About the Department of Education


Three Deputy Secretaries, Lisney Farrell, Lianne Patterson and John Smith, and the Chief Inspector of the Education and Training Inspectorate support the Permanent Secretary. 

In addition to the Education and Training Inspectorate there are eight heads of division who each deal with a specific area of work with each Division organised into a number of Branches and Teams.

Departmental Board

The Departmental Board operates as a collegiate forum, under the leadership of the Permanent Secretary, to manage the running of the Department. It operates within a wider corporate governance framework.

Role and functions

The Department’s primary statutory duty is to promote the education of the people of Northern Ireland and to ensure the effective implementation of education policy. The Department’s main statutory areas of responsibility are 0-4 provision, primary, post-primary and special education and the youth service.

The Department is accountable through its Minister to the Assembly for the effective delivery of its statutory functions and for the effective use of the public funds for which it is responsible. It is supported in delivering its functions by a range of Arm's Length Bodies, each of which is accountable to the Department.

Corporate Plan

DE does not currently have a Corporate Plan in place. However, the DE Business Plan is available at corporate and business planning.

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