After graduating from Newcastle University, Ian had a career working in the professional services sector as a chartered accountant and partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers. He retired from PwC in 2019 and now carries out a series of non-executive and volunteering roles focussed on education and social mobility.

Whilst with PwC, he worked both in audit and advisory roles across the North of England and London, including leading the education practice in the UK. Through this he has worked with many education institutions and cross sector bodies. He has also carried out a series of related external roles including leading on the Skills and Inclusion agenda for the Professional and Business Services Council, being a school governor and, from January 2021, has been the Chair of York College.