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Education review plans to hire more top officials

31-05-2007

Education review plans to hire even more top officials

31/05/2007 The Irish News

A major government review designed to cut bureaucracy and save money has suggested replacing the five highly paid education board chiefs with eight directors on similar salaries.

The head of the planned Education and Skills Authority (ESA) will be assisted by eight deputies when the new body is launched next year, according to the proposals.

These jobs are expected to have salaries similar to those of the heads of the existing education boards, who are each paid about £100,000 a year.

The ESA, which is being created as part of the Review of Public Administration (RPA), will take on the work of the five boards.

Trade unions are angry at the proposed management structure given that the RPA is expected to slash hundreds of administrative jobs.

Union leaders said the plan "did nothing to cut down on bureaucracy".

The proposal to create eight directors is contained within a document published by an ESA implementation team and sent to education boards for approval.

These new jobs, the document said, are "very substantial posts".

"It is intended that the eight director posts will be at a level similar to the existing chief executives of the education and library boards," it added.

A Department of Education spokesman said the paper sought to organise the ESA's work into management units "in a coherent way which recognises department priorities and the needs of children".

"The paper will be finalised over the next few weeks, taking account of the comments received," he said.

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