Department for Education

The Department for Education is responsible for children’s services and education, including early years, schools, higher and further education policy, apprenticeships and wider skills in England.

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Secretary of State

Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP
Secretary of State for Education
Ministers of State
Michelle Donelan MP
Minister of State (Education)
Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP
Minister of State (Education)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Vicky Ford MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Gillian Keegan MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Shadow Ministers
Shadow Secretaries
Carol Monaghan (Scottish National Party)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Education)
Layla Moran (Liberal Democrat)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)
Paul Girvan (Democratic Unionist Party)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education)
Kate Green (Labour)
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
Shadow Ministers
Margaret Greenwood (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Emma Hardy (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Mr Toby Perkins (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Education)
Tulip Siddiq (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Education)

Latest News (from Department Twitter Feed)

4 Jul 2020, 2:35 p.m.
Not all heroes wear capes - there are lots of everyday heroes. @Booktrust has put together a list of books for children that could help them see how they can make a difference too 📚👇 - Link
3 Jul 2020, 7:40 p.m.
See why employers are backing #industryplacements and encouraging you to get involved ready for #TLevels launching in September #TechEd 👇 - Link
View All Department for Education Tweets

Department for Education Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Date Type Title
Jun. 22 Oral Questions Oral Answers to Questions
Jun. 22 Topical Questions Topical Questions
May. 13 Urgent Questions Covid-19: School Reopening
Jul. 01 Written Statements Reform of Early Years Foundation Stage
Mar. 12 Westminster Hall Self-defence Training in Schools
Jun. 18 Adjournment Debate Education Standards: Stoke-on-Trent
View All Department for Education Commons Contibutions

Department for Education has not tabled any Bills during the current Session.

Department for Education - Laid Secondary Legislation

Dates Department Title Type
18 Jun 2020
In Force
9 Jul 2020
Department for Education Education (Pupil Information) (England) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Legislation
Made negative procedure
These Regulations amend Schedule 1 to the Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005 (“Schedule 1”), which requires head teachers of maintained schools to provide an annual report to parents and adult pupils in respect of every registered pupil at the school, in light of changes to pupil attendance and the cancellation of assessments due to the coronavirus pandemic.
17 Jun 2020
In Force
Not stated
Department for Education Industrial Training Levy (Engineering Construction Industry Training Board) Order 2020
Parliamentary Status - Legislation
Draft affirmative procedure
This Order gives effect to levy proposals of the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (“the Board”) which were submitted to the Secretary of State under section 11 of the Industrial Training Act 1982 (c. 10) (“the Act”).
View All Department for Education Secondary Legislation

Petitions addressed by Department for Education

Current Signatures Final Signatures Title Petition Deadline
Petition Closed

School should start at 10am as teenagers are too tired

Gov Responded - 22 Mar 2019 Debated on - 11 Feb 2019
4 Apr 2019
closed 1 year, 3 months ago

Teenagers are so tired due to having to wake up very early to get to school. The Government should require secondary schools to start later, which will lead to increased productivity at school.

Petition Closed

Change the GCSE English Literature exam from closed book to open book.

Gov Responded - 6 Feb 2018 Debated on - 26 Mar 2018
18 Mar 2018
closed 2 years, 3 months ago

Last year, lots of students struggled with GCSE English Literature as it was a closed book exam. Because of this many failed. How can they expect us to remember quotes from 15 poems, plus how to analyse them, plus remembering the whole plot, themes, characters and quotes from another book.

Petition Closed

Give parents the right to opt their child out of Relationship and Sex Education

Gov Responded - 9 Jan 2019 Debated on - 25 Feb 2019
18 Jun 2019
closed 1 year ago

We believe it is the parent’s fundamental right to teach their child RSE topics or to at least decide who teaches them and when and how they are taught. We want the right to opt our children out of RSE when it becomes mandatory in Sept 2020.

View All Department for Education Petitions

Department for Education Select Committee

Department for Education Select Committee Home Page

Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries, and the Select Committee will occasionally publish formal reports of their findings.

Department for Education Publications

Department for Education Written Questions

Written Questions are submitted by Members of Parliament and the House of Lords to receive information or updates from a Department.

Departments are required to respond in a timely fashion and provide a response or requested information. Written Questions can compel detailed and specific information to be produced, and are frequently used as the source of news stories about the work of a Department.

Latest Written Question
Date Title Questioner
3 Jul 2020, 4:09 p.m. Free School Meals Tulip Siddiq


To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children with No Recourse to Public Funds have been in receipt of free school meals since his Department extended provision to that group.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Our latest guidance for schools on free school meals is available here:

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we are temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds. As per our published guidance, the extension is temporarily in place to support families facing difficulties due to the current unique circumstances. These extensions will end when schools have reopened to all children. The guidance is available at:

We do not hold information on the number of children of groups who have no recourse to public funds that have received free school meals since we extended eligibility during this period.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

View All Department for Education Written Question