The Department for Education is to appoint eight new senior civil servants to head up regional schools commissioner (RSC) offices and help handle their rising workload.
The deputy directors will “complement senior leadership teams” in each of the eight RSC offices, but will not have the decision-making powers specific to RSCs.
As Schools Week reported yesterday, Maria Dawes, head of school effectiveness at Babcock Education, will take up one of the deputy positions in the middle of June.
She is believed to be the first appointment, with recruitment for the other posts still ongoing.
The Department for Education (DfE) said the other appointments will be announced when complete by the relevant RSC.
A spokesperson for the department would not provide details of their salaries, but said they will depend on individual skills and experience.
According to Glassdoor, a job marketplace company, the salary for a deputy director post in the civil service can range from £66,000 to £75,000.
Using the lower salary estimation, it means the new posts could cost more than £500,000 a year.
The staffing expansion comes as RSC offices prepare to take on extra work with the government’s proposals to academise coasting schools, as well as schools in council areas deemed underperforming or unviable.
Some in the sector have expressed concerns the new directors will essentially be deputy RSCs.
However when asked this by Schools Week, the DfE said: “These positions are not deputy RSCs, they are specific civil service grades and do not have the decision-making powers specific to RSCs.
“Deputy directors will complement the senior leadership teams in each RSC’s office, helping to deliver the expansion of the academies programme and recruit strong sponsors.”
Their duties, according to the job advert, include monitoring performance and intervening in underperforming academies, managing academy trusts, sponsors and local authorities, and providing strategic advice to RSCs and ministers.
The job adverts closed in March.
The DfE is also searching for a new RSC for the West Midlands after Pank Patel quit. He is to join the George Salter Academy, run by Ormiston Academies Trust, as revealed by Schools Week yesterday.
The school was rated inadequate by Ofsted in April.