Press release

Michael Gove appoints 4 new board members

Biographical details on 4 new non-executive members of the Department for Education Board.

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

The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has today announced the appointment of 4 new non-executive members to the Department for Education Board, as part of a drive to improve governance across Whitehall.

The Board, chaired by the Secretary of State, provides strategic leadership of the Department, focusing on performance and the delivery of DfE’s priorities.

The four new appointees - drawn from both the private and public sectors - will join the ministerial team, Permanent Secretary and the heads of the Department’s four directorates.

The successful candidates are:

  • Anthony Salz - Executive Vice-Chairman of Rothschild (lead non-executive member)
  • Theodore Agnew - Non-Executive Director of Jubilee Managing Agency Ltd
  • John Nash - Non-Executive Partner of Sovereign Capital and sponsor of Pimlico Academy (recently rated outstanding by Ofsted)
  • Sue John - Headteacher of Lampton School in Hounslow and the Director for the Secondary London Leadership Strategy.

The appointment of external, non-executive members to Departmental Boards across Government is designed to improve governance arrangements. New Board members will contribute their knowledge on how Government Departments can be run in the most effective and business-like way, by drawing on the experience of what works outside Government. The non-executive members appointed today - who share a strong interest in education - will support and challenge DfE’s performance to ensure maximum efficiency, enhance the effective administration of the Department and oversee the delivery of key policy priorities.

Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove said:

I am delighted to welcome four new non-executive members to the Board of the Department for Education. They each have a strong commitment to education, are leaders in their chosen fields and will bring a fresh approach to the way decisions are made in the DfE.

It is so important that our education system captures the knowledge and experience that our country’s best professionals have to offer. I am sure that these talented individuals will contribute greatly to the work of the Department.

Anthony Salz said:

I have been involved in education over the last decade, including as a volunteer in schools in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, promoting employer partnerships in schools, and more recently as a governor of a new academy. An independent role on the DfE Board gives me an opportunity to apply the experience gained over my career to the challenging projects on which the Department is engaged, as it works to implement major policy changes.

With latest OECD surveys suggesting that our secondary schools are slipping down the global league table, this is a special moment to be taking on a central role in our nation’s education.

Theodore Agnew said:

I am delighted to have been appointed as a non-executive member of the Department for Education Board. As last week’s international comparisons have shown, we are fast falling behind the rest of the developed world: from 4th in science in 2000 to 16th today, from 8th in maths to 28th today. It has never been more urgent to reform our education system and to give the next generation of children a greater chance to participate in an increasingly global work force.

Sue John said:

I am delighted to have been appointed and excited by the opportunity the white paper has provided to move school improvement into a new era. The recent Ofsted evaluation of London Challenge supports plans in the white paper for the development of Teaching Schools, using the talents of the headteachers and other leaders to improve the prospects for all students, at a time when we need to see our students competing in an international workplace.

As the leader of an outstanding school, which has a proven track record of supporting others, I feel able to use my insight to support this exciting if challenging development.

John Nash said:

I am delighted to have been appointed as a non-executive member to the Department for Education Board. I am looking forward to supporting the work of the Department and the Secretary of State to ensure that every child has access to the widest range of opportunities, and the best possible education to fulfil their potential.

Further information

  1. Appointments have been made by the Secretary of State for each Department. For the lead non-executives, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have approved all appointments. Lord Browne and Permanent Secretaries have participated in the selection process. The roles were advertised over the summer on the public appointments website. Alongside the advertisement, we engaged a number of search firms to identify potential candidates. Cabinet Office has worked with two search firms to support the initial sifting process and approach candidates.

  2. The term of appointment is from 16 December 2010 for three years. Non-executive board members are entitled to remuneration of £15,000 per annum.

  3. The Department for Education Board, chaired by the Secretary of State, provides strategic leadership of the Department, focusing on performance and delivery of the Department’s priorities. Membership includes the ministerial team, Permanent Secretary and the heads of each of the Department’s four directorates, along with external non-executive members. The external non-executive members will, from next April, also be invited to sit on the Department’s Delivery Assurance, Risk and Audit Committee. The role of this committee will be to provide assurance to the Permanent Secretary regarding the business of the Department in his role as accounting officer. The non-executive members will also be asked to form a remuneration committee to advise on the bonus structure for senior staff.


Anthony Salz

Anthony Salz is an Executive Vice-Chairman of Rothschild. He joined Rothschild in 2006 after more than 30 years with the international law firm Freshfields, 10 as the Senior Partner.

He was Vice Chairman of the BBC from 2004 to 2006. He is a Trustee of the Royal Opera House, The Scott Trust (owner of the Guardian and the Observer), the Tate Foundation, SHINE: Support and Help IN Education, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Conran Foundation and the Media Standards Trust. He is Chair of The Eden Trust (owner of the Eden Project in Cornwall) and is a member of the Advisory Panel for Swiss Re. He is a governor of the Wellington Academy, a maintained secondary school in Wiltshire.

Anthony recently chaired an Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Antisocial Behaviour in England and Wales. And until recently he was Co-Chair of the Education and Employers Taskforce.

Theodore Agnew

Theodore Agnew is Non Executive Director of Jubilee Managing Agency Limited, he was formerly the CEO from 2004 to 2008. He founded Somerton Capital LLP in 2007 and co-founded the WNS Group (a US listed company) in 1990.

Theodore is Trustee of Policy Exchange and the New Schools Network. Theodore is also chairman of the Norfolk Community Foundation.

Sue John

Sue has been Headteacher at Lampton School, a large multi-ethnic mixed school in the centre of Hounslow, since 1997. The school has moved from being a low performing, unpopular school to a school that is now oversubscribed and has achieved an outstanding grading by Ofsted, in all categories. The school features in Ofsted’s publication of Twelve outstanding secondary schools - excelling against the odds.

Lampton is a Training School and as part of City Challenge a pilot National Teaching School. In 2000 Sue was awarded an honorary fellowship from Brunel University in recognition of her contribution to the university.

Sue is the City Challenge Director of the London Leadership Strategy, secondary. She has worked as a National Leader of Education and as project manager for some of the intensive support packages provided for schools in challenging circumstances.

Sue is a member of the Future Leaders’ Project Board and is also a member of the DFE Secondary Headteachers’ Reference Group.

John Nash

John was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He practised briefly as a barrister and then went into the City. He worked at Lazards and left in 1983 to go into the venture capital business joining Advent Limited, of which he became Managing Director in 1987. In 1988 John set up Sovereign Capital, a venture capital firm which specialises in investing in service businesses in the UK, of which he is now a non-executive partner. John is a former Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association.

John established with his wife, Caroline, the charity, Future, which focuses on young people and supports a number of inner-city projects and sponsors Pimlico Academy.

He is a foundation fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford and a member of its Investment and Development Committees.

He was a member of HM Treasury’s Independent Challenge Group in relation to the Comprehensive Spending Review.

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Published 16 December 2010