Education commissioner announced

By on 24/09/2014 in News

Chief Executive Mark Rogers has welcomed the appointment of Sir Mike Tomlinson as Education Commissioner for Birmingham.

The appointment, made by the Education Secretary, was announced today.

Sir Mike has had a distinguished career in a wide range of education roles, including holding the office of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools (Ofsted) and chairing the Hackney Education Trust. In this new role, which reports jointly to the Secretary of State for Education and the City Council’s Chief Executive, he will have oversight of the delivery of recommendations arising from the various investigations into the Trojan Horse affair.

The Education Commissioner will attend the fortnightly meetings of the 'quartet' - consisting of Leader of the Council Sir Albert Bore, Chief Executive Mark Rogers, Cabinet Member for children and family services Brigid Jones, and Strategic Director for People Peter Hay - the team already driving through the improvements to children's services.

Mark Rogers said: “The Education Secretary’s appointment of Sir Mike Tomlinson is a good decision for Birmingham. His experience and reputation give us confidence that we will be constructively supported and challenged in our efforts to move forward at pace from the recent controversies.
“We have already had a positive experience of working with our Safeguarding Commissioner Lord Warner, and we look forward to an equally productive relationship with Sir Mike in his new role.”

Note to editors:

Education Commissioner in Birmingham - Public Terms of Reference

The Secretary of State for Education has decided to appoint an Education Commissioner within Birmingham City council (BCC), for an initial period of 12 months, which may be extended as required. The Commissioner will oversee its actions to address the fundamental criticisms in the Kershaw and Clarke reports, while building resilience in the system as a whole. The Commissioner will be accountable to and report jointly to the Secretary of State for Education and the Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council; and will report monthly on progress.

The Commissioner will:

• ensure that Birmingham City Council implements a detailed improvement programme, and that change is delivered at pace.

• oversee a single integrated improvement plan in Birmingham, which will focus on: making immediate improvements in those schools highlighted in the recent reports, and any others which may be vulnerable; embedding improvements into the council's structures, building a credible and effective role for the Council in supporting the city's schools.

• hold senior council officers to account on achieving the deliverables, milestones and targets in the plan, and ensure that it has a strong operational focus.

• ensure that Birmingham City Council prioritises safeguarding and governance concerns in the plan, and that effective whistleblowing processes are put in place.

• act as an 'internal challenger' within the council, and carry out deeper investigations into areas requiring further consideration.
•       consider and advise the Secretary of State on whether any structural changes are needed within the council in the longer term.
Close links will be made with Sir Bob Kerslake's review of Birmingham governance, and with Lord Warner's role as Commissioner for children's services. Additionally the Commissioner will need to work in tandem with the Regional Schools Commissioner, who will take decisions on academies in the region in the Secretary of State's name.

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