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The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) is a department of the UK government responsible for issues affecting people in Englandmarker up to the age of 19, including child protection and education.

History and Responsibilities

The DCSF was created on 28 June 2007 following the demerger of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). Unable to remember the new name, many have used mnemonics such as Department for Curtains and Soft Furnishings to serve as a memory aid.

The department is led by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, currently Ed Balls. The Permanent Secretary is David Bell.

Other education functions of the former DfES were taken over by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (originally the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, since merged with Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform).

DCSF is directly responsible for state schools in England.

The Department employed the equivalent of 2,695 staff as of April 2008 and plans to reduce to 2,620 by the end of April 2009.

Current Ministers

Ministers as of 9 June 2009 are:

Shadow Secretaries

The Conservative Party's Shadow Secretary of State is Michael Gove MP. The Liberal Democrat spokesman is David Laws MP.

Current Executive Board

Executive Board as of 1 September 2009 are:

  • Permanent Secretary - David Bell
  • Director-General for Children and Families - Tom Jeffery
  • Director-General for Schools - Jon Coles
  • Director-General for Young People - Lesley Longstone
  • Director-General for Corporate Services - Sue Higgins
  • Director of Communications - Lee Bailey


Charlie Brooker, writing in the Guardian, has expressed incredulity that the Department for Children, Schools and Families is supportive of Brain Gym, despite its broad condemnation by scientific organisations, and despite it being apparently nonsense.

Upon learning that the programme was used at hundreds of UK state schools, Dr Ben Goldacre of The Guardian's Bad Science pages called it a "vast empire of pseudoscience" and went on to dissect parts of their teaching materials, refuting, for instance, claims that rubbing the chest would stimulate the carotid arteries, that "processed foods do not contain water", or that liquids other than water "are processed in the body as food, and do not serve the body's water needs."


  7. press release
  8. DCSF Annual Report
  9. Ministerial Team
  10. Current Board

External links

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