Those of us following @liz_sidwell, or Dr. Elizabeth Sidwell, recently appointed Schools Commissioner for England, have noticed that she only seems to refer to, or visits, academies.
It is clear from the DfE website
that the schools' commissioner is only interested in academies, free schools and so on. The schools' commissioner, therefore, isn't an ambassador for all state schools in England, but only for those of which the government approves. It's another way of sidelining community schools.
A TES article in Nov 2008, published when Bruce Liddington left his job of schools' commissioner to work for Edutrust, shows that the NASUWT was already worried that the role of schools' commissioner was narrowing and becoming nothing more than an academy advocate.
"His post in the Department for Children, Schools and Families was supposed to involve championing fair school admissions, supporting the greater involvement of parents in schools, helping local authorities to develop as commissioners of schools, and promoting "choice and diversity" through academy plans and attracting trust school partners. But Chris Keates, the NASUWT general secretary, claims the commissioner's job is now widely perceived as being about pushing through academy and trust school plans, rather than taking a balanced view of school provision. She has written to Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, asking him to discontinue the schools' commissioner post. "We are not convinced that the office is necessary or provides any added value to state education," Ms Keates told The TES
The NASUWT wrote to Ed Balls asking him to discontinue the post. This is the role that Elizabeth Sidwell has been employed by the coalition to undertake. Is Elizabeth Sidwell’s appointment in this role to be a mere advocate of Academies and Free Schools? If so, then who – or what – is responsible for the majority (60% or so ) of community schools that she does not acknowledge or care to visit?