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Bauckham is Keegan’s pick for permanent Ofqual chief

Sir Ian Bauckham, the interim head of exams regulator Ofqual, is Gillian Keegan’s preferred candidate to take on the role full-time.

But his confirmation will be left up to whoever forms the next government.

Gillian Keegan

The government chose to appoint a chief regulator on an interim basis for a year after Dr Jo Saxton stepped down to head up the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.

Bauckham, the regulator’s former chair, stepped up to the role in January.

Now education secretary Keegan has put him forward for the full-time role “following approval by the prime minister”.

But Bauckham’s pre-appointment hearing with the Parliamentary education committee will not take place until after the election on July 4.

Confirmation won’t come until after election

It leaves a potential incoming Labour government facing the decision on whether to keep the Conservatives’ pick for chief regulator or find their own.

The government said Bauckham had been selected for the role “following an open recruitment competition and assessment process led by a panel, conducted in accordance with the governance code on public appointments”.

Bauckham served on the Ofqual board since 2018 and was its chair from January 2021 to December 2023.

He was also chief executive of the Tenax Schools Academy Trust, but stepped down to take the interim Ofqual role in January. He has also chaired the Oak National Academy since 2020.

Bauckham has strong links to the Department for Education and has chaired a number of reviews for Conservative governments, including one on modern foreign languages and another on initial teacher training.

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