Lucy Pearson has been appointed as the new head of FA education.
Pearson will play a strategic role within The FA’s technical directorate at St. George’s Park, with overall responsibility for the governing body’s coach education and professional development programme.
The main objective is to help The FA with its key objective of growing the number of qualified and appropriately-skilled coaches across the game.
Working into technical director Dan Ashworth at the national football centre, Pearson will bring to The FA the benefits of a high-achieving career in education coupled with an elite sporting background.
The Head of Cheadle Hulme School in Cheshire since 2010, where she was the first woman to hold that position in its 150-year history, Pearson played cricket for England between 1996 and 2005, and has been a director of the England and Wales Cricket Board since 2016.
Her time at Cheadle Hulme has been characterised by a strong commitment to people development, and helping individuals to realise their full potential.
Pearson said: “The prospect of being part of The FA delivering its strategy for growing the grassroots of the game is truly exciting and education sits at the heart of those plans.
“By developing coaching expertise at all levels through programmes that have wide appeal, we will enable football to sit at the heart of every community.
“Sport is a force for good, and The FA is committed to enabling as many people as possible to experience its benefits; as an educator and former international sportswoman, being part of that ambition is a wonderful opportunity for me personally and professionally.”
Ashworth said: “I am delighted to welcome Lucy to The FA. Her considerable expertise and experience will be a huge asset for us as we look to take this significant area of our work forward. We have made great strides over the last few years at St. George’s Park and I know Lucy will help us to improve on the good progress we have made to date.
“Further improving the quality of our course programme and helping more talented coaches to qualify from the grassroots to international level is an absolute priority, as well as increasing the diversity of applicants taking our courses.
“This is a very exciting appointment and I know we have the right person to help us with the positive challenges ahead.”
Previously deputy head at Wellington College and vice principal of Wellington Academy, Pearson will take up her new role in August 2018 when she will formally step down from her position at Cheadle Hulme.
During her distinguished playing career, she was a two-time England Women's Cricketer of the Year in 2000 and 2003, playing more than 75 matches for her country before having to retire early due to injury.