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Movers, shakers and departures

New appointments, retirements and the breaking up of a department lead to changes at the top of Scottish education

New appointments, retirements and the breaking up of a department lead to changes at the top of Scottish education

The council which pioneered children's services in the UK is breaking up the department responsible, with the result that the leader of Scotland's education directors has lost his job.

Stirling Council has decided to sweep away its departmental structure and create a "strategic" team of three assistant chief executives and a "management" team of 12 heads of service.

David Cameron, the president of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, who is director of children's services in Stirling, chose not to apply for any of the new posts, although the council says applications are open to all senior staff. Mr Cameron, 61, will leave the council "by mutual consent" in August. He is likely to stay on as ADES president until its annual conference in November.

The restructuring in Stirling, an SNP-led council headed by Graham Houston, who was controversially appointed by the SNP Government to chair the Scottish Qualifications Authority last year, is potentially significant. The remits of the three new assistant chief executives are formed around the single outcome agreements, which all councils have entered into as a cornerstone of the concordat deal with central government to improve council services. One of the posts will be responsible for "learning empowerment and citizenship".

There will be a head of education, but responsible largely for schools. Its much-lauded links with the world beyond will disappear, making way for new departments of "children, families and criminal justice" and "communities and culture."

Bob Jack, Stirling's new chief executive, described it as "a bold step to take, but one I believe is absolutely right for the challenges the council faces over the next few years".

Mr Cameron's departure is the latest career move in an action-packed week, which began with the retirement announcement by Graham Donaldson, the 62- year-old senior chief inspector of education. He will step into a new role with a two-year, part-time honorary professorship at Glasgow University.

Meanwhile, the race to take over as head of the inspectorate has been blown wide open by the surprise news that one of his fancied successors, Annette Bruton, has been appointed as the Pounds 107,000-a-year director of education, culture and sport at Aberdeen City Council. In contrast to Stirling, this re-establishes the post in the city where a previous reorganisation abolished it to create a neighbourhood structure that was later found to be "costly" and "complex".

Elsewhere, a new director of education has been appointed in Angus. Rachael Seitz is currently director of schools services in the London borough of Ealing. Although her recent experience has been in England, her career began as a modern languages teacher in Glasgow before she moved eventually to East Renfrewshire as a quality development officer.

Mrs Seitz takes over from the long-serving Jim Anderson, whose retirement leaves Donald MacKay in Midlothian as the only survivor of the education directors appointed at the time of local government reorganisation in 1996.

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