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Sir Kevan Collins appointed at DfE as Non-Executive Board Member

The Department for Education (DfE) has appointed a new Non-Executive Board Member (NEBM), Sir Kevan Collins.

Sir Kevan brings a wealth of expert experience to the role, having previously served in government, most recently as Education Recovery Commissioner at the DfE.  

As Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) he examined and analysed evidence on education effectiveness. He also has experience as a classroom teacher and as Director of Children’s Services in Tower Hamlets, demonstrating his deep understanding and expertise of education delivery at a system level. He also has the confidence of key stakeholders across the education sector. 

Non-executive board members are senior figures from outside government, appointed by the Secretary of State, to provide support and challenge to government departments. The DfE’s cohort of NEBMs is made up of individuals from business and other backgrounds, who give appropriate advice on many aspects on the running of the Department. Sir Kevan will sit on the DfE board alongside Ministers and the department’s wider non-executive board. The board provides scrutiny across delivery and performance, supporting and challenging the department.

As part of this role, Sir Kevan will advise on driving high and rising standards – focusing on finding solutions to the biggest barriers to opportunity for children, including teacher shortages and high absence rates.

The government has been clear that the education and care system does not currently meet the needs of all children, particularly those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – with earlier interventions in mainstream schools key for those with less complex needs. 

 To ensure that improving inclusion in mainstream schools is the heart of our plans to improve opportunity for those children with SEND, the Education Secretary has today also confirmed that the Department for Education will restructure so that SEND and Alternative Provision policy will come under the responsibility of the Schools Group.  

Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson, said: 

Our push for high and rising standards across our state schools began on day one, with first steps including recruiting 6,500 new teachers. I have moved quickly to make sure my Department can deliver on our mission to break down the barriers to opportunity so every child has the best start in life. 

Sir Kevan has been an outstanding force for good in schools, especially his work advocating for our teachers and children during the pandemic and he will play a crucial role in advising the department.

Permanent Secretary, Susan Acland-Hood, said: 

We are delighted to welcome Sir Kevan Collins back to the Department. His significant experience in education will be an asset as we work to build on and improve school standards.” 

Sir Kevan Collins said: 

I am delighted to be returning to the Department of Education. 

There are real challenges facing our schools and I am looking forward to being part of a renewed drive to ensure that we tackle these with bold and fresh new ideas, to deliver high and rising standards in every corner of the country.

Sir Kevan’s appointment has been approved by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, in line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments. 

He has begun his three-year term with immediate effect. Sir Kevan’s declaration of interests will be published on gov.uk.

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