NSPCC CEO, Sir Peter Wanless, has announced he is stepping down

Sir Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, will be passing the reins to a successor later this year, following 11 transformational years in the role.

Announcing his decision to staff and volunteers on Tuesday, Sir Peter called the role an "extraordinary privilege", working with a huge number of talented and committed staff and volunteers over more than a decade.

Sir Peter stepped into the role in 2013 in the wake of the Jimmy Saville scandal, and since then has led efforts to keep children’s safety at the forefront of the public’s minds. Taking up the role then, Sir Peter felt the NSPCC’s unique combination of policy evidence, research and insight directly from services like Childline presented a rare opportunity to do, enable and influence which made the role simply "too good to pass by".

More recently, Sir Peter’s tenure saw the launch of the NSPCC’s 10-year strategy, and while there is much still to do, the charity is already seeing some real, positive and lasting impact against each of its three goals. We are growing into our local structures and Childline is as vital and special as ever. And, every day, NSPCC employees, volunteers and supporters are having a positive impact on the life chances of children across the UK.

While Sir Peter will not be giving up work completely, he is open minded about what to do next and insists he will remain a lifelong supporter of the NSPCC and its work. Recruitment for a successor will begin shortly, and Sir Peter has agreed with the Board of Trustees to remain in post throughout the summer and beyond, if necessary, in some capacity while this process takes place.

Sir Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive, said in a message to staff and volunteers: “As I love my job, choosing to take this step has not been easy. But this does feel like the right moment to begin planning to pass the role on into new hands. It has been an extraordinary privilege to occupy this role and work with so many talented and committed people over the years.

“While I’m not racing off anywhere, I’m sure I will enjoy spending more time with my cricket club, my books, my record collection and my family. Although I don’t plan to give up work completely. I will, of course, remain 100 per cent committed to the NSPCC – and Childline – through my words, my actions and my charitable giving!

“There are so many people to thank when it comes to reflecting back on my time here, and there will be time over the coming months for that.

“Together we have made – and continue to make - a vital difference for so many babies, children and young people. I will be leaving full of positive memories and pride.”

“During his 11 years, Peter has led the NSPCC with wisdom, courage, humility, resilience and, above all else, integrity. He has focused our efforts on listening to children and young people and then placing the NSPCC where and how they need us to be - today and tomorrow. He has worked tirelessly to reposition the organisation further up the prevention end of the spectrum.

“Peter has been instrumental in ensuring the NSPCC works in true partnership with others; acting as the rallying point for children, inspiring and enabling everyone to play their part in ending child abuse and neglect. And he has always championed the experiences and the contribution of our people - our supporters, our volunteers and our staff; acknowledging and valuing their efforts and the positive, lasting impact they make for children and young people.

“He will be missed by all and, as Chair, personally and on behalf of the board, I would like to extend him my and our heartfelt gratitude and sincerest wishes for success and happiness in the next chapter of his life.”

- Neil Berkett, NSPCC’s Chair of the Board of Trustees