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Structure and functions

The Department of Education NI (DENI) is headed by the Minister of Education, John O'Dowd, whose principal advisor is the Permanent Secretary, Paul Sweeney.

Two Deputy Secretaries, Katrina Godfrey and Fiona Hepper, 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.

The structure of the education system here involves nine non-departmental public bodies, which although operating independently, work closely with the Department of Education and are the ultimate responsibility of the Minister of Education.

These include:

A number of statutory and voluntary groups and organisations work closely with the Department and have an important contribution to make to the administration of education.