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The Department for Education has set out its objectives and how it will deliver them.

Post-16 and skills

Lead ministers

The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, Minister or State for Apprenticeships and Skills

Chris Skidmore MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation

Lead officials

Paul Kett Director General, Higher and Further Education

Eileen Milner Chief Executive Officer, Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)


T Levels

Deliver T Levels as a gold standard for technical and professional excellence, ensuring our young people can access a world-class education whichever route they choose (supports SDG 4 and 8)

Apprenticeship Reform

Continue our ground-breaking reforms to apprenticeships, with quality at the core (supports SDG 4 and 8)

Augar Review

Consider the review of post-18 education and funding to make sure that our system is joined up and promotes access and success in all forms of post-18 education - providing real choice, quality and value for money for everyone, as well as delivering the skills our country needs

National Retraining Scheme

Develop a national retraining scheme to drive up adult learning and retraining (supports SDG 4 and 8)

Level 3 and Below Qualifications Review

Launch the review of qualifications at level 3 and below with extensive public consultation, and design and implement a T Level transition offer

Level 4 and 5 Qualifications Review

Scrutinise the quality of technical education at higher levels through a qualifications review, focused on levels 4 and 5 (supports SDG 4)

Improve FE

Improve capacity, quality and resilience of the further education sector

Industrial Strategy

Work with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to support the implementation of the Industrial Strategy, by reforming the skills system to deliver skills demanded by employers, and needed to boost productivity (supports SDG 9)

FE Status and Reputation

Raise the status of our further education teaching profession

Careers Advice

Improve the quality of careers advice and guidance for children, young people and adults so that they are aware of the breadth of opportunities available to them (supports SDG 4)

International Reputation

Boost exports by making the most of our international reputation in the provision of higher education and other areas


Put in place the right conditions for a flourishing education technology sector, supporting innovative ideas in online and offline delivery


Quality apprenticeships starts

We will report to Parliament on the progress of our work with, and commitment to, employers on achieving 3 million high-quality apprenticeship starts.

The department has published new figures today (27 Jun) showing that the proportion of 16-18 year olds in education and apprenticeships has increased to 81.3% - the highest since records began 25 years ago.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said:

“I’m pleased that the proportion of 16-18 year olds in education and apprenticeships has increased to 81.3% - the highest since records began 25 years ago.

“We want more young people to have the opportunity to learn new skills, get the jobs they want and build successful careers. Our new T Levels will offer young people high-quality technical courses on a par with the best in the world.

"Our changes to apprenticeships mean they are now longer, higher-quality and with more off-the-job training”.

Source: Further education and skills: March 2019; release schedule: monthly

Overall effectiveness of further education and skills providers at their most recent inspection

Source: Further education and skills: inspection outcomes; release schedule: annually

Percentage of first degree leavers in work or study 6 months after graduation from English higher education institutions

Graduation yearPercentage of first degree leavers in work or study
2016 to 2017 90%
2015 to 2016 90%
2014 to 2015 89%
2013 to 2014 89%
2012 to 2013 88%

Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency Higher education leavers statistics: UK, 2016 to 2017; release schedule: annually

Corporate transformation

Permanent Secretary

Jonathan Slater

Lead officials

Mike Green Chief Operating Officer, Operations Group

Emran Mian Director General for Strategy and International

Our transformation aims
Be user-centered: we know who our users are and meet their needs
Deliver end-to-end: we design and deliver around our users’ needs
Empower yourself and others: we value teams who take initiative and make improvements
Make evidence-based decisions: we use evidence to make effective decisions

Our transformation aims will help us work together to improve and are underpinned by the 3 Civil Service Leadership Statement values:

  1. Inspiring
  2. Confident, and
  3. Empowering

As well as working together to achieve our transformation aims and live our values, we also need to improve our ways of working and our workplace to be a brilliant department in ‘A Brilliant Civil Service’.

People survey engagement score

YearEngagement score
2018 65%
2017 63%
2016 62%
Source: Civil Service People Survey; release schedule: annually

Percentage of spend that is allocated to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Financial yearPercentage of total spend
2017 to 2018 23.6%
2016 to 2017 32.7%
2015 to 2016 28.3%
Source: Central government spend with SMEs data; release schedule: annually

Greenhouse gas emissions

Change between chart and table

Financial yearPercentage reduction from 2009 to 2010 baseline
2017 to 2018 55%
2016 to 2017 48%
2015 to 2016 51%
Source: Greening Government Commitments annual reports; release schedule: annually


Department for education single departmental plan


[Withdrawn] Department for Education single departmental plan - May 2018


[Withdrawn] Department for Education single departmental plan - December 2017



Our single departmental plan sets out our objectives and how we will achieve them.

Published 14 December 2017
Last updated 27 June 2019 + show all updates

  1. Added single departmental plan for 2019.
  2. Added the May 2018 single departmental plan.
  3. Changes to reflect new ministerial portfolios
  4. First published.

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Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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