Maggie Atkinson is a comprehensive school educated Cambridge graduate. She has spent her career working with children, families and communities starting as a successful teacher and middle manager, then in a wide range of local authorities as a trainer, adviser, inspector, school and service improver. She was in the founding team of leaders in the newly-unitary Warrington LEA, being then seconded to the government’s intervention team in Liverpool after a difficult Ofsted inspection. In Cheshire where she was an Assistant Director Maggie led two Best Value reviews and drove major improvements. She also steered the county’s responses to a successful Ofsted inspection.
Maggie became Chief Education Officer and then inaugural Director of Children’s Services in Gateshead, where she worked from 2003-2010. She was first solo President of ADCS in 2008-09, during which year she led government’s all-agency children’s workforce group and published the 2020 Children’s Workforce Strategy. From 2010-15 Maggie was Children’s Commissioner for England, influencing national and local government, media, academia, service leaders and the workforce, whilst ensuring the voice of the child was heard and promoting and protecting children’s rights. In 2015 Maggie became a successful Director with the respected consultancy company iMPOWER, helping localities in service improvement, partnership working, effectiveness and efficiency. She specialises in service improvement and change management.
She holds a Doctorate in Education from Keele University, where she is also an Honorary Professor. She holds two Honorary Doctorates, from Northumbria and Keele Universitites.