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National Numeracy appoints new CEO

14 Feb 2020

National Numeracy has appointed Sam Sims to be its new Chief Executive Officer. Sam will take over from Mike Ellicock, the founding CEO, who is stepping down in June.

Sam is currently Chief Operating Officer at the charity Frontline, which works to improve the lives of vulnerable children by recruiting and developing outstanding individuals to be leaders in social work and wider society.

Before then Sam worked at Teach First in fundraising, including four years as the Director of Development. In both roles Sam was instrumental in achieving significant growth and building the charities into influential, sustainable and highly effective organisations.   


Sam joins National Numeracy as it embarks on a new five-year strategy to achieve a significant increase in reach and impact. This ambitious goal stems from the solid foundations created by Mike and his team, and the valuable support from our funders and partners.  

The trustees are extremely pleased to have appointed Sam to lead this vitally important next phase of development. They also wish to acknowledge the tremendous achievement under Mike’s leadership and thank him for his support in facilitating an orderly transition to his successor. 

Belinda Vernon, Chair of National Numeracy said:

“I am absolutely delighted that Sam is going to be our next Chief Executive. His commitment to achieve social impact on a grand scale and his experience of scaling up organisations is a powerful combination and exactly what we need for our next stage of our development. I very much look forward to working with Sam to support many more people to become confident with numbers. 

I would also like to acknowledge Mike’s outstanding achievements at National Numeracy over the last eight years. His passion, commitment and tenacity have been second to none. He has built National Numeracy into an influential organisation which has a very exciting future. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Mike and wish him the very best for the future.”    

Sam Sims said: 

“I am enormously excited to lead National Numeracy in supporting people to thrive throughout their lives and careers. I believe that the charity has a compelling mission from which everyone – individuals, businesses and the country as a whole – serves to benefit. 

I look forward to building on National Numeracy’s strong foundations – an exceptional staff team, trustees, supporters and partners – and helping the organisation to accelerate its reach and impact in making confidence and competence with numbers a lasting reality for people across the country.”

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