Tim Coulson

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Dr Tim Coulson was appointed Regional Schools Commissioner for East of England and North-East London in July 2014.[1]


The official role of Regional Schools Commissioners is to 'take decisions on the creation of new academies'; 'monitor their performance and improve underperforming academies'; and 'ensure there is a supply of sponsors' to take over underperforming schools.

Critics see them as “behind-the-scenes arms-twisters” to pursue the Department of Education's plans to force all English state schools into academy status by 2022.[2] One of their roles is to decide whether non-academies defined as “coasting” have to convert to academy status.[3]

To some critics, regional school commissioners are gradually transforming into shadow local authorities and Ofsteds, but with less democratic accountability or openness.[4]


Previously, Coulson was Director of Education at Essex county council. He was also responsible for curriculum and assessment developments at the Qualifications and Assessment Authority and was National Director of the National Numeracy Strategy. He also led an Education Action Zone in Lambeth and before that taught in London primary schools and was a headteacher.


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