Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) was a department of the UK government, between 2007 and 2010, responsible for issues affecting people in
England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continent ...
up to the age of 19, including
child protection Child protection is the safeguarding of children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect. Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child provides for the protection of children in and out of the home. One of the ways to en ...
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed research. Education fr ...
. DCSF was replaced by the
Department for Education The Department for Education (DFE) is the UK government department responsible for child protection, education (compulsory, further and higher education), apprenticeships and wider skills in England. A Department for Education previously existed ...
after the change of government following the 2010 General Election.

History and responsibilities

DCSF was created on 28 June 2007 following the demerger of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). The department was led by
Ed Balls Edward Michael Balls (born 25 February 1967) is a British economist, media personality and former politician who served as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2011 to 2015. A member of the Labour Party and Co-operative Party, he was Member of ...
. The
Permanent Secretary#REDIRECT Permanent secretary#REDIRECT Permanent secretary {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...

Permanent Secretary
was David Bell. Other education functions of the former DCSF were taken over by the
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills , type = Department , logo = Department for Business, Innovation and Skills logo.svg , logo_width = 200px , logo_caption = , picture = File:Лондан. 2014. Жнівень 26.JPG , seal = , seal_width ...
(originally the
Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) was a UK government department created on 28 June 2007 to take over some of the functions of the Department of Education and Skills and of the Department of Trade and Industry. Its head ...
, since merged with
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) was a United Kingdom government department. The department was created on 28 June 2007 on the disbanding of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and was itself disbanded o ...
). DCSF was directly responsible for state schools in England. The Minister of State for Schools and Learning was the minister in charge. The Department employed over 2,500 staff.


In May 2010, DCSF had four main sites: * Castle View House, Runcorn * Moorfoot Building, Sheffield * Mowden Hall,
Darlington Darlington is a large market town in County Durham, Northern England. In 2011 the town had a population of 92,363; its borough’s population was 105,564. Darlington is the administrative town of the unitary authority of the Borough of Darlin ...
* Sanctuary Buildings, London


Brain gym

Charlie Brooker Charlton Brooker (born 3 March 1971) is an English television presenter, author, screenwriter, producer, satirist and social critic. He is the creator and co-showrunner of the sci-fi drama anthology series ''Black Mirror'', and has written for ...

Charlie Brooker
, writing in ''The Guardian'', expressed incredulity that the department was supportive of
Brain Gym Brain Gym is a proprietary brain training and body movement programme. It is widely considered to be pseudoscience. Organization "Brain Gym International" is the trade name of the Educational Kinesiology Foundation, a California nonprofit corp ...
, despite its broad condemnation by scientific organisations, and despite it being apparently nonsense. Upon learning that the programme was used at hundreds of UK state schools, Dr Ben Goldacre of ''The Guardian's'' Bad Science pages called it a "vast empire of pseudoscience" and went on to dissect parts of their teaching materials, refuting, for instance, claims that rubbing the chest would stimulate the carotid arteries, that "processed foods do not contain water", or that liquids other than water "are processed in the body as food, and do not serve the body's water needs."

Child friendly identity and branding

The department adopted a "child friendly" visual identity, known as "Building the Rainbow" shortly after it was established. The main features of the brand identity were a rainbow logo and images of cartoonised children carrying blocks to build the rainbow logo. The lettering on the logo was all in lower case despite being a proper noun. It was reported in ''The Daily Telegraph'' that several thousand pounds were spent on adopting and implementing this visual identity. The Conservatives, then in opposition, nicknamed the department the "Department for Curtains and Soft Furnishings", a nickname often used by the media.

Refurbishment of headquarters building

The Department also came under criticism during the 2010 General Election, after it was revealed that the Department's offices had a refit which included a "contemplation room". Other features include a grand glass and steel staircase and imported Italian designer furniture. The total cost of the refit was estimated to be three million pounds, at a time when the department needed to make two billion pounds of savings.

See also

* Department for Education and Skills (Wales) - Welsh equivalent * Education Directorates - Scottish equivalent * Department of Education (Northern Ireland) - Northern Irish equivalent


External links

Department for Children, Schools and Families Archived Website

Digital Education Resource Archive (DERA)
contains more than 850 digital publications produced by the DCSF. {{DEFAULTSORT:Department For Children, Schools And Families Department for Children, Schools and Families, Defunct departments of the Government of the United Kingdom, Children, Schools and Families Government agencies established in 2007 Government agencies disestablished in 2010 2007 establishments in the United Kingdom 2010 disestablishments in the United Kingdom