Whilst children, teachers and staff are taking a well-earned summer rest, Aberdeenshire Council's new Director of Education and Children’s Services, Laurence Findlay, started his new job today.
Laurence previously worked at Moray Council where he was Corporate Director for Education and Social Care, a position he held since 2014. He is no stranger to Aberdeenshire though, as he grew up in Lonmay, between Fraserburgh and Peterhead. He was also a pupil at Rathen Primary School and Fraserburgh Academy. After leaving school, he stayed in the Broch, becoming a French and German teacher at the Dennyduff Road secondary before becoming head teacher in Moray.
He said: “I am very much looking forward to getting to know the people of Aberdeenshire, the staff, my colleagues across the service that I will be working with, and parents and young people in the communities of Aberdeenshire.
“We live in very challenging times and there are huge expectations whilst resources available to the public sector are being reduced, but I think by working together around a shared vision and a shared moral purpose we can achieve great things.”
Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “I am delighted to welcome Laurence to Aberdeenshire. This is a really exciting time to be leading the service. I am sure he will be looking forward to making his mark on one of the most high profile roles within the council.
“Education is currently a hot topic in Scotland and at Aberdeenshire we are proud to have been recognised in developing and delivering innovative initiatives which won two national awards within the last year. I am confident Laurence will build on this success.”
Cllr Anne Stirling, Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee chair, said: “I too am very much looking forward to working with Laurence. We have recently launched two ambitious and exciting ten year culture and sport & physical activity strategies. We have also established a highly innovative sport and culture business unit.
“All together these elements will totally transform the way culture and sport is delivered by us. I very much welcome Laurence’s input in assisting us with achieving the aims and objectives set out in the strategies and making the business unit a real success. Laurence’s role in the corporate management team will strengthen the council-wide approach to delivering the best possible outcomes for our communities regarding health and wellbeing.”
Jim Savege, Aberdeenshire Council’s Chief Executive, said: “I am sure Laurence will make a big contribution as director of Education and Children’s Services. He has an excellent reputation and has played an active role as Improvement Lead with the Northern Alliance. I look forward to working with him.
“I would like to pay tribute to Laurence’s predecessor Maria Walker. She totally transformed the service and through playing a key part in the establishment of the Northern Alliance, put Aberdeenshire very much at the heart of best practice nationally.
“Furthermore, I would like to commend the work interim Director and Chief Social Work Officer Bob Driscoll has done during his time with us. He has worked tirelessly to keep children and young people in Aberdeenshire as safe as possible. I hope they both have relaxing and enjoyable retirements.”