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ESC Civil Servant shakeup about "cultural change"

ESC Civil Servant shakeup about

Tuesday 19 June 2018

ESC Civil Servant shakeup about "cultural change"


A shakeup within Education, Sport & Culture's civil service management team has been down to the need for cultural change, the committee's President has said.

Deputy Matt Fallaize was speaking after giving a presentation on the progress of his committee's two school model at the IoD's breakfast briefing last week.

Since he took office earlier in the year, replacing the previous committee after it resigned en masse, a number of the civil servants working for ESC and education in particular have also left their posts - most recently was Gus Patterson, former Chief Secretary for Education, Sport & Culture, who is leaving after only a number of months in post.

Angus Paterson

Pictured: Gus Paterson

Deputy Fallaize said the replacements have been down to a range of different reasons, from retirement to people wanting to move on, but he added there was the need for a cultural change among the officers.

"There has been some turn over of civil service staff since we took over, and clearly many of the officers were working with the previous committee - and many of them remain - but those leaving wanted to move on for a range of different reasons," he said.

But he did add during his presentation that "for too long the default position of Education had been one of command and control".

"In the first four months of our office there has been quite substantial changes in personnel. But it is not so much about us [the committee] wanting alignment within the civil service, but more about there being a cultural change.

"For one, a group of nodding dogs is never helpful - we want to be surrounded by a team of advisors who are challenging but also up for change and reform, and then will help to deliver them. In reality they should be politically neutral, not aligned with either side of a debate."

Deputy Fallaize said there was always the question of what exactly the relationship was supposed to be between the elected committee and its advisors, and how much power those advisors should have.

He also put an emphasis on the fact that Education were not recruiting more civil servants than before, and in doing so spending additional money, but they were just replacing empty posts following resignations, retirements and other departures. 

The committee often only comments on appointments rather than departures because it becomes the person's personal information.

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Pictured: Liz Coffey and Andrew Warren

One of those new appointments was Andrew Warren, who was announced this month as the new Director of Education. Liz Coffey has also been appointed the Executive Head Teacher of the island's new secondary school structure, which is a new role. 

Pictured top: Deputy Matt Fallaize

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