Education director retires from South Gloucestershire Council after 16 years
THE director of South Gloucestershire Council’s children and young people department has retired after 16 years as the authority’s most senior education officer.
Therese Gillespie left the post at the end of December and intends to take up study in her retirement.
In a statement, she said: "I decided to retire from the council at the end of December 2012 to pursue a range of other interests, including, I hope, some academic study.
"It is my wish to leave with the minimum of fuss, but I should like to take this opportunity to say how much I have enjoyed working in South Gloucestershire, to thank all of you for your support over the years and to wish everyone all the best for the future."
Ms Gillespie, who is in her 60s, joined the council in 1997 and has overseen many developments in education.
During her tenure she has been in charge of the closure of Rodford Primary School due to falling pupil numbers, the amalgamation of primary schools including Cranleigh Court Infants and Fromebank Junior to form Tyndale Primary School in Yate and in 2005 unsuccessfully recommended King Edmund Community School (now Yate International Academy) was closed down.
Several academies have been opened in the district under Ms Gillespie; Yate and Winterbourne international academies and John Cabot Academy in Kingswood.
In 2004, South Gloucestershire's education department was given the highest marks available in an Ofsted inspection.
And four years later, the authority was awarded Beacon status for its school improvement work.
The council has established a new department for children, adults and health, by merging its children and young people, community care and housing and public health departments. The new department will be led by Peter Murphy, formerly director of community care and housing at the authority.