Eileen Milner appointed chief executive of Education and Skills Funding Agency

Department for Education recruits successor to Peter Lauener, who is to retire following merger of two funding bodies

The Education and Skills Funding Agency was formed after the merger of two government bodies in April 2017. Credit: Pixabay

By Tamsin Rutter

24 Aug 2017

The Department for Education has appointed Eileen Milner as the new chief executive of the recently merged Education and Skills Funding Agency, the organisation responsible for funding education and training for children and adults.

Milner, due to start in November this year, joins ESFA from the Care Quality Commission, where she is currently the executive director of customer and corporate services. 

She has extensive experience in public service advisory work in the fields of education and welfare reform, and before joining the CQC was executive director of business strategy at Northgate Information Solutions, a software and services provider that specialises in the public sector.


Milner takes over from Peter Lauener, who has been chief executive officer since the agency was created following a merger in April 2017 of two departmental bodies – the Education Funding Agency and the Skills Funding Agency, both of which he also headed up.

The merger aimed to provide a more joined-up approach to funding and regulation of schools and colleges.

Lauener is also chief executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships, a non-departmental public body sponsored by DfE. The institute is still recruiting his successor ahead of his retirement at the end of November.

Jonathan Slater, DfE permanent secretary, welcomed Milner to the agency. “I’m delighted that Eileen will be joining us to lead the Education and Skills Funding Agency, and look forward to working closely with her.

“I know that colleagues will join me in welcoming Eileen to the department.”

Milner will sit on the DfE board and attend performance, management and audit and risk committees. She will oversee the ESFA’s budget and be accountable to DfE’s principal accounting officer.


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