Our people

Our People

In March 2018 the University of Cambridge announced the appointment of Saul Nassé as our new Group Chief Executive. Saul succeeded Simon Lebus, who stepped down after 15 years, during which the Group has grown into one of the world’s leading assessment and education services organisations.

Saul was Chief Executive of Cambridge Assessment English for more than four years, accelerating its move to digital and delivering growth across the world. Before joining Cambridge English, he was Controller of BBC Learning, responsible for the corporation’s education programmes and websites, including Bitesize, BBC Food and the multiplatform event, Stargazing Live. He studied Natural Sciences at Robinson College, Cambridge.

Saul’s promotion left a vacancy at Cambridge English and Christine Nuttall was appointed to the interim role. Christine has been with the Group since 1997, her most recent role being responsibility for the Partnerships, Projects and Policy department. Also promoted to an interim role was Janet Morris, Cambridge International’s Director, International Network, who replaced OCR Chief Executive Leo Shapiro in April 2018. Both appointments are testament to the strength in depth of senior management teams across the Group and also demonstrate the calibre of our people.

There are also forthcoming changes at Cambridge International, with Chief Executive Michael O’Sullivan announcing the news that he will be leaving in December 2018 after more than five successful years. He will be replaced by Christine Özden who began her career in international education at Cambridge University Press and has a wealth of experience having worked for more than 20 years in senior roles at companies including Pearson and AQA.

Across the Group, we continued to invest heavily in talent development, with a particular focus on leadership. Jigsaw, our 10-month Middle Management development programme, was oversubscribed again this year. Inspiring Leaders, our seven-month programme to develop senior leaders across the Group, was similarly popular.

Inclusion, combined with wellbeing, is a vital part of our engagement strategy. We currently have a BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) network, an LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, plus) network as well as Parents and Carers Together and Women in Leadership."

We also believe in the importance of coaching, a form of one-to-one personal development in which individuals are assisted in realising their full potential. We are now giving successful applicants the chance to become an accredited business coach and ultimately become part of Cambridge Assessment’s Coaching and Mentoring Academy.

This year we marked four years of our Healthy You programme which is designed to support the wellbeing of our people. The programme has grown and developed over the years and now brings the physical, mental and social aspects of wellbeing together under one initiative. Accordingly, in October 2017 we launched our Healthy Mind programme, recognising that mental wellbeing is just as important as physical. This has seen the appointment of Mental Health Ambassadors throughout the organisation and the creation of a Healthy Mind staff network which all our people are invited to join.

We actively support diversity and inclusion and recognise the importance of creating a culture where everyone feels valued for the contribution they make. However, we also recognise that there is still work to do. That’s why inclusion, combined with wellbeing, is a vital part of our engagement strategy. We currently have a BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) network, an LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, plus) network as well as Parents and Carers Together and Women in Leadership. These networks offer a listening ear for employees, provide peer support, assist career progression and give a collective voice on issues. We are also developing training for managers on inclusion and diversity, and unconscious bias. Through these activities we hope to develop our culture of openness, respect and tolerance.

At Cambridge Assessment we fully support the British Government’s initiative to highlight gender pay gaps within organisations in the UK. In March 2018 we published data from our first year of gender pay gap reporting and will continue to do so at regular intervals.

The gender pay gap measures the difference in the average earnings between men and women across an organisation and is distinct from equal pay. Our median gender pay gap is 9.07 per cent, which compares favourably with the UK median of 18.4 per cent, but we know there is more to do. Organisations that have more male employees at senior management level than female employees will generally have a bigger pay gap and we are therefore committed to improving our ability to provide opportunities to both existing and new employees to progress based on ability alone. Our current and future initiatives are helping provide an environment and culture that supports this aim. These initiatives include ensuring that women are well represented and supported on Group leadership programmes and continuing to ensure that recruitment and reward principles promote equality of opportunity. They also include continuing to encourage a positive work–life balance across the organisation and supporting flexible working arrangements across all levels of the organisation.

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