Frances Wadsworth CBE named as interim Chair of the Ofqual Board

New interim Chair at Ofqual

Frances Wadsworth CBE

Frances Wadsworth CBE has been appointed by the Secretary of State for Education to serve as interim Chair of the Ofqual Board.

Frances will replace Sir Ian Bauckham CBE, who is standing down to become interim Chief Regulator.

The appointment as interim Chair is for a period of up to 12 months from 1 January 2024, during which time a competition to recruit a permanent Chair will take place. 

Frances has served on the Ofqual board since April 2017, and is the current Deputy Chair.

Frances has worked in the education sector for over 30 years, initially teaching in schools and lecturing in Further Education. Her career progressed through management and leadership roles, including serving as Principal and Chief Executive of both Croydon College and East Surrey College. 

Since May 2018 Frances has served as a Deputy FE Commissioner and in 2021 took on the role of interim Further Education Commissioner for 6 months.

Sir Ian Bauckham’s appointment as interim Chief Regulator was approved by Privy Council on 13 December.

Frances Wadsworth CBE, designate interim Chair, said: 

"I am delighted to have been invited to serve as the interim Chair of Ofqual, particularly at such an important time for the organisation and for the sector. 

"I know from my experience in education how important qualifications, supported by regulation, are and the impact they can have on individuals, employers and organisations.

"I look forward to working with the interim Chief Regulator, the team at Ofqual and with my board colleagues to continue supporting Ofqual’s important work, in my new role as Chair."

Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan said:   

"I’d like to thank Sir Ian for all his hard work over the last 2 years, as he steps down from the Chair position in order to take up the post of interim Chief Regulator.

"Ofqual plays an important role in ensuring our current and future qualifications work effectively, especially as we develop the new Advanced British Standard. 

"Frances brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in advancing education and I look forward to working alongside her to ensure students taking qualifications and assessments in 2024 have the best possible chance to succeed."