About us

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.

We work to provide children’s services, education and skills training that ensures opportunity is equal for all, no matter background, family circumstances, or need.

At our heart, we are the department for realising potential. We enable children and learners to thrive, by protecting the vulnerable and ensuring the delivery of excellent standards of education, training and care. This helps realise everyone’s potential – and that powers our economy, strengthens society, and increases fairness.


We are responsible for:

  • teaching and learning for children in the early years and in primary schools
  • teaching and learning for young people in secondary schools
  • teaching, learning and training for young people and adults in apprenticeships, traineeships and further education
  • teaching and learning for young people and adults in higher education
  • supporting professionals who work with children, young people and adult learners
  • helping disadvantaged children and young people to achieve more
  • making sure that local services protect and support children

Our priorities

Drive economic growth through improving the skills pipeline, levelling up productivity and supporting people to work (cross-cutting outcome). The supporting departments are Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Level up education standards so that children and young people in every part of the country are prepared with the knowledge, skills, and qualifications they need.

Support the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people through high-quality local services so that no one is left behind (cross-cutting outcome). The supporting departments are DCMS, Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), DWP, Home Office (HO), MHCLG and Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

Provide the best start in life through high-quality early education and childcare to raise standards and help parents to work (cross-cutting outcome). The supporting departments are DWP and His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Read our outcome delivery plan to find out more about our priority outcomes and strategic enablers and how we will achieve them.

Who we are

We are a ministerial department supported by 18 agencies and public bodies and non-ministerial departments.

Our staff are based at our ministerial offices in London and in a number of other locations around England.

We work closely with:

  • national and local agencies who look after children
  • local authorities
  • professionals who work in schools and further and higher education institutions, children’s services and health services

Corporate information

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