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Department for Children, Schools and Families

Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF; stylised as all lowercase) was a department of the UK government, between 2007 and 2010, responsible for issues affecting people in England up to the age of 19, including child protection and education. DCSF was replaced by the Department for Education after the change of government following the General Election 2010.

Department for Children, Schools and Families
DCSF logo.svg
Department overview
Preceding Department
Superseding agency
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK


History and responsibilitiesEdit

DCSF was created on 28 June 2007 following the demerger of the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).[1][2][3][4]

The department was led by Ed Balls.[5] The Permanent Secretary was David Bell.

Other education functions of the former DCSF 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 was directly responsible for state schools in England.

The Department employed over 2,500 staff.[6]


In May 2010 DCSF had four main sites:


Brain gymEdit

Charlie Brooker, writing in the Guardian, expressed incredulity that the department was supportive of Brain Gym, despite its broad condemnation by scientific organisations, and despite it being apparently nonsense.[8]

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."[9]

Child friendly identity and brandingEdit

The department adopted a "child friendly" visual identity, known as "Building the Rainbow" shortly after it was established. The main features of the brand identity were a rainbow logo and images of cartoonised children carrying blocks to build the rainbow logo.[10] The lettering on the logo was all in lower case despite being a proper noun. It was reported in the Daily Telegraph that several thousand pounds were spent on adopting and implementing this visual identity.[11]

Refurbishment of headquarters buildingEdit

The Department also came under criticism during the 2010 General Election, after it was revealed that the Department's offices had a refit which included a "contemplation room".[12] Other features include a grand glass and steel staircase and imported Italian designer furniture. The total cost of the refit was estimated to be three million pounds, at a time when the department needed to make two billion pounds of savings.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Baker, Mike (24 December 2007). "A year of changes in education". BBC News. Archived from the original on 27 December 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  2. ^ Norman, Jesse (1 July 2009). "Loosening the state's hold on schools". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  3. ^ Levin, Angela (31 May 2008). "Social workers said we were too middle-class and too white to adopt". Daily Mail. London. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012.
  4. ^ Doughty, Steve (22 December 2008). "Parents warned not to 'hang baubles on Christmas tree' in leaflet issued by Ed Balls' staff". Daily Mail. London. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012.
  5. ^ " press release". Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Department for Children, Schools and Families departmental report 2008". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 24 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  7. ^ DCSF Contact Us Webpage Archived 3 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine accessed 7 May 2010
  8. ^ Brooker, Charlie (7 April 2008). "Charlie Brooker on the pseudoscience of Brain Gym". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2008. 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.
  9. ^ Ben Goldacre (18 March 2006). "Brain Gym exercises do pupils no favours". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 3 August 2007. I've accidentally stumbled upon a vast empire of pseudoscience being peddled in hundreds of state schools up and down the country.
  10. ^ a b Shepherd, Jessica (13 May 2010). "Goodbye Department for Curtains and Soft Furnishings". The Guardian. London.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Opulent Ed: Balls refits his office with £3m of luxuries (including massage room)". Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2018.

External linksEdit