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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 England up to the age of 19, including child protection and education.

Contents

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[1][2][3][4][5][6].

The department is led by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, currently Ed Balls.[7] 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.[8]

Current Ministers

Ministers as of 9 June 2009 are:[9]

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Shadow Secretaries

The Conservative Party's Shadow Secretary of State is Michael Gove MP.[10] The Liberal Democrat spokesman is David Laws MP.[11]

Current Executive Board

Executive Board as of 1 September 2009 are:[12]

  • 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

Locations

One site is in Sheffield, sharing a building with the DWP.

Criticisms

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.[13]

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."[14] Sonia Livingstone advises the DCSF at various times.

References

  1. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7156741.stm
  2. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/schools/education-diary-largest-number-of-schools-opening-for-three-decades-925164.html
  3. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jul/01/ed-balls-schools-state-education
  4. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1023286/Social-workers-said-middle-class-white-adopt.html
  5. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1099598/Parents-warned-hang-baubles-Christmas-tree-leaflet-issued-Ed-Balls-staff.html
  6. ^ http://www.naht.org.uk/welcome/resources/blogs/susan-young/?blogpost=77
  7. ^ Direct.gov.uk press release
  8. ^ DCSF Annual Report
  9. ^ Ministerial Team Number10.gov
  10. ^ House of Commons Information Office (8 September 2009). "Her Majesty's Official Opposition". UK Parliament. http://www.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/government_and_opposition/opp.cfm. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  11. ^ House of Commons Information Office (13 July 2009). "Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet and Parliamentary Team". UK Parliament. http://www.parliament.uk/mpslordsandoffices/government_and_opposition/libdems.cfm. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  12. ^ Current Board
  13. ^ Brooker, Charlie (2008-04-07). "Charlie Brooker on the pseudoscience of Brain Gym". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/apr/07/education. Retrieved 2008-09-01. "All of which sounds like hooey to me. And also to the British Neuroscience Association, the Physiological Society and the charity Sense About Science, who have written to every local education authority in the land to complain about Brain Gym's misrepresentation of, um, reality." 
  14. ^ Ben Goldacre (2006-03-18). "Brain Gym exercises do pupils no favours". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/badscience/story/0,,1733683,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-03. "I've accidentally stumbled upon a vast empire of pseudoscience being peddled in hundreds of state schools up and down the country." 

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