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)
Baroness Berridge - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)

Latest News (from Department Twitter Feed)

18 Sep 2020, 11:42 a.m.
For more information on what happens in the event of a pupil showing coronavirus symptoms at school, read our blog (5/5) - Link
18 Sep 2020, 11:42 a.m.
Schools must only send home those people who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, and advise them to self-isolate for 14 days. (4/5) - Link
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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
Sep. 07 Oral Questions Oral Answers to Questions
May. 13 Urgent Questions Covid-19: School Reopening
Mar. 12 Westminster Hall Self-defence Training in Schools
Sep. 08 Adjournment Debate History Curriculum: Black History
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
10 Sep 2020
In Force
1 Oct 2020
Department for Education Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
These Regulations amend the Education (Information About Individual Pupils) (England) Regulations 2013 (“the 2013 Regulations”), which prescribe various pieces of information about individual pupils that the proprietors of certain schools are required to provide, on request, to the Secretary of State or other prescribed persons.
10 Sep 2020
In Force
Not stated
Department for Education Apprenticeships (Alternative English Completion Conditions and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Draft affirmative procedure
These Regulations amend the Apprenticeships (Alternative English Completion Conditions) Regulations 2012 (“the 2012 Regulations”) and the Apprenticeships (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2017 (“the 2017 Regulations”). These Regulations are made in response to the anticipated impact of the coronavirus on the employment of apprentices in England.
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, 5 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, 6 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, 3 months 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
17 Sep 2020, 5:52 p.m. Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes Mrs Sharon Hodgson


To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer on 20 July 2020 to Question 74468 on Free School Meals: Voucher Schemes, what the source of funding was for Edenred's delivery of the School Food Voucher scheme.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

The government has taken unprecedented and substantial action to ensure that children do not go hungry as we take measures to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, including in relation to free school meals.

In the first instance, we asked schools to support eligible pupils at home by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. For circumstances where this was not possible, we also established a national voucher scheme to support schools and families while schools were closed to most pupils.

The cost of the vouchers issued to parents under the national voucher scheme and the COVID-19 Summer Food Fund were met by Her Majesty’s Treasury.

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