Mike Crowhurst, who used to teach history in a school in Birmingham, has been appointed as head of education at Number 10.
He is set to move from his role of director of education at free-schools charity the New Schools Network (NSN). Nick Timothy, Ms May’s joint chief of staff, also came from NSN as a director.
Mr Crowhurst taught history at Kingsbury School and Sports College, a comprehensive school in Birmingham, as part of the Teach First programme, before joining the charity in 2011.
It was understood that Ms May would not have a dedicated adviser on education policy after founding director of NSN, Rachel Wolf, stepped down from the adviser role last summer.
But Mr Crowhurst, who used to work for Conservative MP Mike Penning, has now been given the role of head of education in Downing Street.
In an article on ConservativeHome in 2010, Mr Crowhurst said: “I believe passionately that education is the most powerful and effective force for change.
“If this is true, then it seems completely unacceptable that our school system should still present such huge differences in opportunity for young people."
He added: “I was lucky enough to go to a state school which gave an excellent education to pupils from a wide variety of backgrounds.”
In the same article, he wrote: “In my experience, lack of funds is not the factor holding back schools which are failing to provide the education their pupils deserve.
“What is needed is structural change, which will help shape the school system to be more efficient, innovative and professional in the drive for high educational standards.”