Exclusive: Ex-academy chief Jo Saxton to lead Ofqual

New Ofqual chief has been working as a policy adviser to Gavin Williamson since leaving her post as CEO of Turner Schools MAT

Catherine Lough

GCSEs 2022: Dr Jo Saxton, the government's preferred candidate as the next Ofqual chief regulator, supports advance exam topics

Former academy chief executive Jo Saxton is the government's preferred choice as the next head of exams regulator Ofqual, Tes can reveal.

She has been selected to take up the helm as chief regulator in September following the departure of Simon Lebus.

Dr Saxton will now go on to attend a pre-appointment hearing before the Education Select Committee on 6 July.  

ProfileJo Saxton

Background: MAT CEO and Rayner 'fan' becomes Williamson's adviser

News: Simon Lebus named Ofqual's next interim chief regulator

She has worked as a policy adviser to education secretary Gavin Williamson since leaving her post as chief executive of Turner Schools multi-academy trust in Kent.

Today, in comments released after Tes revealed his choice, Mr Williamson said: “I look forward to welcoming Jo Saxton to the role, whose wealth of experience makes her the ideal candidate to lead such an important organisation.  

“With a deep understanding of the education system and Ofqual, she will play a vital part in upholding standards and confidence in our exams and qualifications."

Dr Saxton’s previous experience includes serving as CEO of Turner Schools Academy Trust and CEO of Future Academies Trust. Prior to working with academies and schools, she taught and examined at universities in England and the US.

Dr Saxton previously told Tes that she was a big fan of Labour's former shadow education secretary, and now deputy leader, Angela Rayner saying: "I think she’s so cool".

She added: “I just think her drive and her determination, her recognition of how powerful education is, I just love it. I think it’s really exciting in politics at the moment that we’ve got some really driven, eloquent women leading."


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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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