The Girls’ Schools Association (GSA) has appointed Donna Stevens as its next chief executive.
She will take up her post in January 2021 after present CEO Vivienne Durham announced she will be standing down at the end of the year.
Ms Stevens is currently head of research for the Independent Schools Council (ISC), where she is responsible for the association’s annual census.
The GSA said Ms Stevens will be assuming the role “at a critical time in the education sector”, adding that the new chief executive would be tasked with helping member schools “navigate” the educational landscape during and after Covid-19.
The chief executive is also responsible for working with girls’ schools to encourage high standards of education.
I have long been an advocate of GSA’s work and that of its member schools, inspiring the next generation of women scientists, doctors, engineers, film directors, world leaders and more
The GSA described Ms Stevens as having “considerable insight” into the challenges of the sector, and a detailed understanding of independent-state school partnerships and the economic boost the sector gives to the UK economy.
GSA president Jane Prescott said Ms Stevens’ “insight to the challenges facing the education sector, and the role of independent schools within that, are as impressive as her commitment to championing the education and advancement of girls”.
Ms Stevens said: “I have long been an advocate of GSA’s work and that of its member schools, inspiring the next generation of women scientists, doctors, engineers, film directors, world leaders and more.
“Having worked closely with Vivienne, Jane and the team over the past five years, it is a privilege to be given the opportunity to take GSA forward in 2021 and beyond.”
Ms Stevens graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in maths and holds a post graduate diploma in educational and social research from UCL.
The GSA consists largely of the heads of a diverse range of independent girls’ schools and prep schools, both day and boarding, which include many of the top performing schools in the UK. Together they educate over 80,000 students.