Half of new regional schools commissioner deputies appointed

At least half of the new deputy directors being brought in to bolster the offices of the regional schools commissioners have already been appointed, TES has learned

Among the new recruits, who will each receive a salary of around £95,000, is a principal of a university technical college and an employee of Northamptonshire County Council.

In total, nine new deputies will be appointed. Eight will work in the regional offices and the ninth will support the national schools commissioner, Sir David Carter.

The directors who have so far been appointed are:

  • Maria Dawes, currently head of school effectiveness at Babcock Education, will support Dominic Herrington, RSC for South-East England and South London;
  • Anne Casey, now principal of Media City UK university technical college, will support Vicky Beer, RSC for Lancashire and West Yorkshire;
  • Dame Kate Dethridge, headteacher of Churchend Primary Academy and teaching school, will support Martin Post, RSC for North-West London and South-Central England;
  • Jonathan Lewis will move from his post, assistant director of learning, skills and education at Northamptonshire County Council, to support Tim Coulson, RSC for East of England and North-East London.

The new jobs were created in response to the growing demands on the regional schools commissioner role, following the rapid expansion of the academies programme.

‘Another layer of bureaucracy’

The decision to establish a new role has been heavily criticised by Russell Hobby, general secretary of heads’ union the NAHT, who told TES that more commissioners should have been created instead.

“I am very unhappy with that decision. I would have preferred to have seen more commissioners with smaller areas, rather than deputies, because all you are doing is creating another bureaucracy,” Mr Hobby said.

“There’s a good argument for having a single figurehead that is approachable in the regions.”

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