Sir Ian Bauckham appointed interim Ofqual chief

Current chair of the regulator to serve for 12 month period from January after Dr Jo Saxton departs for UCAS job

Current chair of the regulator to serve for 12 month period from January after Dr Jo Saxton departs for UCAS job

Sir Ian Bauckham will become interim chief regulator of Ofqual from January, the organisation has announced.

The academy trust boss, who currently chairs the regulator, will take over for a 12 month period after Dr Jo Saxton leaves to become head of the University and College Admissions Service.

Bauckham will stand down both as Ofqual chair and chief executive of Tenax Schools Academy Trust, which he has led since 2015, to take up the new role. It is not clear if he will also leave his role as chair of the Oak National Academy.

Education secretary Gillian Keegan announced last month that the next boss of Ofqual would serve in an interim capacity for a year because of “the challenge of recruiting an experienced suitable candidate to such a high profile and a challenging role on a short-term basis”.

The public appointments process for a substantive chief regulator “will commence shortly”. 

Saxton announced in September she was standing down after just over two years in the job, leaving limited time for a full recruitment process.

‘A career devoted to advancing education’

Bauckham said his “entire career to date has been devoted to advancing education”.

“It is an honour, therefore, to be invited to serve as chief regulator of qualifications by the secretary of state at such an important time. 

“Qualifications, supported by regulation, open doors and transform life chances for students. I will be pleased to build on the existing working relationships I have with colleagues both within Ofqual and across the sector in this new capacity.”

He added he looked “forward to continuing Jo’s good work, and am fully committed to using Ofqual’s powers to regulate on behalf of students and apprentices”.

Bauckham will be Ofsted’s fifth chief regulator in four years.

Sally Collier resigned in 2020 over that year’s grading fiasco, and was replaced on an interim basis by Dame Glenys Stacey, who was also her predecessor.

Simon Lebus replaced Stacey, again on an interim basis, in January 2021, and then Saxton took over in September of that year.

Keegan said Bauckham’s experience “will be invaluable as Ofqual continues to ensure our current qualifications work effectively, alongside playing a vital role in the development of our new Advanced British Standard”.

“I’d like to thank Jo for guiding Ofqual through the challenges that followed the pandemic and ultimately overseeing a smooth return to exams and normal grading.”

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