Former ESFA boss to chair Student Loans Company

Former Education and Skills Funding Agency chief executive Peter Lauener has been appointed as chair of the Student Loans Company (SLC).

The civil service veteran will take on the role alongside his other commitment as chair of both NCG ­– one of England’s largest college groups – and the Construction Industry Training Board.

Lauener was previously the interim chief executive of the SLC, a position he held from November 2017 to September 2018 following the sacking of Steve Lamey who was investigated for his leadership conduct.

Lauener will earn £50,000 per year as chair of the SLC’s board, for a time commitment of eight days per month. His three-year term will get underway from 1 April 2020.

Lauener said: “I am delighted to once again support the Student Loans Company. SLC plays a vital role in enabling almost two million students each year to invest in their futures through higher and further education by providing trusted, transparent, and accessible student finance services.

“I am particularly looking forward to reacquainting myself with colleagues from across the organisation, whose dedication to their roles enables SLC to deliver finance services for students, graduates and higher and further education institutions.”

Universities minister Michelle Donelan said: “I am pleased to welcome Peter as the new chair of the Student Loans Company. His knowledge and experience of the sector means he is well placed to lead the organisation as it continues to provide its important services for students and graduates.”

Lauener will take over the role from Andrew Wathey, who has held the position on an interim basis since 1 February 2020.

As well as his other commitments, Lauener is a non-executive director at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust since September 2016. He was chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships for a brief period when it launched in 2017.

Before leading the ESFA, his career included the implementation of the Youth Training Scheme and of adult training when working for the Manpower Services Commission in the 1980s, the setting up of Training and Enterprise Councils in the 1990s.

The SLC is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department for Education and provides higher and further education finances.

The SLC’s appointment of chair is made by the education secretary, Gavin Williamson.