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Directors get chop in skills council shake-up

Top-level clear-out as LSC chief executive orders sweeping changes. Ngaio Crequer reports

The biggest shake-up of the Learning and Skills Council since it was created was announced this week, with a clear-out at senior level.

Out go three of the seven national directors, to be replaced by a smaller, simplified head office to provide "clear ownership and accountability within all areas of our activity".

The wide-ranging changes were made by new chief executive Mark Haysom, and follow the creation last week of a new regional structure to oversee the work of the 47 local branches.

In future, the national office in Coventry will be organised around two groups, to be known as learning and skills.

Caroline Neville, currently director of quality and standards, will head up the learning group. The director of skills job will be filled by an outsider, as soon as possible.

Two further groups, finance and corporate services, will support the core.

These areas will be led by Philip Lloyd, now director of finance, and David Russell, the director of human resources and corporate services.

Rob Wye, who has been project manager for Success for All, the Government's strategy for reforming FE and training, and is executive director of Northamptonshire, becomes director of a new chief executive's division.

Alongside this will a sit a communications team headed by Jan Davison.

Marketing and research will work across the learning and skills groups.

Leaving the LSC are Ken Pascoe (director of operations), Avril Willis (director of quality and standards) and Michael Kesztenbaum. The first two had been been at the LSC since its inception, and Ms Willis had worked as senior inspector at the Further Education Funding Council.

"Sadly, there will not be roles for Ken Pascoe, Avril Willis and Michael Kesztenbaum in the new organisation," said chief executive Mark Haysom. He said they would stay until the end of January to help manage the transition arrangements. Staff will be transferred to the new groups over the coming months.

"At this stage, it is still too early to describe in detail what these changes will mean for the size of the teams and for individual members of staff," said Mr Haysom. He said work on this was continuing, and more detailed announcements would be made early next month.

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