DfE’s skills and productivity board chair replaced after a year



The chair of the Department for Education’s skills and productivity board has stepped down a year after being appointed to the role.

Stephen van Rooyen (pictured left), an executive vice president at international broadcaster Sky, has left the position due to “family reasons”, a DfE spokesperson said today.

He has been replaced by Angela Noon (pictured right), the chief financial officer and executive director of industrial manufacturing giant Siemens.

Van Rooyen was appointed to chair the skills and productivity board in September 2020 before six “leading” skills and labour market economists were brought onboard in November.

The team provides independent “expert advice” on how courses and qualifications should align to the skills that employers need post-Covid-19.

Despite meeting six times since its formation, the DfE has failed to publish any board minutes for the board. A DfE spokesperson said today that these would be released in “due course”.

I am excited by the opportunity to take on this role

Education secretary Gavin Williamson did not comment on van Rooyen’s departure but said he was “delighted” to welcome Noon as the board’s new chair.

“Angela’s respected standing within the business community will be of enormous benefit to the board,” he added.

“Her experience as a leader within a large technology company will also be of particular value to the board and its aims to promote stronger productivity growth for the future.”

Noon said: “I am excited by the opportunity to take on this role and to contribute to the board’s work.

“Equipping people with the right skills is a key part of improving people’s lives and increasing productivity to ensure the country is ready for future challenges.”

The other members that make up the board are:

  • Arun Advani – Assistant Professor University of Warwick, Fellow at the Institute of Fiscal Studies
  • Claire Crawford – Reader in Economics University of Birmingham
  • Andrew Dickerson – Professor of Economics University of Sheffield and Director of Sheffield Methods Institute
  • Ewart Keep – Emeritus Professor in Education, Training and Skills Department of Education Oxford University
  • Grace Lordan – Associate Professor at London School of Economics (LSE) and Founding Director of the Inclusion Initiative
  • Ken Mayhew – Emeritus Professor of Education and Economic Performance at Oxford University


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