Adam Leach

Areas of Expertise/ Specialisms

  • Higher Education & Skills
  • Civic Engagement & Place-Based Partnerships
  • Government / Policymaking
  • Data Analysis & Intelligence

Details of your last three roles


Sheffield Hallam University


NCIA Programme Director


September 2022 - Present


  • Lead and provide strategic direction for the National Civic Impact Accelerator (NCIA), a three-year £4.3 million Research England funded programme of work, taking responsibility for the design, development, and delivery of a high performing national programme of research, innovation, and capacity building services, which deliver the operational priorities and strategic aims of the programme and the funding body.
  • Lead a collaborative set of teams across Sheffield Hallam University and within strategic external partner organisations, providing proactive leadership and ensuring the development and delivery of NCIA priorities and strategic ambitions.


Department for Education / Sheffield Hallam University


Senior Specialist Manager


Noember 2018 - September 2022


  • To support Sheffield Hallam University to use data analysis and intelligence to support communities across South Yorkshire and leverage its resources towards places experiencing the greatest challenges.
  • Lead an operational data intelligence service to generate and deploy analysis to better target, deliver and evaluate the University’s civic activities and strategic approach.
  • Provide specialist data analysis, intelligence, project management, and graphic design services for the Civic University Network - a national network of universities committed to improving lives and places - and for Sheffield Hallam's civic engagement programmes, including South Yorkshire Futures.


Department for Education


Senior Statistical Officer


July 2016 - November 2018


  • Lead the production of two major Official Statistics publications, the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Census, and the ITT Performance Profiles.
  • Deploy complex analytical techniques to build and strengthen the Department’s evidence base about trainee teachers.
  • Advise senior policymakers, officials, and ministers on using data analysis and intelligence relating to trainee teachers to change and strengthen national education policy.

General Areas of Expertise to Support a Trust Board

  • Designing and implementing strategies.
  • Developing new ways of working.
  • Using data to focus on improvement.
  • Programme & project management.

Education Improvement Specific Experience and Skills

Within my role at the Department for Education I was responsible for data analysis and intelligence relating to the recruitment and retention of trainee teachers in England, including advising senior policymakers, officials, and ministers on using data analysis and intelligence to strengthen national education policy.

At Sheffield Hallam University, I led several projects designed to improve the educational health of the South Yorkshire region, including designing and implementing an early years speech, language, and communication skills strategy with the region’s four councils to address regional workforce skills gaps and provide resources and signposting for parents and early years professionals.

Specific Leadership Experience and Skills

I established and now lead the National Civic Impact Accelerator (NCIA), a nationwide ‘what-works’ centre designed to deepen the civic impact of universities across the country. I lead a team of professionals at Sheffield Hallam University and teams of academics and professionals at partner organisations across the country.

HR and Data Handling Specific Experience and Skills

At the Department for Education, I qualified as a Senior Statistical Officer, specialising in complex data analysis and intelligence. My role as Senior Specialist Manager at Sheffield Hallam University focused on using data to identify and address place-based challenges, such as developing a regional geospatial analysis of ‘childhood trauma hotspots’ in South Yorkshire to help South Yorkshire Police and other agencies target their resources at the areas experiencing the greatest challenges.

Finance Specific Experience and Skills

As Programme Director for the NCIA, I am responsible for large budget of public funds.

Brief comments on why your previous experience is relevant

I believe in the power of education to transform lives.

My skills and experience can help Brighter Futures Learning Partnership Trust to realise its vision to develop capable, confident, and compassionate learners who are ready to face the economic and social challenges of the 21st Century.

My career to date has focused on improving educational outcomes from the early years to adulthood, using data analysis to improve national education policy, developing regional strategies to address skills gaps in the children’s workforce, and leveraging the power and resources of educational organisations like universities to drive positive societal change.