REGIONAL SCHOOLS COMMISSIONERS- AN IMPORTANT ROLE BUT WHAT ABOUT CAPACITY?

All regional schools commissioners are employed under a contract of employment with the Department for Education.

The Regional Schools Commissioners carry out the following functions on behalf of the Secretary of State:

Monitoring the performance of academies and free schools in their area;

Taking action when an academy or free school is underperforming;

Taking decisions on local authority maintained schools wishing to convert to academy status;

Approving changes to open academies, including age range changes, mergers between academies, and changes to multi-academy trust arrangements;

Managing the regional sponsor market for academies, including approving applications to become an academy sponsor;

Making recommendations to ministers about free school applications;

And from this month (July):

Decision-making on tackling underperformance in maintained schools through sponsored academy arrangements.

The Secretary of State continues to be accountable for these areas and for all decision-making on her behalf.

Regional School Commissioners are clearly  now an important part of the accountability framework. They are being asked to do quite a lot in holding  many schools to account, across local authority boundaries. It will be interesting to see how their relationship with Ofsted develops. But am I alone in thinking that  this is all a bit of a gamble ? RSCs are untested and look  to me to  be very short  indeed on the capacity front,  given the scope of their remit, even taking into account the support they will receive   from the 32 headteachers (who already  have a day job) who have been voted by their peers to sit on the boards of the eight RSCs.

The staffing complement in each regional schools commissioner’s office is listed in the table below:

Office and regional schools commissioner Total staff Grade 6 Grade 7 SEO HEO EO AO
East Midlands and the Humber – Jennifer Bexon-Smith 6 1 2 1 2
Lancashire and West Yorkshire – Paul Smith 7 1 2 1 2 1
North of England – Janet Renou 6 1 2 2 1
East of England and North East London – Dr Tim Coulson 7 1 1 1 1 3
South Central England and North West London – Martin Post 6 1 2 1 2
South East England and South London – Dominic Herrington 7 1 2 4
West Midlands – Pank Patel 6 1 2 1 1 1
South West England – Sir David Carter 7 1 2 1 1 2

 

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