Sir Michael Barber appointed chair of Nord Anglia University

The architect of Tony Blair’s famed No.10 delivery unit, Barber will be charged with developing NAU’s online CPD

Sir Michael Barber has been appointed as chair of Nord Anglia University (NAU), it was announced today (18 October).

NAU is the digital professional development platform of international schools group, Nord Anglia Education (NAE), serving 15,000 staff in 81 schools across 32 countries.

In the UK, Nord Anglia runs two independent sixth form colleges (Oxford International College and Oxford Sixth Form College) and one co-educational day and boarding school (d’Overbroeck’s).

“Nord Anglia has a strong reputation for professional development,” said Barber, on his appointment.

“Their philosophy is that ‘great teachers make great schools’ and I’ll be working closely with their educators to look at new ways to invest in colleagues’ growth and to ensure that their growth improves student outcomes.

“I’m looking forward to working with Nord Anglia’s experts to further enhance how NAU delivers high-quality professional development at scale.”

Sir Michael Barber will ensure we continue to offer the best professional development programme in international education – Andrew Fitzmaurice, NAE

NAU’s new chair brings vast experience to the organisation, having worked in schools, higher education and government for more than 30 years. After studying history at the University of Oxford, he trained as a teacher and went on to teach in schools in the UK and Zimbabwe.

His highest profile work came when he served as chief advisor to the secretary of state for education on school standards from 1997 to 2001, before founding and leading Tony Blair’s delivery unit in No. 10, established to monitor and accelerate the implementation of public service reform priorities.

Barber was knighted for his efforts to improve government in 2005.

“Sir Michael brings significant experience and value to Nord Anglia, and his insight will ensure we continue to offer the best professional development programme in international education,” said Andrew Fitzmaurice, CEO at NAE.

The new position is Barber’s third major appointment of the year. In January 2022 he became chancellor of the University of Exeter, and in April he was announced as the new chairman of Somerset County Cricket Club.

His most recent book – Accomplishment: How to achieve ambitious and challenging things – was published by Penguin last year.

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