Statement made on 1 November 2011:

As I begin my appointment as Chief Schools Adjudicator, I would first like to thank Dr Ian Craig for the work he has done for the Office of the School Adjudicator (OSA) during his time as Chief Schools Adjudicator. 

Ian led the OSA through changes in its remit, and has reported clearly each year on the progress being made in achieving fair access to schools for pupils in England.

He has handed on a team of school adjudicators, and administrative staff, who understand the importance of their work to parents and children, and who try always to be efficient and professional in their dealings with all who are affected by decisions made by adjudicators.

I am grateful to Ian for his leadership and for his good wishes for my future work with the OSA as recorded in his Annual Report published last week.

Today three new adjudicators take up their appointment and I welcome Miss Jill Pullen, Mr David Lennard Jones and Dr Melvyn Kershaw to the team. 

Adjudicators are appointed for their ability to act impartially, independently and objectively. It is crucial that we demonstrate our integrity, and are firm and fair, in the decisions we make within the legislation that governs our work.

I look forward to leading the OSA as it prepares for and implements the further changes to our remit foreshadowed in the Education Bill currently before Parliament.