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

Gavin Williamson
Secretary of State for Education

Ministers of State
Michelle Donelan - Minister of State (Education)
Nick Gibb - Minister of State (Education)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Vicky Ford - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Gillian Keegan - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
Baroness Berridge - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)

Latest News (from Department Twitter Feed)

13 Apr 2021, 6:13 p.m.
All remaining university and higher education students will be able to return to campus and resume in-person learning from Monday 17 May at the earliest, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap for leaving lockdown. - Link
9 Apr 2021, 11:23 a.m.
Some absolute classics in here 🎹🎵 - 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
Mar. 01 Oral Questions Oral Answers to Questions
Apr. 15 Urgent Questions University Students: Compensation for Lost Teaching and Rent
Apr. 13 Written Statements Higher Education
Apr. 15 Westminster Hall Adult Skills and Lifelong Learning
Jan. 18 Adjournment Debate Covid-19: Schools
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
8 Apr 2021
In Force
30 Apr 2021
Department for Education National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure (Designated Institution in Further Education and Revocations) Order 2021
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
This Order designates the institution of the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure for the purposes of section 28 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 (“the Act”). This designation is made in the context of the merger of an existing further education college into the group structure of the University of Birmingham, with the designated institution being a subsidiary of the University. This designation takes effect on 30th April 2021 and designates the institution as an institution within the further education sector as defined in section 91(3) of the Act.
31 Mar 2021
In Force
1 Sep 2021
Department for Education Early Years Foundation Stage (Miscellaneous Amendments) and Childcare Fees (Amendment) Regulations 2021
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
These Regulations amend the Early Years Foundation Stage (Learning and Development Requirements) Order 2007 (S.I. 2007/1772, “the 2007 Order”), the Childcare (Fees) Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/1804) and the Early Years Foundation Stage (Welfare Requirements) Regulations 2012 (S.I. 2012/938, “the 2012 Regulations”).
View All Department for Education Secondary Legislation

Petitions addressed by Department for Education

Current Signatures Final Signatures Title Petition Deadline
c. 2,734 added daily

Prioritise teachers, school and childcare staff for Covid-19 vaccination

Sign this petition Gov Responded - 23 Feb 2021 Debated on - 11 Jan 2021
20 Apr 2021
closes in 2 days, 7 hours

Advice from the JCVI on the priority groups for a Covid-19 vaccine does not include school/childcare workers. This petition calls for these workers, who cannot distance or use PPE, to be kept safe at work by being put on the vaccine priority list when such a list is adopted into government policy.

Petition Closed

Reimburse all students of this year’s fees due to strikes and COVID-19

Gov Responded - 5 Jun 2020 Debated on - 16 Nov 2020
23 Sep 2020
closed 6 months, 3 weeks ago

All students should be reimbursed of this years tuition fees as universities are now online only due to COVID-19, with only powerpoints online for learning materials which is not worthy of up to £9,250. Furthermore, all assessments are being reconsidered to ‘make do’ and build up credits.

Petition Closed

Require universities to partially refund tuition fees for 20/21 due to Covid-19

Gov Responded - 24 Sep 2020 Debated on - 16 Nov 2020
29 Jan 2021
closed 2 months, 2 weeks ago

The quality of online lectures is not equal to face-to-face lectures. Students should not have to pay full tuition fees for online lectures, without experiencing university life. The Government should require UK universities to partially refund tuition fees while online teaching is implemented.

View All Department for Education Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Education Committee

Commons 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.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.

11 Members of the Education Committee
Robert Halfon Portrait
Robert Halfon (Conservative - Harlow)
Education Committee Member since 27 Jan 2020
Apsana Begum Portrait
Apsana Begum (Labour - Poplar and Limehouse)
Education Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Jonathan Gullis Portrait
Jonathan Gullis (Conservative - Stoke-on-Trent North)
Education Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Tom Hunt Portrait
Tom Hunt (Conservative - Ipswich)
Education Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Caroline Johnson Portrait
Caroline Johnson (Conservative - Sleaford and North Hykeham)
Education Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
David Johnston Portrait
David Johnston (Conservative - Wantage)
Education Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Ian Mearns Portrait
Ian Mearns (Labour - Gateshead)
Education Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
David Simmonds Portrait
David Simmonds (Conservative - Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner)
Education Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Christian Wakeford Portrait
Christian Wakeford (Conservative - Bury South)
Education Committee Member since 2 Mar 2020
Kim Johnson Portrait
Kim Johnson (Labour - Liverpool, Riverside)
Education Committee Member since 11 May 2020
Fleur Anderson Portrait
Fleur Anderson (Labour - Putney)
Education Committee Member since 21 Sep 2020
Education Committee: Upcoming Events
Education Committee - Oral evidence
<i>At 10.00am: Oral evidence</i><br/>Dame Sally Coates DBE<br/>Rod Clark - former Chief Executive Officer, Prisoners’ Education Trust and panel member at Coates Review<br/>Peter Stanford - Director, Longford Trust, and panel member at Coates Review<br/>
20 Apr 2021, 9:30 a.m.
Prison Education
View calendar

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
16 Apr 2021, midnight Further Education and Vocational Education: Assessments Toby Perkins (Labour - Chesterfield)

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to integrate increased levels of modular assessment in Further and Technical Education at (a) Level 3 and (b) lower levels.

Answered by Gillian Keegan - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)

The department is reviewing post-16 qualifications at level 3 and below to ensure that every qualification approved for public funding has a distinct purpose, is high quality, and supports progression to positive outcomes.

Our second stage consultation on level 3 advanced technical qualifications ( closed on 31 January 2021, and our call for evidence ( on level 2 and below qualifications closed on 14 February 2021.

In the level 3 consultation, we proposed that assessing a student’s competence at the end of a course (summative assessment) becomes a key feature of technical education.

Summative assessment allows modular delivery of content but gives greater assurance that competence is achieved by assessing knowledge, skills, and behaviours once all learning has been completed. We are considering the circumstances under which it would appropriate for qualifications to diverge from this model.

We are carefully reviewing the responses to the level 3 consultation and plan to publish the government response later in the spring. We are developing proposals for consultation on level 2 and below and are considering which design principles might best meet students’ needs.

View All Department for Education Written Question