Statement on preferred candidate for OfS Chair

The Department for Education has announced that Lord Wharton of Yarm is the preferred candidate to be the new chair of the Office for Students (OfS).

Sir Michael Barber, chair of the OfS, said:

'I congratulate Lord Wharton on being named the preferred candidate for Chair of the Office for Students. I look forward to helping my successor prepare to take on the role and to build on the achievements that we have made in the first three years of the Office for Students.'


  1. Sir Michael Barber was appointed chair of the OfS in 2017. His term will finish on 31 March 2021.
  2. Before being confirmed in post, the DfE’s preferred candidate will appear before the House of Commons Education Committee in a pre-appointment hearing early in the new year. Subject to this, the Education Secretary will consider the Committee’s recommendations before deciding whether to finalise the appointment.  
Published 18 December 2020

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