The start of the new academic year has seen a number of changes at the office of the Regional Schools Commissioner for the North. Janet Renou will be supported by two new Deputy Directors (DDs), Katherine Cowell and Jane Wilson.
Following restructuring, John Goodwin is the regional lead for Stockton, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Hartlepool, whilst Steve Bibby, Jean Jackson and Mark Marshall will cover the rest of the region (Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, South and North Tyneside, Sunderland, and Durham).
There are also two new co-opted appointments to the Northern Head Teacher Board (HTB); Sir Michael Wilkins and Elizabeth Horne OBE. Wilkins is the retired former CEO of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, whilst Horne is CEO of Horizons Specialist Academy Trust in the Tees Valley.
The RSC North newsletter that announced these changes also carried a message from the National Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, who wanted to reassure primary schools that the changes in KS2 testing and assessment will not mean that significantly more schools will be classed as below the floor.
He insists that the Regional School Commissioners will be proportionate in response to the 2016 outcomes, also taking into account success from 2014 and 2015. He writes: “We would not expect to routinely intervene with a primary academy/school on the basis of the 2016 outcomes only”.