Mr Ewart, 54, has been head of the department for four years but was in charge of the schools group prior to that when he played a key role in the negotiations following the McCrone inquiry. He will be succeeded as acting head of the department from January by Colin Maclean, currently head of its children, young people and social care group.
The man who helped shape the ground-breaking teachers' agreement is leaving education for prisons. Mike Ewart is relinquishing his post as head of the Scottish Executive Education Department to become chief executive of the Scottish Prison Service.
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