DfE finally finds chair for new Skills Reform Board

Rebecca George formerly chaired a T Level reform board and sat on the education secretary's business engagement forum

Rebecca George formerly chaired a T Level reform board and sat on the education secretary's business engagement forum

A former Deloitte partner has been appointed as the first chair of the Department for Education’s Skills Reform Board, ending a wrought-out search for the new board’s leader.

Rebecca George OBE, who led accounting giant Deloitte’s public service practice until May this year, has been appointed chair of the board for a three-year term starting on October 19, 2021.

FE Week previously reported the DfE had to extend the application window for the role from May to June 2021.

This was so they could “ensure that we have the best possible selection of candidates available,” a spokesperson said.

Skills reform chair comes with £400 a day remuneration for expenses

The board, created last March, is made up of civil servants and provides oversight of the delivery of commitments made in the Skills for Jobs white paper, which is currently being put into law by the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill.

It assures the delivery of key aims and advises on decisions which cannot be resolved between civil servants.

Until George was appointed by the education secretary, the board had been chaired on an interim basis by the DfE’s lead non-executive board member, former Co-Operative Group chief executive Richard Pennycook.

The DfE described George’s role as “voluntary, with expenses remuneration of £400 a day for an estimated time commitment of 12 days a year”.

Prior to her 15 years at Deloitte, she spent 20 years at IBM and was previously non-executive chair of the DfE’s T Level Reform Programme Board and was a member of the education secretary’s business engagement forum.

She was made an OBE in 2006 for work she did for the government on sustainable communities.

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