The new regional schools commissioners

The new regional schools commissioners

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The lessons of London’s educational success over the past decade can be exported to other parts of the country, Martin Post, the regional schools commissioner for north west London and south central England has said.

Speaking to Schools Week, Mr Post said it would be “daft” not to replicate elsewhere the collaborative approach that had worked well in London.

“I think we would take lessons from anywhere, but these are lessons that are right on our doorstep” he said.

“They are a homegrown success – so we would be daft as a system if we weren’t trying to learn the lessons and link up in the way London schools have done,”

“No one is isolated in London.

“Schools are supporting each other towards success and that’s the kind of thing we need to replicate.”

Mr Post was previously headteacher at Watford Grammar School for Boys for 14 years, Hertfordshire, and spent a total of 25 years working in the county.

Since mid-August, however, he has been one of the government’s new regional schools commissioners, with a patch straddling inner London and the Home Counties.

Asked why he applied for the role, Mr Post said the role was too good an opportunity
to miss.

“It was the kind of challenge I didn’t expect to get, to be honest, and I didn’t expect this kind of role would come along,” he said.

“I’ve been saying for years that this is the only kind of job that would make me leave a job I’ve enjoyed for 25 years.”

Each Regional School Commissioner (RSC) will lead a headteachers’ board (HTB) – with four elected members, two members appointed by the commissioner with the option to co-opt a further two members.

Four headteachers were selected to the new board during open elections in the summer term.

Mr Post has also appointed two primary school leaders — Kate Dethridge and
Dame Alison Peacock.

One of the first things the board will be discussing is whether to co-opt two further members.

“That’s something we’re going to be discussing,” said Mr Post.

“With only six people on the board and me chairing it, it’s impossible to reflect all the interest groups and all of the groups that want to make this a successful experiment.

“We’re going to be talking — both at our own HTB, but also when the regional commissioners all get together next week for our first RSC forum — about ways in which we can incorporate all of the goodwill and local knowledge which people want to give us.”

Based in Hemel Hempstead in leased government buildings, Mr Post said he was looking forward to meeting more of those working on his new patch.

“I want them to feel they’ve got access to me — because obviously I’ve got a decision-making role, but I’ve also got a championing role, and I want to champion what’s really good out there in the region,” he said.

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