Sir David Carter

Sir David Carter has had a 21-year career in the education sector. At the moment, Sir David is the Executive Director of System Leadership at Ambition Institute – a graduate school for teachers, school leaders and system leaders.

After graduating from Royal Holloway University with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1982, Carter began teaching music in comprehensive schools across the country, which commenced his considerable career path in education. From 2016 to 2018, he served as National Schools Commissioner (NSC), where he and his team oversaw the performance of 6500 academies in England and intervened when the appropriate standards were not being met.  Previously, Sir David served as the Regional Schools Commissioner for the South West, and as CEO of the Cabot Learning Federation. As CEO, he was responsible for 12 schools, 5000 children and 1200 staff, ensuring the development of sustainable improvement and innovative approaches to success.

Having attended a comprehensive school in South Wales, and being the first member of his family to go to university, Sir David passionately values the importance of education and its impact on children: “Making a difference to the lives of children similar to me has motivated me throughout my career”. During his time as NSC, Sir David shaped his strategy according to two priorities – growing the capacity of the school system to support weaker schools, and secondly, improving the system so that weaker schools get stronger and stronger schools become world class.

In 2013, Sir David received a knighthood for his services to education.

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