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Online event

The Department for Education: can it respond to post-pandemic challenges?

Does the Department for Education have the capacity to meet education’s challenges in the post-pandemic world?

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The Department for Education’s Covid response has been widely criticised, with schools closing and reopening with little warning and many pupils adapting to remote learning. And now DfE faces a fresh set of challenges – from ‘levelling up’ educational opportunities to ensuring everyone has a better start in life by improving early education and childcare.

But does DfE have the capacity to meet education’s challenges in the post-pandemic world? How has academisation changed the role of the department? Does it have the capacity to improve the system? And does the department devote enough time to long-term challenges?

On our panel to discuss these questions were:

  • Justine Greening, former Secretary of State for Education
  • Anne Longfield, former Children’s Commissioner for England
  • Jonathan Slater, former Permanent Secretary for the Department for Education
  • Rachel Sylvester, Political columnist at The Times

The event was chaired by Sam Freedman, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Government.


We would like to thank and the Foundation for Education Development (FED) for supporting this event.



Institute for Government

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