary of State Overall responsibility
The Rt Hon David Laws MP Minister of State for Schools [4] Pupil Premium, raising attainment, narrowing the gap; Teachers; School improvement, accountability, inspection; Funding; Admissions; Raising the participation age, and financial support for young people; Teaching Agency, National College; Child Poverty and Social Mobility Strategy; OFSTED
Edward Timpson MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children & Families Adoption, fostering and residential care home reform; Child protection; Special educational needs; Family law and justice; Children’s and young people’s services; School sport; CAFCASS; Office of Children’s Commissioner for England
Matthew Hancock MP Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise Apprenticeships; FE and 16-19; Careers
Elizabeth Truss MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education & Childcare Childcare and early learning; Assessment, qualifications, and curriculum reform; Behaviour, attendance; School food review; Reducing bureaucracy; Standards and Testing Agency; OFQUAL
Lord Nash Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools Academies, Free Schools, UTCs, Studio Schools, independent schools; School organisation; Education Funding Agency
Key Conservative
Liberal Democrat

Matthew Hancock works jointly between the department and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.[5] David Laws works jointly between the department and the Cabinet Office.


As of 15 March 2012 the board:[6]

  • Permanent Secretary - Chris Wormald
  • Director-General for Children, Young People and Families - Tom Jeffery
  • Acting Director-General Education Standards - Stephen Meek
  • Acting Director-General for Infrastructure and Funding - Andrew McCully
  • Director Finance and Commercial Group - Simon Judge
  • Private Office - Hilary Spencer
  • Legal Adviser's Office - Claire Johnston

Non-executive board members:[7]


As of 15 March 2012, the DfE has five main sites:[8]

  • Castle View House, Runcorn
  • 2 St Paul's Place, Sheffield
  • Mowden Hall, Darlington
  • Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, Greater London, SW1P 3BT
  • Standards and Testing Agency, Coventry

Executive agencies[edit]

Education Funding Agency[edit]

The Education Funding Agency (EFA) is responsible for distributing funding for state education in England for 3-19 year olds, as well as managing the estates of schools and colleges. The EFA was formed on 1 April 2012 by bringing together the functions of two non-departmental public bodies, the Young People's Learning Agency and Partnerships for Schools.[9]

National College for Teaching and Leadership[edit]

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is responsible for administering the training of new and existing teachers in England, as well as the regulation of the teaching profession and offers headteachers, school leaders and senior children's services leaders opportunities for professional development. It was established on 1 April 2013, when the Teaching Agency (which replaced the Training and Development Agency for Schools and parts of the General Teaching Council for England) merged with the National College for School Leadership.

Standards and Testing Agency[edit]

The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) is responsible for developing and delivering all statutory assessments for school pupils in England.[10] It was formed on 1 October 2011 and took over the functions of the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency. The STA is regulated by the examinations regulator, Ofqual.[11]


Education, youth and children's policy is devolved elsewhere in the UK. The department's main devolved counterparts are as follows:


Northern Ireland


National Curriculum 2014[edit]

The Department for Education released a new National Curriculum for schools in England and Wales, which included 'Computing'[14]. Following Michael Gove's speech in 2012 [15], the subject of Information Communication Technology (ICT) is replaced by Computing. Supporting the new curriculum, materials have been written by commercial companies, to enable non-specialist teachers, for example, '100 Computing Lessons' by Scholastic.


External links[edit]