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Saturday, 02 August 2014

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New £94,000 post to improve Cumbria's schools

Cash-strapped council chiefs are to pay a salary of almost £100,000 for someone to step in and help improve the county’s schools.

The Cumbria Alliance of System Leaders (CASL) is advertising for a chief executive with an attractive salary of £93,878.

It comes as the county council, which is proposing to install meters to charge for parking, needs to find another £70m of savings in the next three years.

The cash will fund more school-to-school support schemes, possibly including costs incurred by better schools when staff are called upon to help others struggling elsewhere.

Cumbria County Council is to inject the money after being criticised by school standards watchdog Ofsted and secondary headteachers.

The job will involve working with regional and national agencies, like Ofsted, the Primary Headteachers’ Association (PHA) and the Cumbria Association of Secondary Headteachers (CASH).

The job specification says applicants need to seek a “one-year release” from their current role in order to take up the job. The advert says the person appointed will work from home and will be helped to set up a ‘home office’.

CASL has been set up to help improve schools and teaching, following snap Ofsted inspections and the introduction of academies where schools are failing and in special measures.

A council spokesman has defended the £94,000 post. He said: “CASL has a vital role to play in improving Cumbria’s schools so it’s critical to secure the best possible candidate.

“The funding for this post has been specifically allocated for school improvement and putting in place the right person to play a key role in supporting the council and the schools system to drive forward educational outcomes for thousands of children is a separate issue from the budget savings we consulted on during the last financial year.

“This position is initially a secondment for one year and the decision to extend it would be only be taken after reviewing its success and value for money.”

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