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Council to recruit new Director of Education

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Following the resignation of Douglas Hutchison, Depute Chief Executive and Director - People, earlier this month, a Special Meeting of South Ayrshire Council took place today to agree arrangements for filling the vacant post.

Council agreed that there is a need to fill the education element of the role as a matter of urgency and to consider how best to fulfil the non-education related aspects of the role at a later date.

In determining how to manage this vacancy, Council took into account the recent Best Value Assurance report, which recommended that the Council should 'assure itself that it has the capacity and skills required to increase its pace of improvement in key aspects of Best Value, such as community planning and empowerment, financial and workforce planning, and transformation'. Council has therefore requested that a paper be brought at a future date with proposals for the non-education remit formerly carried out by the Depute Chief Executive and Director of People.

Next steps will include the Chief Officers' Appointments and Appraisal Panel meeting to agree the timescales for the recruitment and selection process for the post.

Mr Hutchison will take up the post of Executive Director of Education with Glasgow City Council in January next year.

South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People, Councillor William Grant said: "I am delighted for Douglas. He has carried out a vast remit with drive, determination and passion. This included, not only Education which is significant in itself, but services like Thriving Communities, Customer Services, Museums, Leisure and Libraries, Culture, Events and Tourism, Sports and Leisure, Communications, Organisational Development, Housing Policy and Strategy, Corporate and Community Planning and Improvement and Community Safety. I am therefore pleased that Council has decided to create a dedicated Director of Education while they consider how to fill the other parts of his remit.

"Douglas has led vast improvements in education in South Ayrshire, leading a superb team of officers, head teachers, teachers and school staff. I am sure he will excel in his new role."

Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor Peter Henderson said: "Over the last 8 years, Douglas has made a significant contribution to both young people and residents of South Ayrshire. His dedication to South Ayrshire has been truly exceptional and I wish him every success in his new job.

"Our decision to split the extremely broad role of Depute Chief Executive and Director - People, means that we will be able to recruit to the education role as soon as possible and take time to consider how to build more capacity at leadership level, before taking a decision on how to staff the remaining aspects of the remit."

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