Regional school commissioner pay revealed

Regional school commissioner pay revealed

The pay packets of the government’s regional schools commissioners (RSCs) have been disclosed, as part of a transparency release from the Department for Education (DfE).

The commissioners are part of the government’s middle tier of accountability for academies, brought in last September and tasked with tackling underperformance and boosting the number of academy sponsors.

The highest paid of the commissioners are Jenny Bexon-Smith, who oversees East Midlands and Humber, and Sir David Carter, who oversee the South West. Each receives an annual salary of between £140,000 and £144,999.

Tim Coulson, the commissioner for the East of England and North East London, is the next highest paid earning between £130,000 and £134,999.

Dominic Herrington (South East England and South London), Pank Patel (West Midlands), Martin Post (South Central England and North West London) and Janet Renou (Northern England) all receive between £125,000 and £129,999.

Paul Smith, commissioner for Lancashire and West Yorkshire, receives between £110,000 and £114,999.

The pay disclosure also reveals that Frank Green, the national schools commissioner, receives a salary of between £140,000 and £144,999, for a four-day week.

In December, in a written answer to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, the DfE’s permanent secretary Chris Wormald gave the estimated running costs for the RSCs and their offices for the first year as £4.5 million.

Figures included in the answer reveal staffing disparities between the regional offices, with the pay bill for Mr Herrington’s staff, at around £260,000, approximately £85,000 higher than Mr Smith’s.

The cost of premises for Mr Herrington’s office are also the highest, at £76,000 for the first year of operation, excluding refurbishment costs. Four of the eight offices were set up in existing DfE buildings and incurred no additional cost. Other sites cost between £26,000 and £53,000 per year.

While the role of the RSCs is an external-facing one, which includes promoting the benefits of academies and free schools, their introduction was widely seen as an acceptance by the government that the growing number of academies could not be directly overseen by Whitehall.