Every School an Academy – What are your thoughts?

The North RSC has set out the plans and aspirations for how the changes to schools will be delivered in the North. Please read decide and  feedback to the Regional Schools Commissioner on your thought and aspirations.

Please email


and share your views.

Children get one chance in education. Our aim is to work together to make the North of England a great place to learn and succeed, ensuring more children attend good or outstanding schools.

The role of the Regional Schools Commissioner, challenged by the Headteacher Board is: to ensure there are a sufficient number of high quality academy trusts to support schools to improve; to challenge under performance and facilitate rapid improvement; and to establish excellent new provision through free schools. As the North spans diverse geography and communities: from the urban Tyne and Tees to the isolated rural and coastal areas of Northumberland, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, it is important we work together to promote a self-improving school led system that can deliver higher standards across the region.

Challenge under performance

• Schools in Ofsted category 4 will be converted to academy status, under the leadership of a strong sponsor. • Academy sponsors will commence improvement programmes swiftly in newly opened sponsored academies and we will support and monitor our sponsors’ performance. • Where there is evidence of under performance in open academies, we will act swiftly to secure improvement by issuing warning notices; by their transfer to a strong sponsor or through other system-led challenge and support.

Build strong sponsors

• We will support new sponsors and free school proposers in areas of need. • We will create opportunities for the region’s employers to join trust boards, or become sponsors working with strong educationalists. • There are almost 90 multi academy trusts operating in the region and this number will grow as converters seek to join groups of schools in their area. • We will support the development of sponsors and MATs in our region to build strong networks and partnerships. We will meet this need via informative networking events; targeted use of the Academies Ambassadors Programme to support governance, Sponsor Capacity Fund and Northern Sponsor Fund to support expansion and coaching and professional development for MAT CEOs and other staff.

Open high quality new provision

• There are 10 open free schools, studio schools and UTCs in our region. • In parts of the region there is a need to secure more school places where the population is growing. We also have need for good quality alternative provision and special settings. We will encourage applications for new, high quality free schools to meet these needs. • Almost all of the schools that apply for academy status now do so in groups or seek to join existing groups. We will promote this approach and steer schools to create or join MATs. • We will encourage applications from academies that wish to open and extend nurseries, in order to expand good quality early education.

Facilitate collaboration

• We will encourage our strongest and outstanding academies to provide school to school support and the development of middle and senior leadership across the region. • There will be encouragement for every MAT to aim towards securing teaching school status, growing capacity for a self-improving education system. • We will support school improvement through the development of strong relationships with the Teaching Schools Council, the teaching schools in our region and NCTL. • We will put in place mechanisms for academy heads and chairs to forge strong networks and partnerships. • We will provide networking events and RSC round table discussions with academy heads and sponsors to develop sharing of best practice. • We will work with the EFA and national sponsors to advise on financial planning and good governance to help secure the viability of MATs in the region.

We will improve communications and transparency via newsletters, an annual report, social media, HTB meetings in academies across the region and by other means. Please do get in touch with any suggestions or queries you may have. We would be delighted to welcome visitors in Darlington or any advice on how we can improve and enhance education across the North.



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