Ofqual hunts digital and data chief

Written by Sam Trendall on 14 December 2020 in News

Qualifications regulator offers £80k in bid to recruit DDaT director

Credit: Innov8Social/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Exams regulator Ofqual is offering an annual salary of £80,000 in its bid to recruit a director of digital, data and technology.

The postholder, who will report to the organisation’s chief operating officer, will be expected to “ensure the effective delivery of [Ofqual’s] Information Management Strategy, as well as delivering digital, data and technology services to the organisation”.

In addition to overseeing digital, data and IT operations, the successful candidate “will have a broad remit [covering] the engineering and security functions”.

“We are looking for a strong track record of developing and implementing a broad range of people strategies and initiatives to support organisational strategy and to build an inclusive culture,” the job advert said. “This is a ‘hands-on’ role, so you need to be happy to get stuck in, when the need emerges. Your experience of leading and inspiring change programmes and your strong communication skills will enable you to influence and motivate stakeholders.”

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Applications for the post are open until 11.55pm on Monday 4 January. Interviews are due to take place between 18 and 20 January.

The use of digital and data by Ofqual – which regulates exams and qualifications across England – has come under scrutiny this year, after the problems encountered by the algorithm used to calculate GCSE and A-level grades over the summer. After complaints that many students saw their predicted marks downgraded, all algorithmic results were ultimately scrapped, with pupils awarded grades based on their teachers’ projections. The system was heavily criticised for disproportionately affecting students from more disadvantaged backgrounds.

The regulator was also scolded by the Royal Statistical Society which claimed that Ofqual had, effectively, spurned an offer of help in creating the algorithm's model, by insisting that statisticians would first have to sign a long-term non-disclosure agreement.

Wales and Scotland have already cancelled all exams for 16-to-18 year-olds in 2021, and will instead find other ways of assessing students – without recourse to an algorithm. Education secretary Gavin Williamson has, to date, maintained that A-levels and GCSEs will go ahead as normal across England next year. Northern Ireland has yet to definitively decide one way or the other.


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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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