Department for Education
|Headquarters||Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, England, United Kingdom|
|Annual budget||£58.2 billion (2015–16)|
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The Department for Education (DFE), also known as the Education Department is the U.K. government department responsible for child protection, education (compulsory, further and higher education), apprenticeships and wider skills in England.
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.
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.
- Committee of the Privy Council on Education, 1839–1899
- Education Department, 1856–1899
- Board of Education, 1899–1944
- Ministry of Education, 1944–1964
- Department of Education and Science, 1964–1992
- Department for Education, 1992–1995
- Department for Education and Employment (DfEE), 1995–2001
- Department for Education and Skills (DfES), 2001–2007
- Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), 2007–2010
The department is led by the Secretary of State for Education. The Permanent Secretary from December 2020 is Susan Acland-Hood. DfE is responsible for education, children's services, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships, and wider skills in England, and equalities. The predecessor department employed the equivalent of 2,695 staff as of April 2008 and as at June 2016, DfE had reduced its workforce to the equivalent of 2,301 staff. In 2015–16, the DfE has a budget of £58.2bn, which includes £53.6bn resource spending and £4.6bn of capital investments.
The Department for Education's ministers are as follows:
|The Rt Hon. Gavin Williamson MP||Secretary of State||Overall responsibility for the department; early years; children’s social care; teacher recruitment and retention; the school curriculum; school improvement; academies and free schools; further education; apprenticeships and skills; higher education.|
|Michelle Donelan MP||Minister of State for Universities||strategy for post-16 education (jointly with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills); universities and higher education reform; higher education student finance (including the Student Loans Company); widening participation in higher education; quality of higher education and the Teaching Excellence Framework; international education strategy including education exports; international students and technology in education (Edtech); Opportunity Areas programme.|
|The Rt Hon. Nick Gibb MP||Minister of State for School Standards||recruitment and retention of teachers and school leaders (including initial teacher training, qualifications and professional development); supporting a high-quality teaching profession and reducing teacher workload; Teaching Regulation Agency; admissions and school transport; school revenue funding, including the national funding formula for schools; curriculum and qualifications (including links with Ofqual); Standards and Testing Agency and primary assessment; school accountability and inspection (including links with Ofsted); support for raising; school standards; school sport; pupil premium; relationships, sex, and health education; and personal, social, health and economic education; behaviour and attendance and exclusions; early education curriculum and teaching quality.|
|Vicky Ford MP||Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families||children’s social care including system and funding, workforce, child protection, children in care, adoption, care leavers and local authority performance; special educational needs, including high needs funding; early years policy and childcare, including funding, providers, workforce, children’s centres, home learning environment and childcare entitlements; alternative provision; disadvantage and social mobility (including links to the Social Mobility Commission); school food including free school meals; children and young people’s mental health, online safety and preventing bullying in schools; policy to protect against serious violence.|
|Gillian Keegan MP||Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills||strategy for post-16 education (jointly with Minister of State for Universities); technical education and skills including T Levels and qualifications review; apprenticeships including traineeships; further education workforce; further education provider market including quality and improvement and further education efficiency; adult education, including the National Retraining Scheme and basic skills; Institutes of Technology and National Colleges; reducing the number of young people who are not in education, employment or training; careers education, information and guidance including the Careers and Enterprise Company.|
|The Rt Hon. The Baroness Berridge||Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System||free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools; academies and multi-academy trusts, including governance; faith schools; independent schools; home education and supplementary schools; intervention in underperforming schools, including trust capacity funds; school capital investment (including pupil place planning, new school places and school condition); counter extremism and integration in schools; safeguarding in schools and post-16 settings; school efficiency; departmental efficiency and commercial|
The management board is made up of:
- Permanent Secretary – Susan Acland-Hood from 1 September 2020
- Director-General, Social Care, Mobility and Disadvantage – Indra Morris
- Director-General, Higher and Further Education Group – Paul Kett
- Director-General, Early Years and Schools – Andrew McCully
- Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Operations Group – Mike Green
- Chief Executive, Education & Skills Funding Agency – Eileen Milner
Non-executive board members:
- Marion Plant OBE; CEO of the Midland Academies Trust and Principal
- Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE; Former Chief Executive of Mitie Group
- Ian Ferguson CBE; businessman
- Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London
- Piccadilly Gate, Manchester
- 2 St Paul's Place, Sheffield
- Bishops Gate House, Darlington
- Cheylesmore House, Coventry
Agencies and public bodies
Education and Skills Funding Agency
The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) was formed on 1 April 2017 following the merger of the Education Funding Agency and the Skills Funding Agency. Previously the Education Funding Agency (EFA) was responsible for distributing funding for state education in England for 3- to 19-year-olds, as well as managing the estates of schools, and colleges and the Skills Funding Agency was responsible for funding skills training for further education in England and running the National Apprenticeship Service and the National Careers Service. 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. The SFA was formed on 1 April 2010, following the closure of the Learning and Skills Council. Eileen Milner is the agency's Chief Executive.
National College for Teaching and Leadership
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. The National College for Teaching and Leadership was replaced by the Department for Education and Teaching Regulation Agency in April 2018.
Standards and Testing Agency
The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) is responsible for developing and delivering all statutory assessments for school pupils in England. 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.
The DfE is also supported by 10 public bodies:
|Non-ministerial departments||Ofqual; Ofsted|
|Executive non-departmental public bodies||Equality and Human Rights Commission; Higher Education Funding Council for England; Office for Fair Access; Office of the Children's Commissioner; Student Loans Company|
|Advisory non-departmental public bodies||School Teachers' Review Body|
|Other||Office of the Schools Adjudicator|
Education, youth and children's policy is devolved elsewhere in the UK. The department's main devolved counterparts are as follows:
National Curriculum 2014
The Department for Education released a new National Curriculum for schools in England for September 2014, which included 'Computing'. Following Michael Gove's speech in 2012, the subject of Information Communication Technology (ICT) has been disapplied and replaced by Computing. With the new curriculum, materials have been written by commercial companies, to support non-specialist teachers, for example, '100 Computing Lessons' by Scholastic. The Computing at Schools organisation has created a 'Network of Teaching Excellence'to support schools with the new curriculum.
Post-16 area reviews
In 2015, the Department announced a major restructuring of the further education sector, through 37 area reviews of post-16 provision. The proposals were criticised by NUS Vice President for Further Education Shakira Martin for not sufficiently taking into account the impact on learners; the Sixth Form Colleges' Association similarly criticised the reviews for not directly including providers of post-16 education other than colleges, such as school and academy sixth forms and independent training providers.
Funding and grants
In 2018, The Department for Education confirmed their commitment to forming positive relationships with the voluntary and community sector.
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- Fiveash, Kelly (19 October 2012), ICO: Education ministry BROKE the Data Protection Act, The Register, retrieved 7 December 2012
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- Skills Funding Agency, Annual Report and Accounts 2010–11, accessed 15 April 2017
- Education and Skills Funding Agency, accessed 4 January 2018
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- "Home". The Executive Office.
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- Alexiadou, Nafsika; Lange, Bettina (January 2013). "Deflecting European Union influence on national education policy-making: the case of the United Kingdom". Journal of European Integration. 35 (1): 37–52. doi:10.1080/07036337.2012.661423.