The Welsh government is inviting applications for a director of school standards and workforce (SSW), who will oversee all the major changes happening in the nation’s schools.
In its advert, the Welsh government said the new director would have responsibility for a programme budget of around
£95 million and 150 staff.
“In addition to the direct funding responsibility, this post will also have a significant influence on the education component of the funding allocated to local authorities,” it said.
“The director will have responsibility for the system based attributes of the Welsh education system – defining responsibilities, providing accountability and challenge and supporting the development of capacity, all key aspects of the minister for education and skills’ ambition.”
The successful applicant will be responsible for delivering the Welsh government’s school improvement plan launched in the wake of disappointing results in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2010.
They will also be expected to hold regional education consortia, local authorities and schools to account for raising standards.
“What we need is someone with hands-on experience of the Welsh education system, who understands the needs and respective roles of learners, school staff, governors, parents, local authorities, regional consortia and, of course, the government itself,” said Rebecca Williams, policy officer for teaching union UCAC.
Dr Philip Dixon, director of ATL Cymru, added: “We know that our school system is not performing as best it can and that our pupils are missing out. Whoever is appointed will need to be credible, effective and persuasive.”
Interviews for the £95,000-a-year job are due to be held in December.
The position is currently held by Dr Brett Pugh, a former headteacher and chief education officer at Newport council, but it is being advertised as part of a reorganisation process. Dr Pugh is considered a front-runner for the job.