Appointment of the Children’s Commissioner for England Contents
2The recruitment process
10.The recruitment campaign was launched on 27 July 2020 and closed on 18 September. 63 applications were received in response. Seven candidates were invited to interview as they were deemed to have met the bar. Following a request by the Secretary of State, an additional two candidates were invited to interview. A shortlist of nine candidates were invited to the interview stage, although two candidates pulled out of the competition in advance of the final interview.
11.Interviews were held on 4 and 6 November. Interviews were conducted by an Advisory Assessment Panel consisting of:
- The Rt Hon. Sir Simon Burns, Panel Chair (former Conservative MP for Chelmsford, President of West Oxfordshire Conservative Association and Government Liaison Officer for Clinova Ltd)
- Cindy Butts, Senior Independent Panel Member (Commissioner Criminal Cases Review Commission)
- Indra Morris, departmental official (Director General Social Care, Mobility and Disadvantage)
- Andrew McCully, departmental official (Director General Early Years and Schools Group)
- Jon Yates, other panel member (Executive Director of the Youth Endowment Fund).
Following the interview stage, the Secretary of State met the three candidates who were deemed appointable before making his decision on the preferred candidate.
Requirements for the post
12.The recruitment pack drawn up by the Department for Education set out five essential criteria that the successful candidate would need to be able to demonstrate. They were:
- An understanding of the issues and problems facing children and young people in England, and the ability to bring about solutions that have a demonstrable impact on children’s lives.
- The ability to demonstrate a pragmatic approach to addressing and resolving complex issues, with a particular focus on delivering outcomes.
- The ability to lead a high profile and complex organisation, create effective partnership working and provide valuable challenge.
- The confidence and ability to successfully communicate, influence and work collaboratively with a wide range of groups—including children, decision makers, government and parliament.
- An understanding of all relevant statutory duties and how children’s rights are protected and promoted through domestic legislation.
Candidates were also expected to be able to demonstrate the following desirable criteria:
- Understanding and knowledge of the key rights of children such as, a child’s right to quality of education and the rights of children who are living away from home or receiving social care.
- Ability and working understanding of financial management and the importance of securing value for money.
- The ability to think strategically about the issues affecting children and young people.
- The ability to engage effectively with and gain the confidence of children and young people in order to represent their views and interests.
The appointment of Children’s Commissioner is for a period of six years. Renumeration for the post was advertised at between £120,000-£130,000.