Department for Education

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Department for Education
Department overview
Formed 2010
Preceding Department
Jurisdiction England
Headquarters Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, England, UK
Annual budget £57.6 billion (current)
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 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


The department is led by the Secretary of State for Education, currently Nicky Morgan. 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. Nicky Morgan MP Secretary of State
Minister for Women and Equalities
Overall responsibility
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
Sam Gyimah MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Childcare and Education Early years funding, childcare availability, early years education and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), links to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
Nick Boles MP Minister of State for Skills Apprenticeships; FE and 16-19; Careers, International Education
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 (also Women and Equalities Minister)

Nick Boles works jointly between the department and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.


As of 15 March 2012 the board:[4]

  • 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:[5]


As of 15 March 2012, the DfE has five main sites:[6]

  • Castle View House, Runcorn
  • 2 St Paul's Place, Sheffield
  • Bishops Gate House, Darlington
  • Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London
  • Standards and Testing Agency, Coventry

Executive agencies

Education Funding Agency

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.[7]

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.

Standards and Testing Agency

The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) is responsible for developing and delivering all statutory assessments for school pupils in England.[8] 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.[9]


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

The Department for Education released a new National Curriculum for schools in England for September 2014, which included 'Computing'.[12] Following Michael Gove's speech in 2012,[13] 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[14] has created a 'Network of Teaching Excellence'[15] to support schools with the new curriculum.

Further reading


  1. Fiveash, Kelly (19 October 2012), ICO: Education ministry BROKE the Data Protection Act, The Register, retrieved 7 December 2012<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. DCSF Annual Report
  3. "Our ministers". GOV.UK. Department for Education. Retrieved 12 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. accessed 15/3/2012
  5. Non-Executive Members, DfE Board
  6. accessed 15/3/2012
  7. "The creation of the Education Funding Agency". Department for Education.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Standards and Testing Agency". Department for Education.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "STA Feedback and complaints". Department for Education.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. OFMDFM Children and young people
  11. Welsh Government | Education and skills. Retrieved on 2013-08-13.

External links