Speaking about his resignation, Sir David Bell said:
It has been an enormous privilege and pleasure to serve four secretaries of state and three prime ministers since the beginning of 2006. I have particularly enjoyed the past 17 months working with first Coalition Government since the Second World War and supporting Michael Gove in leading one of the most exciting phases of education reform for generations. That is something that I will always remember and look back on with a great sense of pride and achievement.
I am now looking forward very much to the next phase of my career in education as I become Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading, an institution renowned for its world-leading research and its outstanding student experience. This is a very exciting time in higher education and I am certain that the University of Reading will consolidate and enhance its position as one of the Top 200 universities in the world.
Michael Gove said:
David is an exemplary public servant. He has led the Department for Education for almost six years now, and I have benefited enormously from his wisdom, his counsel and his experience as I have taken on this role as Secretary of State for Education. David has been at the forefront of many of our education institutions - as a headteacher, leading a Local Authority, as her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, and as the Permanent Secretary in this Department, and it is a fitting tribute to his many talents that he will continue to play a leading part in education as Vice-Chancellor at the University of Reading. He has my warmest congratulations on this new role.
The process for recruiting a replacement Permanent Secretary for the Department will begin imminently.