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Highland Council appoints new education boss after exit of £936-a-day official

By Andrew Dixon

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Nicky Grant.
Nicky Grant.

A new education boss has been named by Highland Council following the exit of a £936-a-day official.

Nicky Grant has been appointed the local authority's interim executive chief officer for education and learning, taking up the role immediately.

It comes after a short period where Paul Senior filled the role. He was appointed in May and helped prepare for schools to reopen following lockdown. He has gone after it was revealed in July that he was being paid £936 a day, news which prompted questions from councillors and a backlash from the public.

Ms Grant was appointed as interim head of education services at the council 11 months ago. She was previously head teacher at Alness Academy since December 2018.

“My passion and commitment for improving outcomes for all children and young people in the Highlands is what motivates all of my decisions, plans and actions," she said.

"Effective partnership working within and across the council sectors, and beyond, is key to achieving sustainable growth and maintaining an upward performance trajectory.”

Ms Grant added: “I’m privileged to have the opportunity to work with such driven and talented staff; to connect communities and develop sustainable partnerships with the progress of our young people at the heart of all we do.”

During her teaching career her principal subject was physical education and she has worked at schools in West Lothian, Moray and Aberdeenshire.

Prior to that she was a professional footballer, playing for Arsenal and Frankfurt among others, and was capped 98 times for Scotland.

Council education committee chairman John Finlayson said: "I am delighted to announce that Nicky Grant will be stepping up to this role at a time when the education and learning service is showing a good improvement in raising pupil attainment in Highland schools following the recent exam results.”

He added: “As head of service Nicky has contributed to the transformation which is taking place in the service and I welcome working with Nicky on the service and council transformation journey to sustain continued improvement for all pupils in Highlands.”

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