ESFA appoints interim as chief quits for combined authority

Eileen Milner will earn more than £200k a year running Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority
Eileen Milner Credit: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

By Jim Dunton

02 Aug 2021

The Education and Skills Funding Agency has appointed John Edwards as its interim chief executive after former boss Eileen Milner left to run Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

Edwards was previously director of funding at the ESFA, which is the Department for Education executive agency responsible for overseeing funding of education and training for children, young people and adults. It also manages school-building programmes.

DfE permanent secretary Susan Acland-Hood said Edwards had a “wealth of knowledge and experience” to bring to his new interim role from his time so-far at the ESFA, as a regional schools commissioner and in a number of other senior-leadership roles in education.

“John is a thoughtful and authentic leader and will be an outstanding interim CEO, and member of the DfE’s leadership team,” she said.

“I know he will do a remarkable job in leading the excellent staff of the ESFA, and in shaping the future of the department as a whole.”

Former ESFA chief exec Eileen Milner had been at the helm of the organisation since November 2017. The agency was created earlier that year from the merger of the Education Funding Agency and the Skills Funding Agency.

Announcing Milner’s appointment as its next chief executive in mid-July, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority said her salary would be £203,923, and that the figure had been “benchmarked against other roles of similar responsibility”.

Her ESFA salary band was £150,000-£154,999 last year, according to the Cabinet Office’s annual high-earners list.

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