Two senior civil servants have been appointed as new regional schools commissioners (RSCs) to oversee the performance of hundreds of academies in the south of England.
The appointments confirm aTes story from April, which revealed the Department for Education's plan to hand the roles to career bureaucrats rather than former school leaders.
Last month also saw former Whitehall civil servant Dominic Herrington made permanent national schools commissioner, replacing former headteacher Sir David Carter, who stepped down last year.
Quick read: Herrington becomes interim NSC
Opinion: 'The regional schools commissioner system is a national disgrace'
Now, two more civil servants have won school commissioner roles. Hannah Woodhouse – who has previously held posts in the Department for Communities and Local Government, the DfE and the Cabinet Office – will replace Lisa Mannall as RSC in the South West of England.
Claire Burton, a former chief executive of the DfE's Standards and Testing Agency, takes the RSC post previously held by Dominic Herrington in the South London and South-East England region.
Since the eight RSC roles were created in 2014, many have been filled by former school leaders who joined the civil service when they took the job. However, Tes learned in April of plans to make the role a traditional civil service position filled by career civil servants with more powers and a greater role in areas such as teacher recruitment.
Mr Herrington said: “Hannah Woodhouse and Claire Burton will bring a wealth of educational leadership experience to these vital roles, and I am looking forward to working with them to continue supporting academies to raise standards for children across the country.”
RSCs oversee and make decisions about academies and struggling non-academies in their regions.
Academies minister Lord Agnew said: “Academies are raising standards in schools across the country – replacing underperforming council-run schools in some of the most disadvantaged areas and helping young people to raise their aspirations through a better standard of education.
“Hannah Woodhouse and Claire Burton will both bring deep expertise to the roles, which will be invaluable in helping to support and challenge school leaders across each of their regions.”
The DfE says the internal changes will help schools, local authorities and academy trusts work together by creating a joined-up team in each of the eight RSC regions to drive greater efficiency and coherence.
Replacements for the RSCs for the North West London and South-Central region and the North of England region will be confirmed shortly, it added.