The Education and Skills Funding Agency’s director of apprenticeships, Keith Smith, is leaving the role later this month.

He will move to the Department for Education as its new director of post-16 strategy.

Smith will be replaced by Peter Mucklow, who is currently the ESFA’s director of further education.

Eileen Milner, chief executive of the ESFA, said Smith will “lead on strategic issues across post-16 provision to deliver the secretary of state’s priorities” and will be working alongside Gillian Hillier, DfE director of careers and further education.

FE Week understands one of his main duties will be responsibility for preparing a new FE bill that this newspaper revealed was in the works in January.

Smith is a civil service veteran with over 20 years’ experience in the education and skills sector.

From 2012 to 2018 he was the ESFA’s director of funding, leading on the apprenticeship funding reforms and the introduction of the levy.

He was then named director of apprenticeships, leading on policy and implementation of the whole system.

Mucklow has over 25 years’ experience working in the education and skills system and is currently responsible for oversight of FE providers.

Milner said she will shortly appoint someone to cover this role and added: “I wish Keith and Peter all the very best as they step into their new roles.”


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