Martin Narey

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Sir Martin James Narey DL (born 5 August 1955,[1] in Middlesbrough) is an advisor to the British Government, and a former civil servant and charity executive. He served as Director General of the Prison Service of England and Wales between 1998 and 2003, and Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service from 2004 to 2005. He was as Chief Executive Officer of the charity Barnardo's from 2005 to 2011. In 2013 he was appointed as a special advisor to the education secretary Michael Gove.

Early life[edit]

Narey was born in 1955 in Middlesbrough, England.[2] He was educated at St Mary's College, a Catholic comprehensive school in Middlesbrough.[3] He studied at Sheffield Polytechnic.[2]


Narey joined Her Majesty's Prison Service in 1982 and began prison governor training.[2] He was the Director General of the Prison Service of England and Wales between 1998 and 2003 before becoming the first Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service (NOMS). In 2005, he left the Civil Service to become Chief Executive Officer of Barnardo's before stepping down in January 2011.[4] As Director General of Prisons he has been credited with "invoking moral principles rather than security concerns when articulating the Service's priorities".[5]

He is a Visiting Professor in Applied Social Sciences at Durham University,[6] and a Visiting Professor at Sheffield Hallam University. He is Chair of The Portman Group Complaints Panel and a Board Member of the Advertising Standards Authority. From 2001–13 he was the Government's Advisor on Adoption and his advice, based on an independent report commissioned by The Times,[7] led to adoption becoming one of the UK Government's domestic priorities.[citation needed] He summarised the reforms for the Guardian in July 2012.[8]

In February 2013 it was announced that he was taking on a wider role, advising Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education on children's social care.[9]


Narey was knighted in the 2013 New Year's Honours 'for services to vulnerable people'.[10]


  1. ^ "Birthdays". The Guardian. Guardian Media. 5 Aug 2014. p. 35. 
  2. ^ a b c "Sir Martin Narey". Portman Group. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Vickers, Anthony (11 February 2014). "Sir Martin Narey: 'No-one thought it odd an 11-year-old should be out late, at a Boro match, in a crowd'". Evening Gazette. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Amelia Hill (21 January 2011). "Adoptions need to quadruple, says outgoing Barnardo's chief". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Cavadino, Michael; Dignan, James (17 September 2007). The Penal System: An Introduction. SAGE Publications. pp. 202–. ISBN 9781446238301. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Congratulations, Winter Congregation and Honorary Degrees, Northern Ireland Peace Prizes, IAS, Professorial Inaugural Lectures, Data Protection, Records Management and Information Security, EthOS, Bhudda's Birthplace, Riverside Café and Bar Launch". Durham University. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Narey, Martin (5 July 2011). "THE NAREY REPORT: A blueprint for the nation's lost children". The Times. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  8. ^ Narey, Martin (30 July 2012). "Too many children are missing out on adoption". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Children's minister announces wider social care brief for Sir Martin Narey". Community Care. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "New Year's Honours List 2013". Financial Times. Financial Times. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded by
Richard Tilt
Director-General of HM Prison Service
Succeeded by
Phil Wheatley
New title Chief Executive of the National Offender Management Service
Succeeded by
Helen Edwards
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Roger Singleton
Chief Executive Officer Barnardo's
Succeeded by
Anne Marie Carrie