Vicky Beer reverses her resignation as regional schools commissioner for Lancashire and West Yorkshire

17th February 2017 at 11:33
Vicky Beer has reversed her decision to resign.
Embryonic multi-academy trust which she had planned to join is forced to restart its search for an executive principal

A regional schools commissioner who was set to become the fifth to leave their post has reversed her decision to resign.

Vicky Beer, who oversees the academy system in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, announced earlier this month that she would leave to become executive principal of the embryonic Greater Manchester Learning Trust, which is based at Parrs Wood High School in Manchester.

She had been commissioner for the region since November 2015, after her predecessor Paul Smith quit.

However, it emerged this morning that she had decided to continue in her current role.

In a statement provided via the Department for Education, Ms Beer said: “Since informing Sir David Carter the National Schools Commissioner of my decision to accept the leadership of an emerging trust I have had the opportunity to reflect on the progress made across Lancashire and West Yorkshire since I became RSC, alongside what is still to be achieved for the young people and their families in our region.

“My reflections have confirmed for me that my priority should be to continue with this work over the coming years and to build upon the fantastic support I have received from MAT leaders and trustees to help shape an effective and sustainable MAT landscape across our region.

“Therefore after careful consideration I asked Sir David to consider rescinding my resignation and I am delighted that he and the DfE have agreed to this. I want to express my gratitude to the trustees of The Greater Manchester Learning Trust for their support and understanding of my decision and wish them well in the establishment of their trust.”

A statement issued on behalf of the school and trust said that it was not a decision “she has taken lightly”, and was “not in any way a reflection of GMLT or Parrs Wood High School”.

The trust is will now recommence its recruitment process, to fill the role Ms Beer was due to start at the end of April.

Suzannah Reeves, chair of Greater Manchester Learning Trust, said: "Whilst disappointed that Vicky will no longer be joining us, we respect her decision not to and are now setting our sights on recruiting a replacement executive principal for the trust, and are also in the process of appointing a head of school for Parrs Wood."

Fears that RSCs don't stay long

The news of Ms Beer’s decision to leave her post had sparked renewed concerns about regional schools commissioners only being in the post for short periods of time, before taking jobs with multi-academy trusts.

Following the announcement of her planned resignation, national schools commissioner Sir David Carter had tweeted: “Pleased for ‪@RSC_LWY that she has an executive leadership role. Exactly what RSC should do and take their experience back to schools.”

In a second tweet, he had said that there was a “strong field” for the East Midlands and the Humber role, after Jennifer Bexon-Smith announced her retirement, and that there was “interest already” in filling Ms Beer’s shoes.

The DfE had already published an advert for Ms Beer’s role.

A Department for Education spokesman said it was pleased she was staying, and that her decision was a personal one. The department added that that she would remain on the same salary as before.

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