CONFIRMATION has been given that Powys County Council’s (PCC) Head of Education, Dr Alec Clark, will be leaving the council, just nine months after he arrived.

Soon, he will be taking on a new role as director of an Education Trust in the South of England.

This is the latest blow to rock the department.

With his departure, Dr Clark, follows former boss and Director of Education, Ian Budd, out of Llandrindod Wells.

In the recent shake-up of PCC senior management, Mr Budd and Dr Clark were left to compete for one role.

The post of director was deleted and the education department amalgamated with the Social Services directorate  which is now re-branded as Children’s and Adults.

But, with a leaving date set for the end of August, Dr Clark will still be in Llandrindod Wells when education and training inspectorate for Wales, Estyn, come to inspect the service.

The shock departure has seen Liberal Democrat and Green group leader, Cllr James Gibson Watt (Glasbury), call for a crisis meeting of all the group leaders with the chief executive, Dr Caroline Turner, to discuss the future of the schools service.

County Times: Cllr James Gibson-WattCllr James Gibson-Watt

Cllr James Gibson-Watt said: “The schools system in Powys is at an unprecedented level of uncertainty at the moment.

“With a number of schools falling into serious deficit budget positions, especially in the secondary sector.

“A general deterioration in the financial position of schools across the county.

“An urgent need to improve and reform sixth form and further education and now the imminent departure of the head of the schools service.

“The council needs to establish a cross-party approach to create a coherent strategic vision for the Powys education system that can command support across the council.”

“I have written to the chief executive to request that she calls group leaders together to discuss these vital issues as soon as possible.”

County Times: Dr Caroline TurnerDr Caroline Turner

Chief Executive, Dr Caroline Turner, said: “We can confirm that Dr Alec Clark, head of education service, had been offered, and has accepted, a post as a director of an Education Trust in the South of England.

“Alec will be leaving at the end of August. This is an important post within the council, and I will want to discuss future arrangements with the appointments panel as soon as possible.

“Alec has only been with us for a short time, but has made an important contribution to the work of the council and to supporting our schools over the past nine months.

“I wish Alec well as he embarks on a new phase in his career.”

Education portfolio holder, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander (Independent – Banwy), was unavailable for comment.

A meeting of the Learning and Skills Scrutiny Committee arranged for Monday, June 10, has been cancelled.

It had been expected that staff from the education department would explain to members  how a review of Post-16 education in the county would work.