I am from a small village in Yorkshire and studied biological sciences at Lancaster University before working with ministers in Whitehall in the late 90s. Over the past 20 years I have worked mainly within DfE– cutting my teeth on the Children Act 2004 and developing policy on Children’s Trusts and LA children’s services commissioning – working with over 100 LAs to support them to improve commissioning. More recently I have led on various children’s policy areas covering child safeguarding, children in care, adoption and children’s rights. I have recently joined the Strategy and Intelligence Division within DfE Capital Directorate leading on a programme of work to help schools to improve their management of asbestos in keeping children and staff safe. I currently live in Biggin Hill, Kent and have two lovely little girls who keep me very busy when I’m not working.