Prior to this morning I had never heard of Dominic Herrington, and based on his official website it is not possible to discover very much at all. We are told that he was “previously Director of the Academies Group at the Department for Education. Earlier in his career he has also led a range of policies and programmes at the Department for Education including specialist schools, school improvement, 14 to 19 reform and education legislation and been on secondment to a leading management consultancy.” That is the sum of it. I checked Wikipedia and he has no entry. He has 3 profiles on LinkedIn, the most current of which (and only one that does more than list a job title) is available here. It discloses 2 extra facts about our mystery bureaucrat. It tells us that Dominic was seconded to Cap Gemini and he is Vice Chair for the Governors at Goodrich Primary School in Southwark London.
None of this is really all that remarkable or important except that Mr Herrington is the Regional Schools Commissioner for South-East England and South London. This role gives him authority over Schools in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and South London Boroughs including in all unitary authorities such as Brighton & Hove. His website explains that “The Regional Schools Commissioner for is responsible for making decisions about the academies and free schools” and as a result of the announcement this morning, the Government is planning to hand responsibility for the future of any inadequate School in the region to Mr Herrington, without any of the usual trappings of accountability or checks and balances except a committee of head teachers whose names are presumably listed somewhere. It will be Mr Herringtons task to ensure all of these Schools are turned into Academies, even if this is against the wishes of parents, teachers, governors and elected councillors. He is certainly not expected to consider the wishes of the children he will be responsible for.
If Mr Herrington is to exercise such power over our Schools, we should be told a bit more about him and his credentials for such an important task. It is reassuring that Mr Herrington unlike most of the Politicians he works for, does at least have nearly 5 years experience of working as a School Governor, albeit in a Primary School. However that does not compare well to the track record in education of some of the other RSCs. Perhaps the Department for Education could consider expanding his CV on the website, or ask Mr Herrington to expand his LinkedIn profile which provides no information about him prior to 2010 including his own education. The photo above was captured by the interweb and clearly comes from some publication or other. Perhaps we could all know what he means by ‘Historical Advantage’!