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Council’s new schools chief signs in

Created on 12/05/2011 @ 13:33
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One of the most controversial positions in local government has changed hands with the new Powys schools chief starting work today (Thursday).

Councillor Stephen Hayes, who officially becomes Cabinet Member for Education and Leisure at the council’s annual, said his eyes are firmly on sustaining excellence.

And, on the controversial proposals for modernisation of secondary education he has promised: “We will take time to get it right.”

During the last three months Cllr Hayes has been attending secondary school consultation evenings, talking to head teachers and chatting with students.

“My aim while waiting to take over the portfolio has been to listen to as many views as possible and not jump to any hasty conclusions,” he explained.

As a parent and a former chair of governors, Cllr Hayes brings to his new role a real concern that Powys students should be equipped to compete with the best in the world. But he is in no doubt that in the present climate the pressures on education are very real.

“The Welsh Assembly, on which we depend for money, has slashed both revenue and capital funding. Add to that the pressures of falling rolls, aging buildings and our exceptional rurality, and it is clear we are facing a ‘perfect storm’ which threatens our ability to maintain excellence into the future.

“We run the very real risk that we will lose ground, unless we plan now how we are to do better with much less.

“None of us like change, and we have to be careful not to damage education unintentionally, but I have no doubt that change is necessary and we must accept it and welcome it,” he added.


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