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Oak CEO hunt surpasses a year

A permanent boss at the government’s curriculum quango has yet to be appointed, a year after the recruitment process began.

Applications to head up Oak National Academy closed on April 6 last year. Interviews were scheduled for June but no announcement has been made. 

Matt Hood, Oak co-founder, has acted as interim chief executive since it controversially became an arm’s-length public body in 2022. Hood has applied for the permanent role.

Matt Hood

The Department for Education, which is running the recruitment round, said this week that a chief executive would be announced shortly, but did not comment on why it was taking so long. 

An Oak spokesperson said: “We appreciate the process takes time and are optimistic the appointment will be made very soon.”

In the job advert, education secretary Gillian Keegan said the government was looking for an “outstanding individual with senior leadership experience and education sector expertise”. 

They must demonstrate their “expertise in designing and delivering an evidence-informed, knowledge-rich curriculum” and “the ability to navigate the political landscape skilfully”.

The salary is £120,000. 

Sir Ian Bauckham, Oak chair, Jenny Oldroyd, the DfE’s curriculum and general qualifications director, and Clare Wagner, head of The Henrietta Barnett School, were advising ministers on the appointment. 

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