Moray Council’s director of Education and Social Care is being seconded to help drive forward education reforms in the North of Scotland.
For the next two years, Laurence Findlay will be working with the recently-formed Northern Alliance of councils as the Regional Improvement Lead, delivering educational improvement and best practice across the area.
Supported by the Scottish Government, the Northern Alliance is a partnership between eight local authorities: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles.
It exists to make a difference in the lives of children and young people by ensuring teaching professionals collaborate for improvement by sharing best practice, supporting the development of professional networks and pursuing partnership approaches to educational development.
Laurence said he was delighted to take on the role at this critical time in the development of education in Scotland.
“The focus will be on raising attainment and improving outcomes for young people,” he said.
“The Northern Alliance does not have only an education focus but rather is committed to securing improvements across all children’s services, and will seek to work collaboratively with partners from other agencies to implement our Regional Improvement Plan.
“Our role as an improvement collaborative is to reduce inconsistencies in the system and strengthen the support we provide to schools.”
Across the Northern Alliance there are over 600 schools, 120,000 young people and over 10,000 education professionals (of which around 9,000 are teachers), all in an area that covers 58% of Scotland’s land mass.
Laurence will report to the eight chief executives of the councils involved, and to the Scottish Government’s Chief Inspector of Education. There is also a Convention of Convenors which brings together the key councillors who lead education from each authority.
Moray Council’s Chief Executive, Roddy Burns, said the Alliance had important work to do.
“It’s unsurprising that Laurence has been selected for this pivotal role; he has played a major role in the national debate on education and has ensured that Moray is ahead of the curve on any reforms.
“We will be keeping his seat warm and wish him well in this secondment.”
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live. Nestling between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands, Moray stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Brodie Castle in the west.