RSC Guide: Christine Quinn, West Midlands

Christine Quinn is the newest regional schools commissioner, filling the shoes of Pank Patel who presided over significant growth in the number of academies in the region.

Quinn, the former executive principal and chief executive of Ninestiles academy trust in Birmingham, has been in post for less than two months. She was given the job after Patel left to become headteacher of George Salter academy in West Bromwich.

Thirty per cent of the region’s 2,742 schools are now academies, a nine percentage point rise on 2014 and two percentage points ahead of the national figure of 28 per cent.

This growth has been in both urban and rural areas.


In Staffordshire, the number of academies has increased 141 per cent from 54 to 130, while the numbers have gone up 81 per cent in Cheshire East – from 36 to 65.

In Birmingham, there are now 168 academies, 38 per cent of the total number of schools and an increase of 37 per cent on 2014.

Stoke-on-Trent has had the smallest growth, with the number of academies going up from 37 to 42 in the past two years, an increase of just 14 per cent. Schools Week previously revealed how the city’s schools were caught by high repayments for buildings procured over a decade ago, making them unattractive to academy trusts.

The richness and diversity of the region makes the role of the commissioner in this area a particularly attractive one

The headteacher board Patel assembled remains mostly intact.

David Seddon, from Baxter college in Kidderminster, left last July, but the 2015 co-option of Kate Brunt from St Clements Church of England primary in Worcester keeps the membership at seven.

Elected members Mike Donoghue, Billy Downie and Sally Yates remain in place, although Yates is no longer a head.

Appointees Sir Mark Grundy and Linda Davis also continue to serve, as does co-opted member Peter Rubery.

Speaking about her role earlier this year, Quinn said she “relished” the opportunity of being the region’s commissioner, having “worked in schools in the West Midlands for 25 years.

“The richness and diversity of the region makes the role of the commissioner in this area a particularly attractive one,” she said.

“I look forward to working with schools and academies, with their leaders and governors, to secure the best possible experience for students and pupils.”

Pay details for Quinn are yet to be published, but as of September last year, Patel was paid a basic salary of between £125,000 and £130,000.


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