Head of curriculum quango quits with warning

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The head of the body responsible for deliver the national curriculum quit today.

Andrew Hall, chief executive of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, announced his resignation just three days after Conservative schools spokesman Michael Gove confirmed the quango would be abolished if his party won the general election.

He told a meeting of headteachers in the House of Commons that its employees would be served with “a new piece of paper - a P45” under the Conservatives,.

Mr Hall’s is thought by insiders to be the first amongst a number of high profile departures from government quangos in the run-up to the election as a result of uncertainty over their futures.

Mr Hall, who took over at the QCDA last year after a career in finance, is to be come director general of the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance – the country’s biggest exams boards.

Colleagues said they reckoned his departure would be followed by others at the QCDA..

The Conservatives have made it clear they will cull a number of government quangos – covering a range of government departments – in a bid to prune spending.

Mr Hall said today: “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead AQA at this point in time.

“It has an excellent reputation both as a contributor to the wider education system on the one hand and supporting individual schools and teachers on the other.”

Dr Mike Cresswell, the current director general of AQA, is retiring at the end of the month. Mr Hall will take up his post in June.

The QCDA and its predecessor body, the QCA, have had a chequered history in the past decade. Both Mr Hall’s predecessors at the QCA quit or were sacked - Dr Ken Boston resigning as a result of the fiasco over unmarked national curriculum tests in 2008 and Sir William Stubbs was sacked by then Education Secretary Estelle Morris over an A-level regrading crisis in 2002 when hundreds of papers had to be remarked.