Formerly director of school resources at the DfES since November 2002, he had looked after school capital and recurrent funding, school organisation, admissions and governance. Before that he was director of operations at the department's standards and effectiveness unit where he contributed to the Government's strategy for raising standards.
Stephen Crowne also has experience in special needs and further education, and was principal private secretary to three secretaries of state - Kenneth Baker, John McGregor, and Kenneth Clarke. He is aged 48 and married with three children. On his appointment he said: "I am delighted to be taking on this important leadership role in education. Becta has a vital job to do."