Dr Ian Craig, Chief Schools Adjudicator
The chief schools adjudicator is to step down, it was revealed in a surprise announcement today. Although his contract is due to expire in April 2012,
Dr Ian Craig has the agreement of education secretary Michael Gove that a successor will take over in October. It is understood that Craig, who took up his post in April 2009, had not previously announced an intention to leave next year. His contract will now end on November 1. A statement published on the Department for Education's website said: "Dr Craig's contract is due to expire in April 2012 and he and the secretary of state have agreed it makes sense for his successor to take over in October this year to give them time to get up to speed ahead of the new admissions process. "As a result Dr Craig's contract will end this autumn and the process will begin to find his successor." An open competition will be launched to appoint a new chief schools adjudicator. Ministers have already revealed plans for a slimmed down, simpler admissions code, and it is expected that a consultation on the reforms will be launched within the next few weeks. A comment from Craig, who is understood to be out of the country, said: "I would like to place on record my thanks to the secretary of state and his ministerial team who have shown me considerable support since they took office. "I would also like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to my team of fellow adjudicators and the officials in the Office of Schools Adjudicator, who have worked so hard and so professionally to ensure that the admissions system is as fair as we can possibly make it. "With a new admissions process coming into force in 2012, I feel the time is right for a new chief adjudicator to take on the role. It has been my privilege to have held this post and I look forward to a smooth transition to my successor." Gove said: "I would like to place on record my deep appreciation for the rigour and hard work, as well as the professionalism and diligence that Dr Craig has brought to this post. With the implementation of a new slimmer code and admissions framework, subject to the passage of the education bill, we both agree the time is right to appoint a new adjudicator. "Following discussions with Dr Craig, I am today announcing that we will shortly launch an open competition to appoint a new chief adjudicator. Dr Craig's current contract was due to end in March 2012, but we have mutually agreed that it will be more appropriate for his contract to finish, with effect from 1 November 2011, following the delivery of his annual report."