DfE seeks new £800-a-day director after Paul Marshall stands down

A new lead non-executive director is being sought by the Department for Education (DfE) after academy trust chair Sir Paul Marshall announced his intention to stand down from the role.

The government has posted an advert for Marshall’s successor, who will need experience of senior leadership in “large and complex” organisation and an understanding of how government works, among other qualities in order to get the role, which pays £20,000 for just 24 days’ work a year.

Marshall, who chairs academy chain Ark and think tank the Education Policy Institute, was recently knighted for services to education and philanthropy in the Queen’s birthday honours.

The Marshall Wace Asset Management Ltd founder and high-profile Liberal Democrat donor has served on the department’s board for more than three years, but Schools Week understands that he has decided not to serve another term.

According to the advert, the lead non-executive board member plays “a key role” on the board, supporting Nicky Morgan, education secretary, in her role as chair.

The board’s role is to advise on and monitor delivery of the department’s strategic priorities, and the successful candidate will use their experience to offer “challenge and support on a wide range of management and delivery issues”.

Applicants are also asked to consider if they have experience of risk, performance and financial management, an understanding of the key challenges faced by the public sector, an engaging and collaborative style and sound judgment.

The DfE has also said it would “particularly welcome” applications from people who have experience in children’s services.

Other non-executive board members at the department include Ruby McGregor-Smith, Mitie Group chief executive and Conservative peer, Marion Plant, Midland Academies Trust chief executive and principal of North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, Ian Ferguson, founder of Metaswitch Networks, and David Meller, who set up the Meller Education Trust.

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