Top civil servant drafted in to DfE to take charge of exams fiasco

A senior civil servant has been parachuted in to the Department for Education to take charge of the exams fiasco

Susan Acland-Hood has been appointed as second permanent secretary at the DfE for six weeks, temporarily leaving her role as chief executive of the HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

The government said she will work “closely” with permanent secretary Jonathan Slater and “support” the department’s response to this year’s exam results.

The Times reported this week that Slater, who has been perm sec since 2016, faced being ousted because of concern at the department’s performance.

However, a spokesperson said he was not leaving his post and “is focused on the job in hand, delivering the government’s agenda alongside ministers and the wider department.”

Acland-Hood has previously spent two years as director of education funding at the DfE, overseeing the reform of the capital programme.

She’s been at the HM Courts and Tribunals Service, an executive arm of the Ministry of Justice responsible for the administration of criminal, civil and family courts in England and Wales, for four years.

A government spokesperson said today: “To support the department’s response to exam results, Susan Acland-Hood been appointed as Second Permanent Secretary on a temporary basis.

“Susan will work closely with Jonathan Slater to ensure the best possible outcomes for young people up and down the country.

“Our focus now is on making sure every young person returns to the classroom full-time in September.”