Politics

Senior policy adviser David Thomas leaves the DfE

Oak co-founder and ex-headteacher leaves role advising education secretary Gillian Keegan to run fledgling maths charity

Oak co-founder and ex-headteacher leaves role advising education secretary Gillian Keegan to run fledgling maths charity

David Thomas
Exclusive

A senior policy adviser to the education secretary has left the Department for Education to run a fledgling maths charity founded by a finance billionaire.

Thomas, a former headteacher who co-founded the Oak National Academy online learning platform during the Covid pandemic, was a senior policy adviser to five education secretaries since his appointment in October 2021.

He filled a vacancy left by long-serving civil servant Chris Paterson, who left the department after seven years to join the Education Endowment Foundation.

Thomas initially worked at the DfE part-time on recovery, academies and remote education policy while keeping his role as a regional director at the Astrea Academies Trust, but went full-time last August.

However, he departed last week to become the chief executive of Mathematics Education for Social Mobility and Excellence (MESME).

A DfE spokesperson said: “We are grateful for the expertise David has brought to the department since he joined in late 2021 and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.  

“Recruitment is underway and we will announce the successful candidate in due course.”

Charity runs enrichment programme for pupils

MESME is a recently-registered charity which runs a “new and exciting nationwide enrichment programme for high-attaining secondary school students: MESME Maths Circles”.

The charity aims to help double the number of PhD students in the mathematical sciences at a UK university by 2035. It was founded by Alex Gerko, a Russian-born financial trader who was named as the UK’s largest tax payer this year – contributing an estimated near £500 million.

Its website states that it is “committed that this increase must include a representative proportion, at the minimum, of students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who went to school in the UK”.

Thomas was previously a strategy director at Inspiration Trust and a principal at its Jane Austen College for three years.

He taught for four years at Westminster Academy up to August 2015, and while there he had a brief spell as a stragegy adviser at the DfE.

While at the department he helped design the new assessment system to replace national curriculum levels, his LinkedIn profile states.

Thomas also worked for two-and-a-half years as an engagement manager at management consultants Mckinsey and Company from 2015.

The former maths teacher completed his PGCE with Teach First at the Institute of Education.

Thomas’s appointment to a maths charity comes as prime minister Rishi Sunak is working up plans to make all pupils study some form of maths until they are 18.

Latest education roles from

Procurement Officer

Procurement Officer

RNN Group

Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment

Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment

Barnet and Southgate College

Professional Practice (TLA) Lead

Professional Practice (TLA) Lead

RNN Group

Health & Care Coordinator

Health & Care Coordinator

MidKent College

HR Assistant

HR Assistant

MidKent College

Principal, Cedar Mount Academy Bright Futures Educational Trust

Principal, Cedar Mount Academy Bright Futures Educational Trust

Satis Education

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

Navigating NPQ Funding Cuts: Discover Leader Apprenticeships with NPQs

Recent cuts to NPQ funding, as reported by Schools Week, mean 14,000 schools previously eligible for scholarships now face...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

How do you tackle the MIS dilemma?

With good planning, attention to detail, and clear communication, switching MIS can be a smooth and straightforward process, but...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, schools and colleges can be confident that learners...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspiring Education Leaders for 10 Years

The 10th Inspiring Leadership Conference is to be held on 13 and 14 June 2024 at the ICC in...

SWAdvertorial

More from this theme

Politics

King’s Speech 2024: What’s in it for schools?

Labour government will introduce a raft of schools policies through its 'children's wellbeing bill'

Freddie Whittaker
Politics

Eight things we learned from first Phillipson sector address

The new education secretary talked Ofsted, her curriculum review, behaviour and support staff in a webinar for school workers

Freddie Whittaker
Politics

No teacher pay decision this week, says Phillipson

New education secretary says funding allocations for 2025-26 delayed too

Freddie Whittaker
Politics

Ex-schools minister to advise firm with several DfE contracts

Nick Gibb gets consultancy gig to help Education Development Trust 'export' their work abroad

Samantha Booth

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *