nasen announces new CEO: introducing Annamarie Hassall MBE

After a highly competitive national search, nasen’s board of trustees has confirmed that Annamarie Hassall MBE, Strategic Director of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) has been appointed CEO and will join the organisation at the end of September.

Annamarie will take over from departing CEO, Professor Adam Boddison, leading our staff, Trustees, partners and growing community of over 35,000 members through an exciting period of unparalleled growth and transition – both in the UK and worldwide.

Annamarie will bring four decades of experience in children’s services to the role, thanks to a successful career that started in children’s residential and social care. She then worked as an early years specialist in local government, before moving to an advisory role for the Department for Education (DfE), followed by the private sector, where she delivered national programmes on behalf of government.

In her current role as Strategic Director of NCB, Annamarie has garnered a wealth of expertise in transformational change, working closely with ministers, DfE, DWP, Public Health England and wider stakeholders. In 2011, she received an MBE for her dedication to working with children and families, including her work with children and young people with SEND.

Speaking about her new role, Annamarie Hassall MBE said:

“I am excited to have the opportunity to play a key role within this leading charity in the education and SEND sector, driving the organisation forward, and building on the success of outgoing CEO, Professor Adam Boddison. I am deeply passionate about tackling the barriers in accessing high-quality education, and committed to ensuring that teachers, educators and practitioners have the skills and resources they require to enable inclusion, providing specialist support where needed.

“We are at a pivotal moment in education and SEND. The sector is acutely aware of the disproportionate impact of pandemic-related disruptions to education, and the resulting impact on our ability to intervene early, meeting the needs of children and young people. Joining nasen to lead on the development of the next long-term strategy, especially as the organisation begins marking its 30th anniversary, presents a well-timed opportunity to engage staff, trustees, members and partners, along with system leaders across education, health and social care.”

Elaine Simpson, nasen’s Chair of Trustees, said:

“On behalf of the Trustees and the wider team at nasen, I congratulate Annamarie on her appointment as nasen’s new CEO. Annamarie was an outstanding candidate, and we are really excited to work with her as she brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise to nasen’s work at this crucial time.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Adam Boddison for his incredible contribution as CEO over the past six years. His work leaves a lasting legacy in the sector as we continue to see significant growth in membership numbers and impact. In Annamarie we have found an exceptional successor who will ensure our work continues to go from strength to strength.”

Professor Adam Boddison, outgoing CEO, added:

“We are thrilled to have attracted such a strong group of candidates for the role. It is an indication of just how far nasen has come in recent years. Moving forwards, it gives me great confidence to know the team will be in such good hands. I am confident that nasen will continue to flourish under Annamarie’s leadership.”