News story

Department for Education confirms a number of public appointments

New and extended appointments were made to the School Teachers’ Review Body, QCDA, National College and Partnerships for Schools.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Education Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed a number of public appointments.

  • Dr Patricia Rice has been appointed as a member of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) for 3 years
  • Professor Ben Levin has been reappointed to the governing council of the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services (National College) until 31 March 2012
  • Mike Beasley’s appointment as Deputy Chair of the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) board has been extended to 31 March 2012.
  • Christine Davies and Brian Rigby have had their appointents as board members of Partnerships for Schools (PfS) extended for a further 12 months

Dr Patricia Rice is an academic economist and is currently the Deputy Head of Economics at the University of Oxford. She is also Strategy Officer and Senior Research Fellow in the Economics department at the university. Previously, Dr Rice was Senior Lecturer and Head of Economics at the University of Southampton. She has also taught at the universities of Sussex and British Columbia.

Professor Ben Levin is the Research Chair in Education Leadership and Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada. He has served as Deputy Minister (chief civil servant) for Education for the Province of Ontario from 2004 to 2007 and again in 2008 tp 2009. He has published many books and articles on education, conducted many research studies, and has spoken and consulted on education issues around the world.

Mike Beasley CBE has been Deputy Chair of the QCDA since November 2008. He is also chairman of MIRA, an International Engineering and Test company, a non-Executive Director of Magal Engineering and Chairman of the West Midlands Skills Partnership. Previously, he was Managing Director of Jaguar until June 2003 and has been Chairman of the West Midlands Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the West Midlands Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and a member of the National Employment Panel.

Christine Davies was first appointed as a PfS board member in May 2005 and was reappointed in 2008 for a further 3 years until 30 April 2011. The 12-month extension to her current appointment will mean she will remain in post until 30 April 2012. Christine is a non-executive director of the PfS board and sits on the Remuneration Committee. She was previously Director of Children’s Services at Telford and Wrekin Council and in 2005 received a CBE for services to education.

Brian Rigby was first appointed as a PfS board member in May 2005 and was reappointed in 2008 for a further 3 years until 30 April 2011. The 12-month extension to his current appointment will mean he will remain in post until 30 April 2012. Brian is a non-executive director of the board and sits on the Audit and Remuneration Committees. He was previously Deputy Chief Executive for the Office of Government Commerce and a Director at BT. Brian was awarded a CBE in 2004 for his services to the public sector.

Notes for Editors

The appointments and the extensions were agreed in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) and were made on merit; political activity played no part in the decision-making process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations and the code of practice, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared), and other information, to be made public.


Term of office and length of appointment

Political activity declared


Other public appointments

Dr Patricia Rice


First term for 3 years




£300 per day approx 20 days per year.


Mr Mike



Extension to second term by one year




Dr Ben Levin

Second term for one year


£300 per day approx 10 days per year


Christine Davies


Four years (current, extended term)


7 years in total



£10,000 per year, based on 2-3 days per month


Brian Rigby


4 years (current, extended term)


7 years in total



Yes. Chairman of the Shipton-under-Wychwood branch of the West Oxfordshire Conservative Association since 2005.


£10,000 per year, based on 2-3 days per month





  • STRB considers aspects of teachers’ pay and conditions for just under half a million teachers and school leaders in England and Wales. STRB was established under the terms of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Act 1991 (as replaced by the Education Act 2002). It is a statutory independent advisory body. Its function is to consider matters referred to it by the Secretary of State for Education in relation to the remuneration, professional duties or working time of school teachers and to report to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State.

  • QCDA was set up to advise ministers on the curriculum, develop and deliver national curriculum assessments, develop qualifications and to support schools and colleges in their delivery of examinations. Following the Secretary of State’s announcement on 27 May 2010, the Education Bill currently before Parliament provides for the abolition of the QCDA. Subject to the will of Parliament, the QCDA is expected to close by March 2012. Its remit has been reduced in the run up to closure with only essential functions continuing until they can be transferred to the Department or to the new executive agency, the Standards and Testing Agency.

  • National College is currently a company limited by guarantee and an executive Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB). The National College’s aim is to provide a driving force for excellence in school leadership, through training and development opportunities; and through disseminating good practice. As part of the government’s arms length body reform programme the status of the National College will be changed to that of an executive agency of the Department for Education focusing on school leadership.

  • Partnerships for Schools delivers capital investment in schools for the government. Its responsibilities cover all secondary schools, primary schools and new free schools. Its future role in capital procurement and delivery, along with that of central government and local authorities, is within scope of the Capital Review. The Review has been published and ministers will be responding shortly.

DfE enquiries

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Published 19 April 2011