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)
Shadow Ministers
Shadow Secretaries
Carol Monaghan (Scottish National Party)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Education)
Layla Moran (Liberal Democrat)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)
Lord Watson of Invergowrie (Labour)
Shadow Spokesperson (Education)
Paul Girvan (Democratic Unionist Party)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education)
Kate Green (Labour)
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
Lord Bassam of Brighton (Labour)
Shadow Spokesperson (Further & Higher Education)
Ben Lake (Plaid Cymru)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Education)
Lord Storey (Liberal Democrat)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (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 Aug 2020, 1:14 p.m.
Today our blog answers common questions about the return to school in September - Link
3 Aug 2020, 8:45 p.m.
If students need advice on next steps on #resultsday2020 they can contact the @NationalCareers Exam Results Helpline (opens 12 August) to speak to a professionally qualified careers adviser. - 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
May. 13 Urgent Questions Covid-19: School Reopening
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
3 Aug 2020
In Force
Not stated
Department for Education Education (Pupil Registration) (England) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status
Made negative procedure
Explanatory text not available
10 Jul 2020
In Force
31 Jul 2020
Department for Education Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
These Regulations amend the Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) Regulations 2016 (“the 2016 Regulations”) which set out detailed requirements that a person must satisfy in order to receive free childcare for children of working parents in England pursuant to the Childcare Act 2016 (c.5) (the “2016 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, 4 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, 4 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, 1 month 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
4 Aug 2020, 12:04 p.m. Equal Pay Lord Taylor of Warwick


To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the research from University College London, published on 20 July, which suggests that teenage boys have more ambitious aims regarding higher education which contributes towards the gender pay gap.

Answer (Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay)

The government is committed to transforming the lives of children and young people so that they can go as far as their hard work and talent will take them, regardless of their background or where they live. Nowhere is this more important than in how our young people are educated and prepared for a successful future. This is why the government has set out an ambitious agenda and made record investments in opportunities for all young people in this country.

The government wants to ensure that all post-16 students can make an informed choice between high-quality options that support progression, whatever their attainment or aspirations. This includes access to higher education so that university places are available to those who are qualified by ability and attainment to pursue them and who wish to do so, alongside other high-quality options such as further education and apprenticeships. Through the Careers Strategy, we have laid out foundations which aim to develop children’s ambitions. Careers guidance is vital in helping to develop talent and opportunities so that people have the skills that we need and that employers require.

In 2017, we introduced regulations requiring large employers to publish the differences in average salaries and bonuses for men and women. The national gender pay gap is at a record low of 17.3% - down from 17.8% in 2018. The full-time gender gap is at a near record low of 8.9%.

We continue to encourage employers to take action to provide equal opportunities for men and women in the workplace but also recognise that employers are facing unprecedented uncertainty and pressure due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

View All Department for Education Written Question