The confusion continues

untitled (262)The new National  Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter appears to be determined to extend the lack of clarity and openness over his role and his actions, despite promising the very opposite  as long ago as Autumn 2014. He was first appointed to the role of Regional Schools Commissioner in the South West in 2014 and was elevated to the first among equals of Schools Commissioners at the beginning of February this year. He spoke at the Independent Academies Association conference in October 2014 promising that the individual votes of headteacher board members – who advise regional schools commissioners (RSCs) on academy chain takeovers – would be made public. They remain secret. One of the roles of his new job is to “lead communications between DfE and the education sector” and although he is only a month into his new post he has chosen not to answer questions about his plans to introduce a new tier system for academy chains and repeated requests from Schools Week website for further information about the issue of transparency and why it now appeared to be missing from his plans. A report was published in January by the House of Commons education committee on the role of Regional Schools Commissioners, who are now overseen by Sir David, highlighted “significant concerns” over transparency, and said the roles are “clouded in elements of secrecy”. In the same month he spoke on Radio 4 Radio 4’s Today programme stating he wanted commissioners to become more accountable and transparent and claiming “there are many routes” for the public to contact him. However in his first big interview, published in the Education Magazine TES last week he made no mention of transparency, although he did outline plans to introduce academy tiers, prompting the question from Schools Week. I have written before about the RSC’s, in June last year I profiled the RSC for the South East, a chap called Dominic Herrington whose background appears to be more civil servant than educator, although at that time he had been a School Governer for 5 years. However his responsibilities are huge. It seems vital for Sir David to deliver on his promises, in effect his homework is 16 months late!


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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