New direction for education department

4th March 2011 at 00:00

The Assembly government's education department has been restructured to make it more integrated and "understandable".

Dr Emyr Roberts, appointed director general of the Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS) last October, was told to give the department a clear sense of direction.

Education minister Leighton Andrews recently criticised DCELLS, calling it "culturally and geographically fragmented without a clear focus" and accusing civil servants of being weak on policy implementation.

In a letter to local authorities, seen by TES Cymru, Dr Roberts said the restructuring was driven by the need to have a more "logical and understandable structure", in particular the integration of policy, delivery and funding responsibilities.

He added: "It also reflects the greater personal accountability which I am placing on individuals, grouping together functions which relate to a particular policy objective in one place, and the need to make efficiency savings."

From 1 April two groups will run education in Wales: Chris Tweedale will head the children, young people and school effectiveness group, while Owen Evans will lead the skills, higher education and lifelong learning group.

A separate standards unit will be created to drive up educational achievement.

Dr Roberts warned it is likely that changes in personnel will arise from the restructuring, and said more details will be available in the next few months.

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