Dame Mary Marsh has spent a lifetime championing children and young people.
She graduated from Nottingham with a Geography degree in 1968 and her many achievements were recognised by The University of Nottingham with an honorary degree in 2005. She is also an Honorary President of the Students’ Union at the University.
In the 2007 New Year’s Honours List she was awarded the DBE for her services to families and children and she was also mentioned in a book published that year listing the 200 most inspirational women in the world.
She spent the majority of her early career in teaching and headship. At the same time she was a Board member of the Government agency BECTa – British Educational Communications and Technology Agency and member of a number of working groups with the government on issues including social inclusion, citizenship, the curriculum, business links and ICT. She is also a national member of the Learning and Skills Council.
Dame Mary was Director and Chief Executive of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) from 2000 to 2008. She left the organisation to become the first Director of the new Clore Social Leadership Programme, launched by the Clore Duffield Foundation to identify and develop aspiring charity leaders.
Dame Mary played an active role at the helm of the NSPCC. In 2001 she helped to set up the inter agency group that brings together senior representatives of the statutory and voluntary agencies working with children in England. This group contributed actively to the development of the Every Child Matters agenda in regular consultation with civil servants and ministers.