Marketing has learned that a major restructure is under way in the department, with dozens of staff set to leave the overall communications function in the coming weeks.
Government projections had suggested the DfE would have 110 staff undertaking ‘core communications’ on 1 April, but this will drop to just 48 as a result of the restructure.
The marketing team will be one of the major casualties, but a new social-media team of six is being created, while more resources will go to PR targeting broadcasters.
There will be no redundancies, as affected staff will be transferred either to another area of the DfE or to other government bodies.
DfE director of communications James Frayne, who is overseeing the shake-up, said: ‘Our aim is to create a leaner media operation which focuses on a smaller number of priorities and looks at ways of engaging people in debate.’
In common with most other government departments, the DfE’s marketing activity has decreased since the coalition came to power last May.
The department’s last major multimillion-pound campaign under the Labour government, created by DLKW Lowe, was aimed at promoting condom use among teenagers.
The restructure at the DfE will not affect the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), the government body that oversees teacher rectuitment.
This week the TDA launched a three-month press and video-on-demand campaign to highlight the opportunities offered by the profession.