National educational structures

The Secretary of State for Education

The chief minister of national government with responsibility for national education policy. Appointed by the Prime Minister and a cabinet post.

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES)

The national government department with responsibility for education.

The Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED)

A national government body set up in 1993 which appoints and trains school inspectors, arranges and sets criteria for school inspection processes and produces public reports on individual schools and on the national system more generally.

Her Majesty's Inspectors of schools (HMI)

A small group of professional inspectors of schools now working with OFSTED but with tradition since 1839 of providing independent advice on the education system.

The Teacher Training Agency (TTA)

The national body set up in 1994 to plan, fund and supervise teacher education and to commission research on teaching.

Registered Inspector

An inspector who has qualified to lead a school inspection (not necessarily an HMI).

The General Teaching Council for England (GTCE)

An independent voice for the teaching profession in England . It also registers all teachers in England and maintains professional standards for teaching.

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA)

A government body responsible for the development of the national curriculum in England and the formal assessment of this.