South west RSC Rebecca Clark resigns to join Ark academy chain

The regional schools commissioner for the south west of England Rebecca Clark is to leave her role at the Department for Education to take a new job with the academy chain Ark.

Department officials have today confirmed that Clark, who was appointed as the RSC for the south west region last April following Sir David Carter’s promotion to the role of national schools commissioner, is to leave after just over a year in post.

She will be Ark’s regional director for London and Portsmouth secondary schools.

We’re very fortunate to have someone of her calibre and experience joining us

Clark was the youngest headteacher in the country when she was appointed to lead Oasis Academy John Williams in 2009, at the age of 31, and subsequently worked as education director and South West regional director for Oasis Community Learning before taking up the RSC role.

Ark, which, with its network of 35 schools nationwide, is one of England’s largest academy chains, says Clark brings with her “a wealth of experience in the education sector”.

“We’re very fortunate to have someone of her calibre and experience joining us,” a spokesperson said.

Clark is the latest in a series of schools commissioners to leave the department for top jobs in the academies sector.

In April, it was announced that Tim Coulson, the RSC for the east of England and north east London would head up Samuel Ward Academy Trust.

Pank Patel, RSC for the West Midlands, stepped down in May 2016 to lead an academy for the Ormiston trust.

Paul Smith, RSC for Lancashire and West Yorkshire, resigned in early 2015 to join the Future Academies trust, which was founded by schools minister Lord Nash.

His replacement Vicky Beer had announced earlier this year she was also to quit, but then U-turned on the decision after reflecting on the progress made in her region.

Ark has been approached for comment.

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    • I agree. The situation stinks. The problem is that the Minister in charge of Academies bought his peerage and thereby his ministerial position. So he is highly unlikely to condemn others. It is a case of “follow my leader”.

      I feel concerned for any remaining RSCs. Any decision they make will be looked at with suspicion in case they are just lining themselves up for a big pay packet somewhere.

      They say “the fish rots from the head”. I cannot see anyone in a position of power who is able to cut out the rot. The gangrene is spreading, and we all knows what happens if you don’t deal with it quickly.

      Sir David Carter should be making a statement on how we put a stop to this unsavoury practice, not least before he becomes a Chief without any Indians.

  1. Stephan Laws

    Shocking that the RSCS have no commitment to their roles.
    Waste of public money indicting these people when they don’t hang around. ARK should be ashamed for taking her on so soon into her RSC role.