Toby Salt has taken the top job at exam board AQA, Schools Week reports. Salt is currently the chief executiveof Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), and will succeed Andrew Hall in the top job at AQA, when Hall retires later this year.

Salt has said it will be “real wrench” to leave OAT for the top job at AQA, but has said his new role coincides with a “critical time for education”, ahead of major qualification reforms this year.

Salt will step in to the role in July this year, for a transition period until the end of August, when Hall officially retires.

Hall leaves the exam board after seven years, having joined in 2010. AQA has the second highest market share of all qualifications behind Pearson.

Paul Layzell, chair of AQA’s council of trustees, said Salt has shown a “tireless commitment to ensuring that every young person realises their full potential”. He added:

“As AQA shares this mission, Toby is the perfect choice to lead our organisation into the future. I know he’ll provide strong leadership rooted in a deep understanding of the education world, and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to AQA in the summer.”

Salt brings more than 30 years experience in education to the top job at AQA, starting off as a teacher in a state school, before working as headteacher in a variety of schools.

He later took a government role in the innovation unit at the formerly named Department for Education and Skills, before working as deputy chief executive at the National College for School Leadership.

OAT is well known for taking on some of the most challenging schools in the most deprived areas across England, and has been praised for its strong focus on extracurricular activities. The trust will now start a recruitment process to appoint a new chief executive.