Press release: New Schools Commissioner for the West Midlands

Christine Quinn will be responsible for overseeing the growth of academies in the region and will monitor their performance to ensure children receive the best possible education. She is taking over from Pank Patel, building on the strong foundations that he has formed throughout the region.

Christine will start on 3 October 2016, working to Sir David Carter to shape the role and priorities of the growing numbers of academies in the region, contributing to the government’s agenda of delivering educational excellence everywhere as set out by Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan.

Christine Quinn said:

I am delighted to be taking up the role of Regional Schools Commissioner for the West Midlands. Having worked in schools in the region for 25 years I relish the opportunity of working with Sir David Carter, the National Schools Commissioner, and the other regional schools commissioners to improve the life chances for all pupils and students in our schools and academies.

The richness and diversity of the West Midlands region makes the role of the regional schools commissioner in this area a particularly attractive one. I look forward to working with schools and academies along with their leaders and governors to secure the best possible experience for students and pupils in our region.

National Schools Commissioner Sir David Carter said:

I am delighted that Christine is joining my team of RSCs at such an exciting phase of the academies and free schools programmes. Christine has a wealth of experience having previously served as a headteacher and more recently in her capacity as both Executive Principal and CEO of Ninestiles Academy trust.

The West Midlands region will benefit from her vast knowledge and skills. I look forward to working with Christine as she takes forward her role as an RSC with vigour.

Regional schools commissioners’ (RSCs) responsibilities include:

  • taking decisions on the creation of new academies
  • monitoring their performance and improving underperforming academies
  • ensuring there is a strong supply of excellent sponsors to work with underperforming schools in the region
  • encouraging and supporting high-quality applications for new free schools.

The West Midlands commissioner works with over 700 academies and free schools in diverse areas including Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent and Shropshire.

Christine will be advised by a board of headteachers of outstanding academies or experienced educational leaders. The board challenges and supports the work of the commissioner, bringing additional educational insight and local intelligence to decision-making.

Notes to editors

1) The West Midlands Commissioner works with schools in:

  • Birmingham
  • Cheshire East
  • Cheshire West and Chester
  • Coventry
  • Dudley
  • Herefordshire
  • Sandwell
  • Shropshire
  • Solihull
  • Staffordshire
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • Telford and Wrekin
  • Walsall
  • Warwickshire
  • Wolverhampton
  • Worcestershire

2) This appointment brings the gender balance between the regional schools commissioners to 5 women and 3 men:

  • Tim Coulson: East of England and north-east London
  • Jennifer Bexon-Smith: East Midlands and the Humber
  • Vicky Beer: Lancashire and West Yorkshire
  • Janet Renou: North of England
  • Martin Post: north-west London and South-Central England
  • Dominic Herrington: South-East England and south London
  • Rebecca Clark: South-West England
  • Christine Quinn: West Midlands

3) The RSCs, supported by their headteacher boards, perform functions of the Secretary of State on her behalf, within a national framework. This will not cut across existing accountability lines; accountability will remain with the Secretary of State, with decisions better informed by sector expertise.

4) Ms Quinn’s biography:

Christine Quinn is the CEO and Executive Principal of Ninestiles Academy Trust; she is the first CEO and Executive Principal to lead the trust since Ninestiles School became Birmingham’s first ‘converter’ academy in January 2011. In April 2012 Ninestiles School became a teaching school, leading an alliance of primaries and secondaries in the east of the city and the trust now comprises 4 primary and 2, soon to be 3, secondary schools.

During her career, which began in Leeds as an English teacher, where she taught in 2 schools, Christine has also served as Headteacher of Waverly School and The International School, both in Birmingham.

Prior to being appointed CEO Executive Principal, Christine served as Principal of Ninestiles School which has been judged as ‘Outstanding’ in its last 4 Ofsted inspections, most recently October 2013. Christine is a National Leader of Education and currently a trustee of a number of boards both locally and nationally.

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