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Sir David Carter speaking at the Festival of Education

Sir David on his 2022 vision

National Schools Commissioner Sir David Carter sets out his vision for the future at the Telegraph Festival of Education

Posted by Stephanie Broad | June 28, 2016 | Events

Sir David Carter started out as a teacher in 1983, becoming a head for the first time in 1997. Since then, he has been a pioneer of the academy sector, heading up the Cabot Learning Federation in Bristol for seven years before becoming the first Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) for the South West in 2014. This year, he was appointed National Schools Commissioner, to work closely with the eight RSCs in leading improvement and growth in the English education system. 

At the Telegraph Festival of Education, Sir David delivered his vision in a speech entitled ‘Building an education system on lasting collaboration, leadership and great governance’. A reasonable, pragmatic speaker with real on-the-ground experience, Sir David acknowledged that our education system faces challenges to keep up with the rest of the world: “I have no doubt that in the last 20 years we are closer to [a world class education system] than we have ever been, however the rest of the world’s got better too. 

There are three areas to focus on in order to see a world-class education system, according to Sir David. The first is to create structures to drive up school standards – simply converting to academy status is not an instant fix. Secondly, as students leave compulsory education, they need to take the view that their education is only just starting, rather than coming to an end. As well as learning skills for jobs that don’t exist yet, new skills can also be applied to the current workplace. The third area is achieving this by helping students see where they fit locally and well as internationally. 

By 2022, the DfE is expected to have delivered 22,000 academies in the system. Mutual collaboration is going to be an important factor, says Sir David – every school needs to give and receive support. The capacity of the system needs to be grown carefully, so that all trusts have a strategy and only take on new schools when appropriate. School improvement is also going to be peer-led: “This is not going to be consultancy city” he says. Sir David acknowledges the enormity of improving the education on a regional level, and as part of his commitment to delivering the 2022 vision, the 100 weakest academies will report directly into the National Schools Commissioner’s office. 

Watch Sir David’s full presentation on the Festival of Education YouTube channel.

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