Press release

NFER appoints new Director of Research

3 December 2014

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), one of the UK’s leading independent research organisations, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Lesley Duff as Director of Research.

Lesley is an experienced and respected researcher, who has led multi-disciplinary teams in the Home Office and the National Police Improvement Agency, covering a diverse range of social policy issues. She is currently Head of Standards, Knowledge and Information Services at the Royal College of Nursing.

She said: “I am very excited to be joining NFER. The Foundation’s robust research and clear commitment to making a difference to children’s educational experiences reflect what’s kept me working in research throughout my career. My background in public sector research has brought home to me just how important education is to people’s life chances. I am looking forward to being able to play a key part in NFER’s work.”

Commenting on the appointment, Carole Willis, NFER’s Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that Lesley is joining NFER at this exciting time, when robust research and data are becoming an increasingly key part of policy and practice. She will be a great asset to the Foundation and will build on the very high standards of educational research for which NFER has an international reputation.”

Lesley, who has a BSc in Psychology, an MA in Social Anthropology and a PhD in Public Health, will join NFER on 5 January 2015. She will build on the excellent work of Sarah Maughan who left the Foundation in October.


For more information contact:

Sarah Fleming, Media and Communications Executive:, 01753 637155
Jane Parrack, Marketing and Communications Manager:, 01753 637245.

Note to Editors:

About NFER
NFER has a worldwide reputation for providing independent and rigorous research in education. As a charity, any surplus generated by the Foundation is reinvested in research projects to provide evidence that improves education and the life chances of learners.; @TheNFER