Charlie Taylor, chief executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), has left the organisation to join the Ministry of Justice, TES has learned.
The move will reunite Mr Taylor with Michael Gove, the justice secretary. Mr Gove appointed the former headteacher as his behaviour expert in 2011 during his time running the Department for Education.
Mr Taylor's departure comes just weeks after the announcement that the NCTL would sell off its £28 million conference centre in Nottingham as part of wider cost-saving measures.
It is understood that Mr Taylor will oversee the youth justice brief and seek to inform policy on young offenders, drawing on his expertise as former headteacher of The Willows, a special school for children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.
He is treading a well-worn path, joining Sir Theodore Agnew, who moved to the MoJ as a non-executive board member in June after leaving the same role at the DfE, and Gabriel Milland, who left the DfE to become head of external communications at the MoJ.
The NCTL, an executive agency of the DfE, is responsible for overseeing teacher training and investigates cases of serious professional misconduct, ensuring that teachers guilty of serious misconduct are barred from teaching if necessary.
During his time at the organisation, Mr Taylor was tasked with overseeing the introduction of School Direct, the school-led system of teacher training. The initiative, in which trainees are recruited by schools that buy in training from a university or school-centred provider, has endured a tough baptism.
The programme managed to fill just 68 per cent of its places in 2013 and 61 per cent in 2014, adding to fears of a full-blown teacher recruitment crisis. Ninety per cent of places were filled on university PGCE courses.
In the NCTL's recent annual report, Mr Taylor wrote: “The agency has performed well in meeting and exceeding most of its objective and key performance indicators. However, external factors such as an improving graduate labour market have created challenges, particularly to teacher recruitment and retention…it will remain a challenging environment into 2015-16.”
Mr Taylor joined the NCTL as chief executive when it was launched in April 2013. It was formed after a merger of the Teaching Agency, where Mr Taylor had been chief executive since 2012, and the National College for School Leadership.
It is understood that the DfE is actively looking for a replacement.