On Friday 11 May Sir Bob Kerslake visited the Department for Education’s headquarters at the Sanctuary Building in London. Sir Bob was met by the DfE’s new Permanent Secretary Chris Wormald.
“I was delighted to welcome Sir Bob to the Department for Education. He shared his priorities for the Civil Service and we were able to tell him about this Department’s work. This is an exciting time for the Department with the recent establishment of our Executive Agencies and progress across the range of our education and children’s services priorities, so it was a pleasure to be able to show Sir Bob the results of our reforms.”
Sir Bob met with Senior Leaders to directly directly discuss the ambition and drivers behind the Civil Service Reform Plan and to reflect on all of the changes already made by DfE.
The Department of Education’s vision is to work towards a highly-educated society in which opportunity is more equal for children and young people no matter what their background or family circumstances.DfE is responsible for the allocation and distribution of approximately £50 billion of funding to schools each year. As of the 1st January 2011 there were 8.1 million pupils in all schools in England taught by 850,000 teachers and support staff. Since 1st May 2012 there were 1807 Academies and 24 Free schools open in England (from the 203 Academies that were open in May 2010).
One of the organisational challenges the Department has been dealing with is the closure of 11 Arms Length Bodies (ALB’s) and the opening of 4 Agencies. This will deliver savings to the public purse of approximately £700m between 2011 and 2015.
Sir Bob was then introduced to staff at a Q&A session open to all staff able to attend by Chris Wormald.
“I enjoyed hearing from Sir Bob Kerslake in person and getting a sense of his background and how he manages his job with two hats: Head of Civil Service and Permanent Secretary, DCLG. He set out succinctly his priorities and, although there weren’t any surprises, it was reassuring that they resonate with the change priorities that our Board have been setting out over the last few months. The message about drawing policy development and implementation closer together was also encouraging and is particularly pertinent to our Directorate. I’m also going to dust off my Twitter account and ‘follow’ Sir Bob!”
Leah McTaggart – Head of DST, ESD
“It was very inspiring to hear Sir Bob’s thoughts on working in the Civil Service, particularly around policy professionalism, resourcing and a more collaborative approach to cross-department working. His open and approachable manner is very refreshing and it’s clear he will be a real asset as Head of the Civil Service.”
Lisa Moses, Resourcing & Operations, Infrastructure & Funding Directorate