Permanent Secretary

Susan Acland-Hood


Susan Acland-Hood has been the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education (DfE) since September 2020.

Susan’s previous roles in government include:

  • Chief Executive at HM Courts and Tribunals Service - 2016 to 2020
  • Director of Enterprise and Growth at HM Treasury - 2015 to 2016
  • Director of Education and Funding at the Department for Education - 2013 to 2015
  • Policy Advisor on home affairs and justice, and then education policy at Number 10
  • Head of Strategy at the Home Office

She has also held senior roles in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and in the Social Exclusion Unit. Her civil service career began in 1999 at the Department for Education and Employment.

Permanent Secretary

The Permanent Secretary leads the day-to-day running of the department and heads the senior leadership teams. They are responsible and accountable to Parliament for the stewardship of the department’s budget and ensuring value for money as the Principal Accounting Officer.

The Permanent secretary is the Chief Policy Adviser to the Secretary of State and the ministerial team. Along with the departmental leadership team they are responsible for:

  • Setting standards within the department
  • Making arrangements for governance, assurance, and risk management
  • Overseeing the department’s performance and assuring the performance of sponsored organisations
  • Approving the department’s business plan, resource accounts, departmental report and major spending

Department for Education

Previous roles in government

  • Chief Executive and Board Member, HM Courts & Tribunals Service
  • HMT Director of Enterprise and Growth