Alexis Jay

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Alexis Jay
Alexis Jay s300.jpg
Jay in 2016
Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
Assumed office
11 August 2016
Appointed byAmber Rudd
(as Home Secretary)
Preceded byDame Lowell Goddard
Personal details
Alexandrina Henderson Farmer

(1949-04-25) 25 April 1949 (age 73)
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
OccupationProfessor, social work leader

Alexandrina Henderson Farmer Jay, OBE (born 25 April 1949) is a British academic. She is visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde and the independent chair of the Centre for Excellence for Children's Care and Protection (CELCIS).[1]

Following the resignation of Justice Lowell Goddard, Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced on 11 August 2016 that Jay had been appointed to chair the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, of which she had previously been a Panel member.[2]

Jay is a former senior social worker.[3] She was previously chief social work adviser to the Scottish Government[4] and a former president of the Association of Directors of Social Work.[5]

Early life[edit]

Jay was born in Edinburgh. Her father, who was a carpenter, died following an industrial accident when she was two.[6] She studied social work at Moray House School of Education, now part of the University of Edinburgh.


In 2005, she took up the post of chief social work inspector at the Social Work Inspection Agency (SWIA), a government organisation scrutinising all aspects of social services provided by local authorities in Scotland.[7] She served as chief executive and chief social work inspector until the functions of SWIA and the Care Commission were taken over by the Care Inspectorate in 2011. She remained as chief social work inspector to the Scottish Government until early 2013.

Expert role in independent inquiries[edit]

She led the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham, an investigation into child sexual abuse in the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham in South Yorkshire.[4] She is the author of the investigation's report, published in August 2014.[8]

In September 2014 she was appointed to act as an expert adviser to an independent panel inquiry which was intended to examine how the UK's institutions have handled their duties to protect children from sexual abuse.[9] Following the abandonment of the initial panel inquiry in favour of a statutory inquiry, she was re-appointed as an adviser to the subsequent Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse chaired by Dame Lowell Goddard. After Goddard resigned as chair, it was announced on 11 August 2016 that Jay had been appointed to chair the Inquiry,[2]


She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2012.[1]


  1. ^ a b "2013 Archive: New Independent Chair for CELCIS". University of Strathclyde. 9 July 2013. Archived from the original on 27 August 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "New chairwoman of abuse inquiry named",, 11 August 2016; retrieved 11 August 2016.
  3. ^ Andrew Bounds (26 August 2014). "Rotherham leader stands down over child exploitation scandal". Financial Times.
  4. ^ a b "Alexis Jay will lead child abuse failings probe at Rotherham". BBC News. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Professor Alexis Jay OBE". Royal Volunteer Service. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  6. ^ Helen Pidd (13 July 2015). "Alexis Jay on child sex abuse: 'Politicians wanted to keep a lid on it'". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Sixty Second Interview with Alexis Jay". 7 April 2005. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Rotherham child abuse scandal: 1,400 children exploited, report finds". BBC News. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  9. ^ Garavelli, Dani (5 October 2014). "Alexis Jay hopes lessons are learned from Rotherham". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 5 October 2014.