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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)
Angela Rayner (Labour)
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
Shadow Ministers
Steve Reed (Labour (Co-op))
Shadow Minister (Education) (Children and Families)
Mike Kane (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

Latest News (from Department Twitter Feed)

6 Apr 2020, 7:05 p.m.
Parents and carers, @bbcbitesize has lots of free resources to help keep kids entertained while schools are closed 📖 There are free videos, guides, activities, games and quizzes by level and subject, all available here 📚 👉 - Link
6 Apr 2020, 3:15 p.m.
Teachers, parents and carers, some free resources to help you with #homelearning are available from @MathsMastery ➖➕➗👇 - 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
Mar. 02 Oral Questions Oral Answers to Questions
Mar. 02 Topical Questions Topical Questions
Jul. 16 Urgent Questions Relationship Education in Schools
Feb. 12 Written Statements Children’s Social Care
Mar. 12 Westminster Hall Self-defence Training in Schools
Mar. 04 Adjournment Debate Children in the Care System: Sibling Contact
View All Department for Education Commons Contibutions

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 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 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 9 months, 3 weeks 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

Most Recent Publications
Date Title Type
Apr. 03 Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for children's social care services Guidance and Regulation
Apr. 03 Direction issued to the Chief Regulator of Ofqual News and Communications
Apr. 01 Induction for newly qualified teachers (NQTs) Guidance and Regulation
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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
6 Apr 2020, 3:44 p.m. Nurseries: Coronavirus Daniel Zeichner


To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial assistance is being provided to nurseries advised to close due to the covid-19 outbreak; and what assurances he has received from insurers on providing cover to nurseries despite that infection not being a named disease at the time of cover.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

We are working hard to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on all parts of our society, including individuals and businesses.

Whilst individual insurance arrangements are a matter for providers to discuss with their insurers and we are unable to give legal advice on insurance cover, we understand that in many cases, the insurance that early years providers have will not cover them for income lost during COVID-19 related closures. That is one of the reasons why we announced on 17 March that we will continue to pay funding to local authorities for the early years entitlements for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds and that funding would not be clawed back from local authorities when children are unable to attend due to COVID-19.

We expect local authorities to follow the Department for Education’s position and to continue paying all childminders, schools and nurseries, for the early years entitlements – even if providers have suspended delivery of those entitlements due to COVID-19. This protects a significant proportion of early years providers’ income. The government also announced a 12 month business rates holiday for private nurseries and set out a range of wider support for businesses and workers to reduce the impact of COVID-19, which many early years providers will benefit from.

We will be keeping under close review what further support businesses and workers may require.

Guidance on closures of early years settings, including support for workers and businesses, is available here:

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