To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the appointment of Rachel Houchen as a non-executive director of the Office for Students (OfS), if will make an assessment of the political impartiality of the OfS.
22 April 2022
My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, appoints non-executive directors to the Board of the Office for Students in accordance with Schedule 1 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 and the Governance Code for Public Appointments, which can be found here: https://publicappointmentscommissioner.independent.gov.uk/regulating-appointments/governance-code/.
Rachel Houchen is not a member of any political party but, in any event, under section 9.2 of the Governance Code, political activity is not a bar to an appointment on the board of an arms-length body.
Rachel Houchen was appointed following a fair and open competition, in line with the Governance Code for Public Appointments.