The Education Funding Agency’s top boss has been announced as the shadow chief executive of a new independent body to oversee apprenticeships – meaning he will now split his time between three jobs.
Peter Lauener has been appointed shadow chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) with immediate effect, it was announced today.
It means Lauener will spend two days a week working in the new role – leaving three days for his duties at the EFA and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), where he is also the chief executive.
The new appointment could prove contentious, particularly after the EFA – responsible for handing out government cash to schools – recently came under fire as part of a scathing National Audit Office report into Department for Education finances.
The spending watchdog highlighted specific issues within the EFA, including how it handles academy trust accounts and capital school projects.
But Jonathan Slater, the DfE’s permanent secretary, said: “I am delighted to announce that Peter Lauener has been appointed as Shadow Chief Executive for the newly formed IfA.
“He will be able to apply his deep knowledge of skills and apprenticeships, as well as his senior experience as chief executive, to great effect in establishing the IfA in the run up to its go live date in April next year.”
Schools Week has previously revealed how Lauener’s EFA workload has been lessened slightly.
The department has struggled to find free school sites in and around London, resulting in many schools’ opening being delayed. But the EFA is outsourcing its responsibilities for finding and purchasing new school sites to a private firm called LocatED.
The company will be owned wholly by the DfE and classified as a departmental public body.
The government believes the new firm will bring “greater negotiating power” and help secure sites at “best value for the taxpayer”.
In his new role, Lauener will work closely with Antony Jenkins, the shadow chair for the institute, and will be supported by Michael Keoghan, currently director of further education at the DfE.
He will stay on as chief executive of the IfA until 2017, when a permanent chief will be appointment.
The body will act as the ultimate decision maker on approving apprenticeship standards and assessment plans.