The government is expected to appoint one of Michael Gove’s favourite headteachers as its new children’s commissioner, the TES reports.

Dame Rachel de Souza, who is the founding chief executive of the Inspiration Trust group of academies in Norfolk and Suffolk, is due to take over from Anne Longfield next February.

De Souza is a well-respected educationalist in the state sector, but the appointment is likely to prompt some controversy as she has strong links with the Conservative party.

Former education secretary Michael Gove once told local newspapers that his ideal education policy would be “to clone Rachel 23,000 times”.

De Souza is seen as a traditionalist who supports the idea of a knowledge-rich curriculum.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “It is more important than ever before to have experienced and dedicated colleagues working with us in a shared ambition to protect and defend the most vulnerable children.

“I look forward to finalising the appointment of Dame Rachel de Souza as the next children’s commissioner, where she will bring her considerable experience of raising outcomes for every child to this essential role.”