Sally Collier

The Chief Regulator, Sally Collier, has decided that the next stage of the awarding process would be better overseen by new leadership. 

The Ofqual Board has asked Dame Glenys Stacey to assume a temporary leadership role as acting Chief Regulator until December 2020, having previously served as Chief Regulator between 2011 and 2016. She will be supported by a new committee of the Ofqual Board, which will include one or more of the current Ofsted Board members. This new committee will be chaired by Amanda Spielman and will oversee the work of Ofqual to the end of the year. Roger Taylor remains Ofqual Chair.

The @Ofqual Board has agreed interim leadership arrangements with @OfstedNews to support the ongoing work on this summer’s GCSE, A level and vocational qualifications 

It has been announced that Amanda Spielman is to chair a new board committee at Ofqual that will oversee much of the work of the exam regulator to the end of the year.

These arrangements are part of a package of measures to ensure that Ofqual has the extra capacity, support and oversight it needs both to tackle the remaining issues from this year’s awarding process and to ensure that next year’s arrangements command public confidence.

Amanda will remain in her role as HMCI at Ofsted during this period. At this time, Ofsted’s routine inspection work remains suspended, but inspectors will be visiting schools and colleges through the autumn to gauge how the education system is getting back up to speed after the lockdown. Inspectors will also continue to regulate social care and early years providers.

The Ofqual Board has agreed temporary support arrangements with Ofsted to support the ongoing work on this summer’s GCSE, A level and vocational qualifications, including appeals and autumn exams, and preparations for next year’s exam season.

The Chief Regulator, Sally Collier, has decided that the next stage of the awarding process would be better overseen by new leadership.

The Ofqual Board supports Sally in this decision, and thanks her for her leadership and service over the past 4 years, which has included overseeing the successful introduction of an entirely new set of GCSEs and A levels, and a new grading system.

As a result, the Ofqual Board has asked Dame Glenys Stacey to assume a temporary leadership role as acting Chief Regulator until December 2020, having previously served as Chief Regulator between 2011 and 2016. She will be supported by a new committee of the Ofqual Board, which will include one or more of the current Ofsted Board members. This new committee will be chaired by Amanda Spielman and will oversee the work of Ofqual to the end of the year. Roger Taylor remains Ofqual Chair.

If required, Ofsted will also provide additional staff to support Ofqual during the autumn, as they have been supporting other government departments through the summer.

Taken together these arrangements will ensure that Ofqual has the extra capacity, support and oversight it needs both to tackle the remaining issues from this year’s awarding process and to ensure that next year’s arrangements command public confidence.

Sector Response: 

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

 “Following Sally Collier’s decision to step down as Ofqual’s Chief Regulator, I’d like to thank her for the commitment she has shown to the role over the last four years and wish her well for the future.

“I welcome Ofqual’s announcement that Dame Glenys Stacey is to assume a temporary leadership role as acting Chief Regulator and also the new internal governance arrangements put in place with Ofsted support.  This will make sure Ofqual can fully focus on the important functions it must deliver as the independent regulator for qualifications, examinations and assessments in England.

“Moving forward, my department will continue to work closely with Ofqual’s leadership to deliver fair results and exams for young people.”

Responding to news that Sally Collier, Ofqual's Chief Regulator is standing down and Amanda Spielman is to chair a new committee of the Ofqual board, Deputy Chief Executive, of the Association of Colleges, Kirsti Lord said: 

"This has been a challenging year for students and teachers, the Ofqual algorithm designed to standardise grades has had a disproportionately negative effect on college students and their progression. AoC called for a review of the systems and processes in place which impacted on 2019/20 results, to be conducted independently and swiftly to ensure that these are not replicated in 2020/21. Following the resignation of Sally Collier as chief regulator of Ofqual, the interim appointment of Dame Glenys Stacey with the support of Amanda Spielman to lead a transparent review is welcome. At the heart of this issue is fairly recognising the achievement of students and enabling them to progress onto next steps. We must take the opportunity to reflect on inequalities in the system and ensure it works for everyone in the future.”

Commenting on the resignation of Sally Collier, Chief Regulator of Ofqual, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

"Someone had to take responsibility for the exams fiasco, but the issues run far deeper than the actions of one chief executive. 

"Sally Collier had no option but to follow through Michael Gove's reforms of GCSEs and A-Levels, which set up many of the problems of 2020. We have no sure way of knowing where the balance of fault lies, but we can be quite certain that Gavin Williamson gave direction to Ofqual that there should not be grade inflation and all candidates should get a fair grade. He must have known that both those directions are incompatible.  

"There are now two former Conservative education secretaries, Kenneth Baker and Justine Greening, who agree with us that the way in which we assess qualifications is not fit for purpose. 

"Our letter to Gavin Williamson last week called for a reduction in content assessed in exams next summer, collaboration with the profession to develop a robust national system of moderated centre-assessed grades in case of further outbreaks of Covid-19, and a thorough independent review into assessment methods along the lines announced for Scotland. (1) 

"At the same time we launched a matching petition, which now exceeds 45,000 signatures. (2) 

"Ofqual already had an image problem amongst teachers and heads, but the parachuting in of Amanda Spielman from Ofsted makes an absolute mockery of Ofqual's purported independence."  

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