The DfE is planning changes to the system that oversees academies which could lead to career civil servants rather than former school leaders overseeing thousands of schools, Tes can reveal.
It is understood that the proposals could also see the offices of the eight regional schools commissioners (RSCs) beefed up and given a greater role in areas such as teacher recruitment.
The DfE said the reforms, which have yet to be publicly announced, amounted to “operational changes” rather than changes to policy.
Tes has been told that the changes could see the RSC role become a traditional civil service position filled by career civil servants.
Since the role was created in 2014, many of the RSCs have been former school leaders who joined the civil service when they took the job, and left it when they stopped being RSCs.
A DfE spokesperson said: “To help schools, academy trusts and local authorities work with regional schools commissioners and their teams we will be making some operational changes in the coming months – but this does not amount to a change in policy.
“The changes will streamline the work teams across the country to create an even more joined-up team.”
Duncan Baldwin, deputy director of policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, told Tes: “We would welcome any change in the organisation and remit of regional schools commissioners which provides a greater breadth of support for all schools, particularly around teacher recruitment challenges, and which further helps to avoid any overlap between their work and that of Ofsted.”
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