Department for Education

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Department for Education
Department for Education.svg
Department overview
Formed 2010
Preceding Department
Jurisdiction England
Headquarters Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, England, UK
Annual budget £58.2 billion (2015-16)[citation needed]
Minister responsible
Department executive
  • Jonathan Slater, Permanent Secretary
Child agencies
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The Department for Education (DfE) is a department of Her Majesty's Government responsible for child protection, education (compulsory, further and higher education), apprenticeships and wider skills in England. The DfE is also responsible for women and equalities policy.

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]

In July 2016, the Department took over responsibilities for higher and further education and for apprenticeship from the dissolved Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.[2]

Predecessor bodies[edit]


The department is led by the Secretary of State for Education. The Permanent Secretary is Jonathan Slater. 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.[3] 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:[4]

Rt. Hon Justine Greening MP Secretary of State
Overall responsibility
Rt. Hon Robert Halfon Minister of State Apprenticeships; FE and 16-19; Careers, International Education
Jo Johnson Minister of State Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation (joint minister with Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Edward Timpson MP Minister of State for Children and Families Childcare, early learning and development, families, health issues, child poverty, school food and healthy schools, special educational needs and disabled children, young carers
Nick Gibb MP Minister of State for Schools Schools
Lord Nash Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (unpaid) Academies, Free Schools, UTCs, Studio Schools, independent schools; School organisation; Education Funding Agency
Caroline Dinenage MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities


As of 2 August 2016 the management board:[5]

  • Permanent Secretary - Jonathan Slater
  • Director-General, Children’s Services, Equalities and Communications - Paul Kissack
  • Director-General, Education Standards - Juliet Chua
  • Director-General, Infrastructure and Funding - Andrew McCully
  • Director-General, Strategy and Resources Directorate - Richard Calvert
  • Chief Executive, EFA and SFA - Peter Lauener

Non-executive board members:[6]


As of 2 August 2016, the DfE has five main sites:[7]

  • Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London
  • Piccadilly Gate, Manchester
  • 2 St Paul's Place, Sheffield
  • Bishops Gate House, Darlington
  • Earlsdon Park, Coventry

The DfE is due to vacate Sanctuary Buildings in September 2017, relocating staff to the Old Admiralty Building [8]

Agencies and Public Bodies[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.

Skills Funding Agency[edit]

The Skills Funding Agency is responsible for funding skills training for further education in England, as well as running the National Apprenticeship Service and the National Careers Service. The SFA was formed on 1 April 2010, following the closure of the Learning and Skills Council.[10] It shares a Chief Executive, Peter Lauener, [11] and Chief Financial Officer [12] with the Education Funding Agency.

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.[13] 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.[14]

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 Government Equalities Office; 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:


Northern Ireland


National Curriculum 2014[edit]

The Department for Education released a new National Curriculum for schools in England for September 2014, which included 'Computing'.[17] Following Michael Gove's speech in 2012,[18] 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[19] has created a 'Network of Teaching Excellence'[20] to support schools with the new curriculum.

Further reading[edit]


External links[edit]