The chief accounting officer of the Department for Education and Skills is the Permanent Secretary, David Bell.
Mr. Bell has a Master of Arts and a Master of Education (Glasgow), and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (Jordanhill College of Education).
He began his career in teaching where he became a primary head teacher in Essex. He has also held the posts of Director of Education at Newcastle city council and chief executive of Bedfordshire county council, before being appointed Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools by Her Majesty in Privy Council. He became chief inspector in 2002. David took up his current post on 1 January 2006.
The role of accounting officer is one that the Permanent Secretary combines with his personal responsibility for the overall organisation, management and staffing of the Department and for Department-wide procedures in financial and other matters.
The accounting officer is assisted in the discharge of these duties by suitably qualified and experienced senior managers, such as the Director General of Finance.