The Department for Education (DFE) is the UK government department responsible for child protection,
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed resea ...
(compulsory, further and higher education), apprenticeships and wider skills in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, 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. En ...
. 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 Work and Pensions, Department for Employment to become the Department for Education and Employment. The current Secretary of State for Education is Gavin Williamson MP. Susan Acland-Hood is serving as the current Permanent Secretary.


The DfE was formed on 12 May 2010 by the incoming Cameron–Clegg coalition, 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 1998, 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. 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.Matt Foster
New Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy swallows up DECC and BIS – full details and reaction
''Civil Service World'' (14 July 2016).

Predecessor bodies

* Committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, Privy Council on Education, 1839–1899 * Education Department, 1856–1899 * Board of Education, 1899–1944 * Ministry of Education (United Kingdom), 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 (United Kingdom), 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 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 * Ruby McGregor-Smith, Baroness McGregor-Smith, Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE; Former Chief Executive of Mitie Group * Ian Ferguson CBE; businessman


, the DfE has five main sites: * Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London * Piccadilly Gate, Manchester * 2 St Paul's Place, Sheffield * Bishopsgate 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.

Teaching Regulation Agency

The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) is responsible for regulation of the teaching profession, including misconduct hearings. Its predecessors include the National College for Teaching and Leadership (to 2018), the Teaching Agency (to 2013) and the Training and Development Agency for Schools (from 1994).

Standards and Testing Agency

The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) is responsible for developing and delivering all statutory assessments for school pupils in Education in England, 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.

Public bodies

The DfE is also supported by 10 public bodies:


Education, youth and children's policy is devolved elsewhere in the United Kingdom, UK. The department's main devolved counterparts are as follows: Scotland *Scottish Government – Scottish Government Learning and Justice Directorates, Learning and Justice Directorates Northern Ireland * Department of Education (Northern Ireland), Department of Education * Executive Office (Northern Ireland), Executive Office (children and young people) Wales * Welsh Government – Department for Education and Skills (Wales), Department for Education and Skills

National Curriculum 2014

The Department for Education released a new National Curriculum for England, 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 Corporation, 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 Further education#United Kingdom, post-16 provision. The proposals were criticised by National Union of Students (United Kingdom), NUS Vice President for Further Education Shakira Martin (NUS), 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 form college, 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. In 2020 the department began funding the National Tutoring Programme which employed private companies to deliver the tuition including at least one which uses children as tutors, paying them £1.57 per hour. Tutors received up to £15 of the between £72 and £84 per hour the government paid the companies.


Further reading


External links

Official department YouTube channel

Official Flickr presence

See also

* Education in England {{DEFAULTSORT:Department For Education Department for Education, Education in England Ministerial departments of the Government of the United Kingdom, Education, England Education ministries Education policy in the United Kingdom Governance of England Public education in the United Kingdom Government agencies established in 2010 2010 establishments in England 2010 establishments in the United Kingdom