- Department of Education (Northern Ireland)
Coordinates: 54°38′24″N 5°40′34″W / 54.640°N 5.676°W
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The Department of Education (DENI) (Irish: An Roinn Oideachais, Ulster Scots: Männystrie o Lear/Depairtment o Leir) is a devolved Northern Ireland government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. The minister with overall responsibility for the department is the Minister of Education.
The department’s overall vision is "to ensure that every learner fulfils her or his potential at each stage of development". Its key stated priorities are: raising Standards for all; closing the performance gap, increasing access and equality; developing the education workforce; improving the "learning environment"; and transforming education management. 
The incumbent Minister is John O'Dowd (Sinn Féin).
The department is responsible for the following levels of education: 
The Department for Employment and Learning is responsible for further and higher education policy in Northern Ireland .
The Department of Education also covers:
- youth policy
- community relations within and between schools
- teacher education and salaries
As an organisation, its key functions include advising the minister on the determination of education policy, framing legislation, accounting for the effectiveness of the education system, allocating, and monitoring and accounting for resources.
Through the Education and Training Inspectorate, it evaluates and reports on the quality of teaching and learning and teacher education.
Administration of the education system is delegated to five sub-regional education and library boards, funded by the department:
- Belfast Education and Library Board
- North Eastern Education and Library Board
- South Eastern Education and Library Board
- Southern Education and Library Board
- Western Education and Library Board
Its main counterpart in the United Kingdom Government is the Department for Education . The main counterpart in the Irish Government is the Department of Education and Skills .
Following a referendum on the Belfast Agreement on 23 May 1998 and the granting of Royal Assent to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 on 19 November 1998, a Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive were established by the United Kingdom government under Prime Minister Tony Blair. The process was known as devolution and was set up to return devolved legislative powers to Northern Ireland. DE (which is usually known by its full title) is one of 11 devolved Northern Ireland departments created in December 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and The Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999.
A devolved minister first took office on 2 December 1999. Devolution was suspended for four periods, during which the department came under the responsibility of direct rule ministers from the Northern Ireland Office:
- between 12 February 2000  and 30 May 2000;
- on 11 August 2001 ;
- on 22 September 2001 ;
- between 15 October 2002 and 8 May 2007.
Since 8 May 2007, devolution has operated without interruption.
Ministers of Education
Minister Party Took office Left office Martin McGuinness Sinn Féin 2 December 1999 11 February 2000 Office suspended Martin McGuinness Sinn Féin 30 May 2000 14 October 2002 Office suspended Caitríona Ruane Sinn Féin 8 May 2007 5 May 2011 John O'Dowd Sinn Féin 16 May 2011
Direct rule ministers
During the periods of suspension, the following ministers of the Northern Ireland Office were responsible for the department:
- George Howarth (2000)
- Jane Kennedy (2002-04)
- Barry Gardiner (2002-04)
- Angela Smith (2005-06)
- Maria Eagle (2006-07)
- ^ North-South Ministerial Council: 2010 Annual Report in Ulster Scots
- ^ Northern Ireland Budget 2011-15, page 48
- ^ http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/work-of-the-executive/ministers-and-their-departments.htm Northern Ireland Executive
- ^ About the Department of Education
- ^ DEL: About the Department
- ^ Department for Education: About the Department
- ^ Department of Education and Skills: Functions]
- ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Commencement) Order 2000
- ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2000
- ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2001
- ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2001
- ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
- ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
- ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2002
- ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2007
- ^ Office suspended for 24 hours on 11 August 2001 and 22 September 2001
Northern Ireland Executive Headquarters: Stormont Castle Heads of governmentJohn O'Dowd (acting) DepartmentsEducationJonathan BellJohn O'Dowd (acting)Not allocated by d'Hondt Website: www.northernireland.gov.uk Education in Northern Ireland AdministrationDepartment of Education (Primary and Secondary education) · Department for Employment and Learning (Higher and Further education)Belfast · North Eastern · South Eastern · Southern · WesternCentral Statutory BodiesCouncil for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment · Education and Skills AuthorityOther Organisations InstitutionsUniversity CollegesFurther Education CollegesBelfast Metropolitan College · Northern Regional College · North West Regional College · Southern Regional College · South Eastern Regional College · South West CollegeSchools See also: Education in the United Kingdom (England · Scotland · Wales) · Education in the Republic of IrelandCategories:
- Education ministries
- Northern Ireland Executive
- Organisations based in Northern Ireland
- Education administration in Northern Ireland
- Ministries established in 1999
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