Ofqual’s chief regulator Glenys Stacey has announced today she will leave her post when her five-year term ends in February next year.
Ms Stacey said she has established Ofqual as a credible and effective regulator and the time is right to move on.
Education secretary Nicky Morgan has led the tributes, saying: “During a time of significant reform she has brought both great insight and fastidiousness to this crucial role and our education system is much the better for it.”
Ms Stacey marshalled the regulator’s response to the 2012 GCSE fiasco where grade boundaries were changed dramatically by exam boards midway through the academic year.
Ofqual said the boundaries set were too easy, but teachers and parents hit out against the change and took their case to the High Court.
The regulator stood firm despite the mounting criticism and judges dismissed the case – ruling out unlawful behaviour by Ofqual.
Ms Stacey, in a statement, said: “I have been enormously privileged to have led Ofqual for the last five years, and delighted at the way in which it has developed.
“It is now an established part of the education world, with a key role in maintaining standards and improving qualifications central to young people and their future life chances.”
Ms Stacey said she is not retiring and “will look to use the skills I have acquired over my long career in public service”.
Ofqual chair Amanda Spielman said: “Glenys will be a huge loss to Ofqual, but it is typical of her approach that she has given us an extended period of time to find a suitable replacement and opportunity to ensure a smooth transition.”
The department for education will be seeking a replacement in due course.