Glenys Stacey, chief regulator at Ofqual, has announced that she will step down from her role in February at the end of her five-year term.
Ms Stacey, who has run the watchdog during a period of major change to the exam system, said it was time for a “fresh face” to take over the agency.
The former solicitor said it had been an “enormous privilege” to lead Ofqual over the past five years, adding that the watchdog had become an “established part of the education world”.
“It is now time for a fresh face to lead the organisation. I took this job in order to establish Ofqual as a credible, effective regulator,” Ms Stacey said. “I have achieved that and believe the time is right now for a change in leadership. I am not retiring, and will look to use the skills I have acquired over my long career in public service.”
Education secretary Nicky Morgan praised Ms Stacey’s commitment and added that the Department for Education would be seeking a replacement in due course.
“Glenys has an absolute commitment to ensuring that young people leave school with respected qualifications that will open the doors for their future,” Ms Morgan said. “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’s departure comes in the same week that TES revealed Charlie Taylor, chief executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, was stepping down to take up a new role in the Ministry of Justice.