Michael Gove attacked for all-male cast of school regulators

A fresh row broke out yesterday over female representation in government after it emerged that Michael Gove has failed to appoint any women to a new highly paid group of schools “super-regulators”.

All of the six regional schools commissioners unveiled so far are men, despite women making up 84 per cent of the education sector. Even if the remaining two vacancies go to women, they would still be outnumbered by men three to one.

The appointment of the six men follows criticism of the Education Secretary for sacking one of the only women in a senior national role in education – Baroness Sally Morgan, the former chairman of Ofsted. Although her departure was alleged to be politically motivated, it was also seen as a setback for women in senior government roles.

Mr Gove has said the regional schools commissioners, who will earn as much as £140,000 a year, will act on his behalf overseeing free schools and academies and report to a national schools commissioner, who is also a man.

The existence of the new commissioners has provoked controversy because they amount to an extra layer of bureaucracy reporting to a minister who has made great play of devolving power from Whitehall and giving freedoms to schools and head teachers.

The national schools commissioner is Frank Green, chief executive of Leigh Academies Trust. Dr Tim Coulson, director of education at Essex County Council, and formerly head teacher at William Tyndale School in Islington, north London, will act as commissioner for north-east London and the east of England. Martin Post, headmaster of Watford Grammar School for Boys, will act for north-west London and the south central region. The commissioner for the South-west is Sir David Carter, chief executive of the Cabot Learning Federation academy group, while in the West Midlands the commissioner is Pank Patel, head teacher of the Wood Green Academy in Wednesbury and a serving Ofsted inspector.

Paul Smith, executive head teacher of Parbold Douglas Church of England Academy, Wigan, will be the Lancashire and West Yorkshire commissioner. Commissioners for the East Midlands and Humber and the north region have yet to be appointed.

Women form 84 per cent of the total workforce in publicly funded schools. Yet out of 14 management staff at the Department for Education, just four are women. The only female minister at the DfE, Liz Truss, is said to have the smallest ministerial office in contrast to her male colleagues.

The Shadow Children’s minister Lucy Powell said: “What is Michael Gove up to at the Department for Education? Men make up the vast majority of his senior management and now we discover that he hasn’t appointed a single woman to the role of regional schools commissioner. In a profession where women outnumber men by five to one, it’s difficult to accept this as a coincidence.

“From the cost-of-living crisis to a lack of representation at the top table, the Tories simply don’t stand up for women. They’re completely out of touch.”

Gove has come under heavy criticism for his all-male school regulators Gove has come under heavy criticism for his all-male school regulators Gove's gaffes

Blackadder

Michael Gove provoked anger when he claimed that Blackadder had skewed historical perspectives of the First World War before the 100th anniversary, claiming it peddled  left-wing “myths” that let Germany off the hook.

Ofsted

His sacking of Baroness Sally Morgan as chairman of Ofsted infuriated his Lib Dem deputy, David Laws, and followed allegations of political interference and right-wing attacks on the schools inspectorate.

Old Etonians

The Secretary of State for Education said it was “ridiculous” that there were so many Old Etonians in Cameron’s inner circle at Downing Street, to the fury of the Prime Minister.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own