Longest-serving RSC Vicky Beer to retire

The government is advertising for three new regional schools commissioners – including to replace the current longest-serving regional commissioner.

Two of the three roles – the north and north west London and south central (NWLSC) regions – are currently filled on an interim basis.

However the third, Lancashire and West Yorkshire, is currently led by Vicky Beer. She’s been in the post since November 2015. Only Dominic Herrington has served longer, but he has since been promoted to national schools commissioner.

The DfE said Beer is retiring from full-time roles as her five-year term as RSC comes to an end, and will be replaced in the autumn.

Beer will join former colleague Martin Post as the only RSCs to see out their five-year contracts, after a long line of commissioners left to take up roles in the academy sector.

However Beer has tried to leave the role before. She handed in her resignation in in 2017 to become executive leader of the Greater Manchester Learning Trust, but she later U-turned on the decision to step down.

Herrington said: “I would like to personally thank Vicky Beer for her professionalism, resilience and excellence as Regional Schools Commissioner in the Lancashire and West Yorkshire region. She has made a fantastic contribution to the work of the team during her five years in post and has helped make a difference to education in the region.”

It was reported in March last year that Dame Kate Dethridge, a former primary school head, and Katherine Cowell, an ex-Downing Street education adviser, were to take up interim posts for the NWLSC and north regions respectively.

The government said at the time a formal recruitment process to fill the roles permanently would begin in the autumn.

The posts are advertised as paying up to £110,000.

The job advert for the Lancashire and West Yorkshire post calls for an “inclusive and collaborative leader, motivated by making a difference to those working in education”.

It adds: “You will be resilient and have the credibility to engage with and influence at the most senior levels; including senior ministers, along with a very wide range of local and national partners and stakeholders.”