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)

26 Oct 2020, 8:35 p.m.
Today is the start of National Care Leavers Week 2020. The government launched the first Care Leavers Ministerial Board Meeting in July and is continuing the Civil Service Care Leavers Internship Scheme, which received over 700 applicants for paid roles in government #NCLW2020 - Link
26 Oct 2020, 6:12 p.m.
During #BlackHistoryMonth, we celebrate the lives of black people who have shaped our history. Tony O'Connor is thought to have been the UK's first black headteacher. #OurHistoryOurHeroes - 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
Oct. 12 Oral Questions Oral Answers to Questions
May. 13 Urgent Questions Covid-19: School Reopening
Oct. 21 Westminster Hall Schools in Kent: Covid-19
Oct. 20 Adjournment Debate Remote Education: Self-isolating Pupils
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
1 Oct 2020
In Force
Not stated
Department for Education Education (Exemption from School and Further Education Institutions Inspections) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Draft affirmative procedure
These Regulations revoke the Education (Exemption from School Inspection) (England) Regulations 2012 (S.I. 2012/1293), with the effect that any school within scope of those Regulations ceases to be an exempt school. An “exempt school” is a school which may not be subject to routine inspections under section 5(1)(a) of the Education Act 2005 (c. 18).
28 Sep 2020
In Force
Not stated
Department for Education Higher Education (Fee Limits and Student Support) (England) (Coronavirus) (Revocation) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Draft affirmative procedure
These Regulations revoke the Higher Education (Fee Limits and Student Support) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/853).
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, 6 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, 7 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

Review the decision to use previous data to calculate exam grades

Gov Responded - 4 Sep 2020 Debated on - 12 Oct 2020
27 Sep 2020
closed 4 weeks, 1 day ago

We want the Education Secretary and the Government to step in and review the exam board’s decision on how GCSE and A-Level grades will be calculated and awarded due to the current coronavirus crisis. We want a better solution than just using our previous data to be the basis of our grade.

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
Oct. 26 North East talent awarded prizes for education contributions News and Communications
Oct. 26 Protections for working parents eligible for childcare support News and Communications
Oct. 26 Example lessons for remote teaching Guidance and Regulation
View All 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
26 Oct 2020, 5:07 p.m. Daisy Cooper (Liberal Democrat - St Albans) Daisy Cooper (Liberal Democrat - St Albans)

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the feasibility of safely reopening outdoor activity centres during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by Nick Gibb - Minister of State (Education)

The Department’s educational visits advice is in line with guidance from Public Health England, the Cabinet Office and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and will be reviewed again in November 2020. It can be viewed here:

The Department continues to work with representatives of the tour industry, devolved administrations, trade unions and other government departments as it works towards the November review.

View All Department for Education Written Question