Birmingham & Black Country

Trojan Horse: Sir Mike Tomlinson appointed Birmingham education commissioner

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Media captionSir Mike Tomlinson will address criticisms of Birmingham City Council over its handling of the anonymous "Trojan Horse" letter

A former chief inspector of schools has been appointed education commissioner for Birmingham.

Sir Mike Tomlinson, 72, will assume the role, created after a probe into the anonymous "Trojan Horse" letter.

He will work with the city council to oversee improvements in standards, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

The post was created in response to Peter Clarke's report which found evidence of an "aggressive Islamist ethos" in some city schools.

Council chief executive Mark Rogers said the appointment was a "good decision for Birmingham".

Sir Mike, a former government adviser who first entered the education profession in 1965, will assume the role for 12 months.

'Strong record'

He said he would make "rapid improvements" in the coming weeks and months.

"It is vital that children in Birmingham receive the highest standards of education and I will be working hard towards that goal," he said.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said Sir Mike was a man of "calibre and experience" with a "strong track record" in education.

Sir Mike will report to Ms Morgan and council chief executive Mr Rogers, the DfE said.

The department said his main responsibilities would be ensuring the council "drives immediate improvements" in those schools highlighted in recent reports and improve council structures so that schools were better supported.

Ms Morgan said she was "pleased" with Sir Mike's appointment.

"He is the right person to ensure all children in Birmingham receive the education they deserve, so they can reach their potential and go on to build a better future," she said.

Image caption Birmingham City Council was criticised in its own report for not wanting to address "difficult issues"

The DfE said Sir Mike's work would also feed into Sir Bob Kerslake's wider review of Birmingham's governance, due to be published in December.

The city's troubled children's services department also asked a commissioner - Lord Norman Warner - to oversee its operations in March.

Mr Rogers said the council was looking forward to working with Sir Mike on addressing criticisms of its governance.

"His experience and reputation give us confidence that we will be constructively supported and challenged in our efforts to move forward at pace from the recent controversies," he said.

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