Peter Thomas Wanless, CB (born 25 September 1964) is an English executive and former civil servant. Since 2013, he has been the chief executive officer of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). In July 2014, he was appointed by the British government to head a review into historical sex abuse claims
|Chief Executive Officer of the NSPCC|
Assumed office |
|Chief Executive Officer of the Big Lottery Fund|
February 2008 – May 2013
Peter Thomas Wanless|
25 September 1964
University of Leeds |
|Awards||Companion of the Order of the Bath (2007)|
Wanless was born on 25 September 1964. He was educated at Sheldon School, then a comprehensive school in Chippenham, Wiltshire. He then studied International History and Politics at the University of Leeds, graduating Bachelor of Arts (BA) in 1986. He has since studied on the Advanced Management Programme at Insead.
After joining the Civil Service, he held a variety of posts at the HM Treasury, including Head of Private Finance Policy, and Principal Private Secretary to three Cabinet Ministers. including Michael Portillo, both when Portillo was Chief Secretary to the Treasury and later as Secretary of State for Employment. Wanless later held senior positions within the Department for Education and Skills and its successor the Department for Children, Schools and Families, including Director of School Performance and Reform and Director of Strategy and Communications.
Wanless was CEO of the Big Lottery Fund between February 2008 and May 2013. Since June 2013, he has been the chief executive officer of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). He is a non-executive director of The Kemnal Academies Trust (TKAT), which operates academy schools in South East England.
In July 2014, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that he would be leading a review into historical sex abuse claims. His report, written with Richard Whittam QC, was published in November 2014. It "found nothing to support a concern that files had been deliberately or systematically removed or destroyed to cover up organised child abuse", but also said that it was "not possible to say whether files were ever removed or destroyed to cover up or hide allegations of organised or systematic child abuse by particular individuals because of the systems then in place".
Married with one son, the family live in Seal, Kent. Wanless is a lifelong supporter of Somerset County Cricket Club where he serves on the committee. He describes himself as a "fan of jangly guitars, indie pop, Somerset cricket, Borgen....".
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