New executive director for education and skills

Published: Wednesday, 22nd September 2021

Birmingham City Council has recruited a new Executive Director for Education and Skills. 

Sue Harrison, currently serving as Director of Children’s Services in Central Bedfordshire, will be joining the city council later this year.

Sue brings a wealth of experience to Birmingham having worked as a senior leader for several local authorities, including Blackpool where she was DCS, and Manchester where she worked closely with school headteachers supporting their school improvement journeys.

Sue started her career as an English teacher in secondary schools in Wigan and Warrington, enjoying working with her pupils and supporting them to achieve their potential. Her drive to work as a champion of all young people fuelled her ambition to rise to the position of DCS, where she feels she can make a real difference striving to join up services around young people and their families, helping to secure a strong foundation and giving them the best possible opportunities in the journey to adulthood.

“I am delighted to be joining Birmingham City council at such an exciting time,” Sue says. “It is a privilege to be appointed to lead what I know will be a challenging and rewarding improvement journey.

“I look forward to working in partnership with Birmingham’s school leaders and with all our key partners who work hard to support our children and their families. Working together delivers the best outcomes for children, which is what our job is all about. Together, we will make a tangible difference.”

“I fully understand that a change in leadership can be unsettling, but it can also mark the start of a bright future. I look forward to working with colleagues, bringing my own philosophy and ideas to the table alongside hearing their experiences. Together we will grasp the opportunity to develop and deliver our improvement journey.”

Cllr Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for vulnerable children and families, said: “I’m really pleased to welcome Sue to Birmingham and the city council. Her appointment will bring much-needed stability to the directorate and I look forward to working with Sue to drive forward improvements for all our children, young people and families and in particular our vulnerable communities. During the interview process Sue met with various stakeholders including representatives from our children and young people whom were equally impressed with Sue’s energy, drive and keenness to work in Birmingham and improve outcomes for all our children, young people and their families of this great city.

Cllr Jayne Francis, cabinet member for education, skills and culture, said: “This is great news and I look forward to working with Sue and welcoming her to the city. There’s a lot of really good work going on in Birmingham to give our young people a great start in life, and as a former teacher she will know the challenges schools face and the rewards we all get from seeing their successes. Sue will also be driving forward our skills and employment agenda, particularly the city’s work creating apprenticeships. Working with partners, she will ensure that young people have the best possible opportunities in training and employment.”

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