15 December 2020


ISI: new board appointments

ISI is delighted to announce that it has appointed two new Directors, who will join the Board of the Independent Schools Inspectorate in January 2021.

The appointment of Carol Iddon underscores ISI’s commitment to putting the voice of the child at the centre of our practice.  Carol has demonstrated her passion for putting children first through a lifetime of working in children’s services, starting as a qualified social worker and culminating as Deputy CEO and Managing Director of Children’s Services at Action for Children. Her depth of experience in safeguarding is further evidenced by her appointment as Chair of the Joint Safeguarding Advisory Panel for Canterbury Diocese and Canterbury Cathedral.

Robert Okunnu is currently Director of Policy and External Affairs at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.  His experience spans leadership roles in strategic communications in private and public sector organisations such as Water UK, Tesco PLC, the pharmaceutical company MSD, and the British Medical Association.  Along with this extensive communications experience, Robert co-chairs the College’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Oversight Group, which aims to ensure that EDI is firmly embedded throughout the RCPCH’s membership, staff and trustees.  As with many organisations, EDI has become an important focus for ISI as we move into 2021 and Robert will bring valuable insight and knowledge on this subject.

Our independent Board sets the tone for the whole organisation, operating in accordance with the Nolan Principles and with our own ISI Code of Conduct, promoting ISI’s purpose and ensuring that its values, strategy and culture underpin that purpose.  Carol and Robert have been appointed for a three-year term, effective 1 January 2021, following an open recruitment process led by Perrett Laver. They replace Paul Cook and Mark Stephens, who are stepping down having completed their terms of office.  Both Paul and Mark have contributed greatly to the development of ISI and the whole organisation is extremely grateful for the energy, thoughtfulness and commitment they have brought to their roles. Mark leaves the Board on 31 December 2020 and Paul, who has the role of Vice Chair, will step down on 31 March, allowing him to help oversee the transition to new management arrangements, with the appointment of Vanessa Ward as the new Chief Inspector-CEO effective 1 February.

ISI is very much looking forward to resuming routine inspection in 2021 to ensure the delivery of its purpose: to enable children to be safe, well-educated and to thrive.