‘Schools tell us they are buckling and I do not understand why the DfE is not listening’

Now heading up research at ‘the IFS of the education world’, former DfE insider Natalie Perera tells Martin George why a passion for ‘fairness’ was behind her switch to the Education Policy Institute – and how she was the civil servant behind Michael Gove’s ‘plan to lose the next election’…

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Natalie Perera was denied a promotion at the Department for Education in 2015 because she “seemed overly distracted with fairness”. It was, she decided, time to move on.

Three years later, Perera is one of the driving forces behind an education thinktank that has put fairness at the heart of its work, and the reports of which are holding sway in the corridors of power she once walked.

As executive director and head of research at the Education Policy Institute (EPI), she has been behind work that has examined the fairness of Ofsted judgements, questioned the effect of grammar schools on ...

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