A Guide to Regional Schools Commissioners

Geoff Gee, Ben Durbin, Daniele Bernardinelli, Karen Wespieser

09 September 2015

In September 2014 eight Regional Schools Commissioners (RSCs) were appointed to oversee the growing numbers of academies in England. Since taking up post, further announcements have indicated that their roles will expand to include decision-making in tackling underperformance in Local Authority (LA) maintained schools, and for coasting schools. RSCs are rapidly becoming an important and powerful part of the English education system.

This report explains the background and role of the RSCs, and presents an analysis of characteristics and challenges for each region. The analysis is presented as a comparative overview, followed by eight individual ‘region profiles’.

Regional Schools Comissioners - The picture in your region

East Midlands & the Humber | East of England & North-East London
Lancashire & West Yorkshire | North of England
South-Central England & North-West London | South-East England & South London
South West England | West Midlands

To see a list of local authorities in each Regional Schools Commissioner region, please click here.

Key Findings

  • The extent of academisation varies by region and phase so will affect the role of the RSCs
  • Some RSCs will be more challenged than others due to a wide variation in the numbers of coasting and ‘below floor’ schools per region. Many of these schools are already academies.
  • Finding effective sponsors for academies is crucial if RSCs are to tackle underperformance. The potential for existing sponsors to take on new schools varies by region, leaving some RSCs to look further afield for support.
  • Rising pupil numbers will make the RSCs’ job harder by exacerbating their challenges.
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