The education week that was: Sir David Carter gets more time to practice his floss dance moves

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Martin George

education week that was, tes, sir david carter, retire, resign, quit, leave, national schools commissioner, academis, DfE, SATs, KS1, KS2, tests, stress, floss

So, farewell Sir David Carter.

One of the biggest beasts in England’s school landscape this week announced that he would be exiting stage left this summer.

As national schools commissioner, he is the government’s academies tsar, overseeing a system that now educates 47 per cent of children in the state system.

A buoyant Sir David sat down for an exclusive chat with Tes to outline the reasons for his departure, saying he had done most of the things he had set out to do.

But while he himself was positive, and many took to Twitter to praise his integrity and impact, he leaves behind unresolved questions about the transparency of the academy system, its financial future and its ability to help the schools that are most in need.

But don’t expect Sir David to spend his new-found free time practising his floss dance moves – although he admitted he was "gutted" that the craze didn't feature in this week's Academies Show. Instead, he plans to coach academy chief executives after he leaves the DfE in August.

You would think that seven-year-old children are more likely candidates to be practising their floss dance moves, but it turns out they are probably too busy cramming for their Sats next month.

That was the frankly astonishing finding of exclusive Tes research with the National Education Union, which lifted the lid on the huge number of infants sitting mock Sats, being sent home with Sats practice papers, and even being targeted by private tutors.

The worry of Sats is hitting children and teachers, according to the survey, with the NEU warning that teachers do not want to teach Year 2 and Year 6 because they are the most stressful years.

Sadly, MPs on the Commons Education Select Committee are another group that is likely to be too busy to practice their floss dance moves, as they prepare to question education minister Nick Gibb about alternative provision on Tuesday, and local newspaper editor George Osborne about education in the North on Wednesday.

Oh, and did we mention the floss?

If you want to master the awkward straight-armed shimmy that is taking over our playgrounds, Tes is, as ever, your friend. Click here to read our most popular story of the week and perfect your floss dance moves.

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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