Professor Becky Francis is set to take a top job at research charity the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) after three years at UCL’s Institute of Education, it was revealed this morning.
Sir Peter Lampl, the founder of the Sutton Trust and chair of the EEF, announced that Professor Francis would join the EEF as its chief executive in January 2020.
Quick read: Sir Kevan Collins to step down from EEF
Research: Can museum trips help poorer pupils?
Before joining the EEF, Professor Francis worked as the director at UCL’s Institute of Education, specialising in research on school quality, academies policy, social inequality and educational achievement.
Professor Francis will succeed Sir Kevan Collins, who has worked for eight years at the EEF and for over 17 years in leadership roles in the education sector.
Sir Kevan has decided to stop working full-time, but was recently announced as chair of the Youth Endowment Fund, a £200 million government-backed initiative to prevent young people from being drawn into serious crime.
Sir Peter said: “I’m delighted that Becky will be joining the EEF as our new CEO to build on Kevan’s outstanding work. She brings a wealth of experience of education research and a deep-rooted commitment to tackling inequality and low social mobility.
“Becky will lead a brilliant and dedicated team and I look forward to working with her in the years to come.”
Professor Francis said: “Under Kevan’s leadership, the EEF has become a world leader in education research and changed how teachers access and use evidence.
“It is a great opportunity to lead the EEF at a time of expansion and have a significant impact on schools and disadvantaged pupils in England. I look forward to working with Peter, Stephen and the superb team at the EEF.”
She told Tes: “It has been a privilege to direct the IoE and be a part of UCL but I am looking forward to the opportunity to focus on my two key passions – research and evidence based practice, and improving education for the benefit of young people.
“The EEF’s work is focused front and centre for transforming the life chances of disadvantaged young people through education. This is what I’ve based my career on.”
She said she hoped to build on the “incredibly strong platform from my predecessor Kevan Collins to extend the reach and impact on teachers’ practice even further.
“With the EEF, the opportunity is primarily to focus on practice, which is interesting as it goes hand in hand with policy. The key challenge that faces us is to drive up the quality of teaching overall, but particularly ensuring disadvantaged young people access high quality teaching and learning, and research demonstrates they are not accessing this.
“Our job is strengthen and improve practice to make teaching more invigorating, shining a light on the things disadvantaged young people need in schools.”