The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) was a United Kingdom government department between 2001 and 2007, responsible for the education system (including higher education and adult learning) as well as children's services in England.
The department was led by Secretary of State for Education and Skills.
The DfES had offices at four main locations: London (both at the Sanctuary Buildings and Caxton House), Sheffield (Moorfoot), Darlington (Mowden Hall), and Runcorn (Castle View House). The DfES was also represented in regional Government Offices.
On 28 June 2007, the DfES was split up into the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. The DCSF was later reorganised as the Department for Education in 2010.
In 1992 the responsibility for science was transferred to the Cabinet Office's Office of Public Service and the Department of Trade and Industry's Office of Science and Technology, and the department was renamed Department for Education.
In 1995, in the reshuffle after the Conservative leadership election of that year, the department merged with the Department of Employment to become the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE).
In 2007, the responsibilities for adult education, further education, and higher education were transferred to the new Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. The remainder of the education system moved to the DCSF.
Colour key (for political parties):
|Name||Portrait||Term of office||Political party||Prime Minister|
|Estelle Morris||8 June 2001||24 October 2002
|Charles Clarke||24 October 2002||15 December 2004||Labour|
|Ruth Kelly||15 December 2004||5 May 2006||Labour|
|Alan Johnson||5 May 2006||27 June 2007||Labour|
The permanent secretary of a UK Department is the senior civil servant. While working under the direction of the political ministers (normally members of the relevant government in the UK, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland), the PS (and other senior civil servants, especially the Finance Director) has many traditional and statutory responsibilities that are aimed at ensuring that government departments are, as far as possible, run in the public interest.