Two new interim regional schools commissioners (RSCs) have been appointed by the Department of Education to help oversee the performance of more than 8,600 academies and free schools.
Dame Kate Dethridge will take up the RSC post in North West London and South Central region in August, while Katherine Cowell will take up the RSC post in the North of England region in July.
Both are former headteachers whose appointments appear to be bucking the trend for the roles to be increasingly handed to career civil servants rather than former school leaders.
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However both are only in post temporarily, and the DfE says the recruitment process for permanent candidates will begin the autumn.
National schools commissioner Dominic Herrington said: “Dame Kate Dethridge and Katherine Cowell will bring a wealth of education and leadership experience to these vital roles having worked in RSC offices and the education sector, and I am looking forward to working with them.”
Dame Kate and Ms Cowell will help to deliver the operational changes – taking place over the coming months – to the work carried out by regional schools commissioners to support more than 8,600 schools in England that have become an academy or opened as a free school since 2010.
A DfE spokesperson said: “These internal changes will help schools, local authorities and academy trusts by creating joined-up teams in each of the eight RSC regions to drive greater efficiency and coherence.
“Today’s news will help to build on the fact that more than half a million children studying in sponsored primary and secondary academies now rated good or outstanding, typically replacing underperforming schools.”