Andrew Hall, Ben Parnell and Janet Lord

Andrew Hall, the chief executive of AQA, is retiring at the end of the year.

Hall, who joined the awarding body in 2010, says the decision was prompted by realising that elderly relatives needed his support. “I want to be able to spend more time with them than my full-time job allows.”

He came into education because he wanted to “help young people have the best possible chance of competing in a tough economic climate.

“Our focus over the past five years has been on designing high-quality assessments that encourage and support good teaching and learning.”

Before joining AQA, Hall was director of strategic resource management at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority for two years. He became its chief executive in 2008.

Before moving to the public sector, Hall spent a considerable time as the chief executive of a public company and had built up his own business. Over the previous 20 years he had a number of management roles in industry.

An spokesperson for AQA says that recruitment for his successor will begin this month.

Ben Parnell has been appointed by Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) as its director for the south region.

Taking up the post from the start of this term, his role will be to work with the principals of the six Ormiston academies in the region “with a direct approach to make sure that they are all brilliant schools”.

Parnell started his career as a geography teacher in Cornwall and has spent the past few years leading a number of schools out of special measures, including Nova Hreod Academy in Swindon and The Hurlingham Academy, London.

He says he has a “fairly simple but effective” strategy to improve schools. “I make sure that we get really good teachers into schools and keep the really good ones that are there.

“I also have a belief that students shouldn’t disrupt learning in schools, ever. If you came into any of them you would find that every class is disruption-free and that allows good teachers to teach great lessons.”

Janet Lord has been appointed as the new head of secondary initial teacher education at Liverpool Hope University.

Lord, the former director of undergraduate matters in the school of psychological sciences at the University of Manchester, says her new role will be dedicated to “nurturing partnerships and collaborations with schools to create outstanding provision.

“We need to ensure that in any teacher training programme, we account for the individual, the school environment and the circumstances in which teachers are operating.”

Lord has spent the past 30 years teaching and leading education across the north west with roles in the education faculties of Manchester Metropolitan and Edge Hill universities.

She says that her consultancy work with schools and colleges has focused on the development of newly qualified teachers, underperforming teachers, and approaches to teacher CPD that “recognise the individuality of teachers and their experiences”.

She has a strong interest in inclusion was sparked early in her career when she worked with students at the University of Sheffield who had taken the access route into higher education.

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