COUNCILLORS will get to decide who will be the new Powys County Council director of education.

In confidential session on Thursday, September 23, councillors will be given the chance to interview the candidates, and to decide whether or not to appoint someone to the role – which comes with an annual salary of between £87,851 and £95,092.

The council has been looking for new leadership in the education department for the last two years, during which time it has been managed by Lynette Lovell as interim head of education during a reorganisation of the county's education sector.

A number of consultants, including Geraint Rees who was named strategic lead for education in November last year, have been brought in to advise on the reorganisation process.

The appointment will represent a new chapter for the department after a difficult few years.

In late 2018 the director of education post was deleted during a shake-up of senior management roles by acting chief executive Mohammed Mehmet.

The number of senior management roles was reduced from 24 to 16 in a bid to save £1 million, leaving director of education Ian Budd, and head of education Dr Alec Clark, to compete for one role.

Mr Budd left the authority in February 2019 to work for Warwickshire County Council, and Dr Clark departed the following August to become director of education of St Elizabeth’s Centre in Hertfordshire.

Then in September 2019, education standards watchdog Estyn published a critical report outlining several areas causing “significant concern”.

Education portfolio holder Cllr Myfanwy Alexander was then shuffled into the adult social care portfolio as pressure mounted on the department.

Cllr Phyl Davies was switched from highways, transport, and recycling to take the helm at education.

Last year following the departure of Vanessa Young the director for transformation and resources, calls were made by Cllr Elwyn Vaughan to restore the director of education role.