Sir David Carter to step down as national schools commissioner

Academies tsar oversaw growth in the power and resources of the regional schools commissioners

Martin George

sir david carter, david carter, carter, national schools commissioner, NSS, RSCs, RCS, regional schools commissioner, resign, retire, step down, leave, exit, quit, DfE, department for education, academies, academy, free schools, free school

The government’s academies tsar has announced he will stand down after two and a half years in the post.

Sir David Carter, who oversees the network of more than 7,000 academies, was appointed national schools commissioner in February 2016.

His time in office has spanned three education secretaries, and witnessed the birth and death of flagship government policies to force the academisation of all schools, and create a new generation of grammar schools.

It has also seen the role and resources of the eight regional schools commissioners he oversees expand greatly, to include deciding the fate of coasting and inadequate non-academies, and playing an increasing part in school improvement.

The last two-and-a-half years have also witnessed the high-profile collapse of Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT), growing concerns about the transparency of the academy system, and a turf war between him and Ofsted over school inspection.

In an exclusive Tes interview published today, Sir David said he thought the greater scrutiny MATs were now under would prevent another collapse like WCAT. 

But he added: "There is always a potential risk that things can go wrong and it would be really naïve to say otherwise.”       

Sir David previously led the Cabot Learning Federation academy trust, and was appointed the first regional schools commissioner for the South West in 2014.

He said: “Over the past four years, it has been a pleasure to work with so many passionate, talented people who are working tirelessly to improve schools and raise standards for children. 

“I am proud to have played a part in this, and to have had the honour to lead the regional schools commissioners team. I have no doubt that this improvement will continue to evolve in the years to come.”

Education secretary Damian Hinds paid tribute to his “excellent work over the last four years”, and added: “Since joining the department, he has drawn on his wealth of experience in the classroom and at the forefront of academy trusts to nurture innovative approaches that have helped raised standards across the country.”

Sir David will step down from the role at the end of August 2018, with the DfE due to start the recruitment process to select a new national schools commissioner.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

Latest stories


Coronavirus and schools: LIVE 2/12

A one-stop shop for teachers who want to know what impact the ongoing pandemic will have on their working lives

Tes Reporter 2 Dec 2020
digital learning

How to make sure your staff are digitally up to date

The shifting nature of school life in 2020 calls for teaching staff who are confident to teach and support students using edtech platforms and available technology, writes Helen Carpenter
Helen Carpenter 2 Dec 2020