National Schools Commissioner

Sir David Carter


Sir David Carter is the National Schools Commissioner. He was appointed on 1 February 2016.

Before his appointment he was the first Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West.

David is a music graduate of the University of London and has taught music in comprehensive schools across the country since he started teaching in September 1983. In 1997, he became headteacher of Cirencester Deer Park School in Gloucestershire.

His previous roles include:

  • Principal of John Cabot City Technology College in Bristol in 2004
  • CEO of the Cabot Learning Federation from 2007 to 2014, where he lead the growth of the federation to include 12 schools and successfully applied to become one of the first teaching schools in the country in 2011
  • being one of the first national leaders of education

He received a knighthood for services to education in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2013.

National Schools Commissioner

The National Schools Commissioner works closely with the 8 regional schools commissioners (RSCs) to support school leaders, teachers and governors in achieving the best education system possible for all children in England.

The National Schools Commissioner is responsible for:

  • holding the RSCs to account for their responsibilities and ensuring consistency in decision-making
  • promoting the benefits of being a member of a multi-academy trust, academy conversion and the free schools programme to school leaders, local authorities, governing bodies, parent groups and community organisations
  • developing and sharing the best school-improvement strategies with RSCs and educational leaders across the country that result in improvements in educational outcomes for all children
  • advising ministers as they shape the future development of the academies and free schools programme, and sharing best practice that exists across the country
  • monitoring the growth of sponsors across the 8 RSC regions and making sure that the best practice of our strongest sponsors informs RSCs’ decision-making
  • encouraging and nurturing potential new sponsors from our best schools, businesses and community partnerships

More information about the National Schools Commissioner and the regional schools commissioners is available.

Previous roles in government

  1. Regional Schools Commissioner for South-West England

    • 2016 to 2016
  2. Regional Schools Commissioner for South-West England

    • 2016 to 2016
  3. Regional Schools Commissioner for South-West England

    • 2014 to 2016