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Who’s responsible in the DfES?

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The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) yesterday set out details of the responsibilities of its new Ministerial team.

Education and Skills Secretary, Estelle Morris has overall responsibility for the Department and its policies and strategy. In particular Ms Morris will have responsibility for finance and public expenditure matters, including local authority finance, economic issues and major appointments.

Minister of State for School Standards, Stephen Timms has responsibility for:

  • Reform of secondary education – including diversity in schools; specialist schools; Beacon Schools; City Academies; implementation of new school structures and independent schools;
  • Area-focused initiatives – including Excellence in Cities; Gifted and Talented Children; Education Action Zones; Learning Support Units and City Learning Centres;
  • School standards – including overall responsibility for raising school standards; Key Stage 3 Strategy; liaison with and responsibility for OFSTED and spreading good practice;
  • School staffing – including the National School Leadership College; teacher and headteacher supply, training and appraisal; the General Teaching Council; use of teacher time; liaison with and responsibility for the Teacher Training Agency; teachers’ pay and conditions and reform of the teaching profession; teacher misconduct; teachers’ pensions and support staff in schools;
  • 14-19 policy overview and links with the reform of the secondary sector – including the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority; overview of 14-19 organisation and curriculum and overview of Qualifications Policy;
  • Local organisation of schools – including overview of 5 to 16 admissions and school organisation policy, school organisation and admissions case work (secondary) and Local Education Authorities including schools’ recurrent funding, intervention, the new code and fair funding; and
  • Early years and childcare issues in the House of Commons.

Minister of State for Lifelong Learning and Higher Education, Margaret Hodge has responsibility for:

  • Higher education – including research and innovation and relations with DTI; Higher Education Funding Council for England; student support and the Student Loans Company and pay in the HE sector;
  • Lifelong learning – including the Learning and Skills Council; overview of lifelong learning; Lifelong Learning Partnerships; raising standards in post-16 learning; the Adult Learning Inspectorate; pay in the FE sector and vocational qualifications;
  • European union and overview of international relations; and
  • Regional and Regeneration policy

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Early Years and School Standards, Baroness Cathy Ashton has responsibility for:

  • School standards in primary schools – including literacy and numeracy strategies in primary schools and Science Year;
  • Early years – including early years education and childcare; daycare services; and departmental interest in Sure Start;
  • Pupils with individual needs – including special educational needs, which also includes post-16 and the work of the National Advisory Group on SEN; the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (formerly section 11) and cross-departmental and cross-Government groups on ethnic minority educational issues, including work with the Home Office;
  • School inclusion, exclusions, truancy and discipline;
  • Capital – including schools capital and schools Public Private Partnerships/PFI; and school transport and related cross-departmental issues;
  • Curriculum and testing – including the National Curriculum; assessment and testing from age 5 to 14; performance tables;
  • Education Business Links and ICT in the curriculum – including development of high quality software for school education; National Grid for Learning; Computers for Teachers; broadcasting including the development of world-class digital content, satellite and home-based learning;
  • School organisation and LEAs – including school organisation and admissions case work (primary); green issues, rural issues and the environment; rural schools, including closures and protection of school playing fields; primary admissions and reorganisations and class sizes;
  • School governance- including the role of and relationship with school governors; and
  • All Education and Skills issues in the House of Lords.

Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Young People and Learning, Ivan Lewis has responsibility for:

  • Education and training of young people;
  • Support for young people (working with the Minister of State for Lifelong Learning and Higher Education) – including the Connexions Service; Connexions Card; Education Maintenance Allowances; Neighbourhood Support Fund; volunteering; departmental interest in the Children and Young People’s Unit and Children’s Fund and study support and Summer Activities Initiative for 16 year olds;
  • 14-19 policy – including organisation and funding of sixth form study; area reviews of 16-19 provision; 14-19 curriculum; qualifications for 14-19 year olds and Foundation Apprenticeships and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships;
  • Young people at risk – including drugs education; youth service support for young people in school education; pupil welfare and school security; family learning and the role of parents in supporting and benefiting from school provision and equality issues in education; and
  • Regulatory reform; raising standards of service; departmental efficiency and effectiveness (including budgetary issues) and public service reform.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Adult Skills, John Healey has responsibility for:

  • Adult skills and lifelong learning – including Adult Basic Skills, further education and training for adults; Adult Community Education; employability and competitiveness – skills agenda; adult information, advice and guidance; National Training Organisations; workforce development including sponsorship of the Performance and Innovation Unit project; relationships with employers, including small and medium enterprises; Union Learning Fund; Union Learning Representatives; FE corporations and governance and departmental interest in Regional Development Agencies;
  • ICT in education and training – including overall strategy on ICT in education and training; Learndirect/UfI; overcoming exclusion in the information age; wired up communities and UK online learning centres; individual learning accounts and funding of adult learning; prison education; Investors in People; TEC transition and links with Department for Work and Pensions;
  • International relations other than European Union business; and
  • Analytical services and internal and external research.



see also:
New DES Minister gets to work on AS level concerns
New Minister at the Department for Education and Skills
DfEE becomes DfES
New appointments within Department for Education and Skills
Estelle Morris appointed Secretary of State


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