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BIG CHANGES AT EDUCATION DEPARTMENT, ANNOUNCES PATTEN

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Important changes to the organisation of the Department for Education (DFE) were announced today by Education Secre...
Important changes to the organisation of the Department for Education (DFE) were announced today by Education Secretary John Patten.

The changes will affect all the Department's staff, in Darlington and Westminster. A review of the work of the Department was set in train by Mr Patten six months ago.

Today he said: 'The changes in the education world mean that the Department itself needs to be even more flexible and responsive. The management and structural reorganisation I am announcing today will help equip the DFE to continue to deal effectively with those changes.

'We have established several new bodies with responsiblilites for different parts of the education system - the independent Office for Standards in Education, the Higher and Further Education Funding Councils, The School Curriculum and Assessment Authority and the Student Loans Company. Next year will also see the launch of the Funding Agency for Schools.

Subject to Parliament and the passage of the current Bill, these will be followed by a new Teacher Training Agency. 'The Department needs to work alongside all of these bodies to ensure the best possible standards and quality of education for all of our young people and more mature students.'

Mr Patten also today welcomed the appointment of Mr Peter Owen C.B. as Deputy Secretary to replace Mr John Vereker C.B. who is leaving the Department to go on promotion as Permanent Secretary at the Overseas Development Agency. He said Mr Owen's background made him ideal for the important new post in charge of school curriculum and teacher issues.

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