Scottish Education Department

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Scottish Education Department

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Scotch Education Department
  • Scottish Office Education Department
  • Scottish Office Education and Industry Department
  • SED
  • SOED

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



The Scottish Education Department (SED) came into being as the body responsible for schooling in Scotland when it was formed from the Church of Scotland's Board of Education for Scotland in 1872.

The Education (Scotland) Act 1872 made education compulsory and took over the running of schools from the Church of Scotland. Burgh as well as parish schools now came under School Boards run by local committees. It was originally called the Scotch Education Department, was a committee of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom, and had its offices in London. In 1885 the department became a responsibility of the new ministerial post of Secretary for Scotland, under whom the Scottish Office was set up in Dover House, Whitehall, London.
In 1918 the department was moved to Edinburgh and the name was changed to the Scottish Education Department, in accordance with Scottish usage. The Secretary for Scotland became the Secretary of State for Scotland in 1926. The department was renamed the Scottish Office Education Department (SOED) in 1991, and the Scottish Office Education and Industry Department (SOEID) in 1995.

With devolution in 1999 the new Scottish Executive set up the Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) to oversee school education whilst the Scottish Executive Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Department – now Enterprise Transport and Lifelong Learning Department (ETLLD) – took over responsibility from the former SED for further and higher education.


London | England
Edinburgh |Scotland

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Education directorate for Scotland

Mandates/sources of authority

The Education (Scotland) Act 1872

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Control area

Authority record identifier


Institution identifier

GB 1847

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Records for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2003); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Kirsty Menzies, Project Archivist, 19 January 2018.


  • English



Education Directorates, Wikipedia [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 January 2018].

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