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Dear candidate,

Donna Manson

Thank you for your interest in the post of Executive Chief Officer - Education and Learning at The Highland Council.

The position brings a once in a lifetime opportunity to work innovatively in partnership with myself and the Executive Leadership Team, the Members, our staff, partners and communities at a time of transformational change. It is a time for ideas, energy and drive.

We are focused on delivering our revised Highland Council Programme ‘Local voices | Highland choices’ and Corporate Plan alongside our Highland Improvement Programme through our core themes of striving to be ambitious, sustainable and connected.

If you relish challenge and working at a very fast pace whilst connecting with people at every opportunity, across a vast beautiful geographic area in the north of Scotland, an Executive Chief Officer role is perfect for you.

Our People and our Places are special and unique; that is why the Highlands of Scotland are one of the top ten destinations in the world. It really is a very special place to work, to live and to grow. We want our Executive Chief Officer to be innovative, have excellent partnering skills and commitment to delivering high quality public services. Above all, you will be committed to openness, fairness and accountability in all that you do.

If you share our vision and want to help us make public services in the Highlands the very best they can be, we would very much welcome your application for the Executive Chief Officer role.

Yours sincerely,

Donna Manson 
Chief Executive

About us

The Highland Council is one of 32 all-purpose councils in Scotland, serving people across 26,484 sq km. There are 74 elected members and the administration is a coalition of Independent Group; Scottish Liberal Democrats; and Scottish Labour Party. The Council provides a vast range of services with a revenue budget of £587m.

We are currently going through a significant period of transition to deliver on our challenging programme for improvement driven by a refreshed Council vision for an ambitious, sustainable and connected Highlands. An engagement programme: 'Your Council, Your Voice, Your Future' was launched in October 2018 with staff, communities and Members. The Council’s Programme is supported by the budget strategy and changes programme 'A Sustainable Highland' agreed in February 2019 and the Strategic improvement priorities and Corporate Plan as agreed in March and May 2019

The Highland economy is centred on tourism, life sciences, renewable energy and aquaculture and has recently seen the development of a new aluminium plant in Lochaber. Tourism is booming and the region continues to be a popular area for the film and television industry.

The Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal is delivering £315m of investment through Scottish and UK Governments, the Council and regional partners. This 10 year programme aims to deliver a step change in transport, innovation, digital connectivity, housing, skills, infrastructure, life sciences and tourism.

For more information on the Council please visit:

About the Highland Region

It may be one of the most recognisable corners of Scotland, but there is still a lot you don’t know about the Highlands.

The Highlands offer one of the most distinctive lifestyle choices available anywhere in the world. It is one of the most attractive places to live, work and socialise. The area offers diversity of geography, blessed with outdoor opportunities and a rich culture with a guaranteed friendly welcome.

Considering a move to the area? Links to schools, further education and housing can be found below:

Executive Chief Officer

Salary £ 91,196


This is your opportunity as Executive Chief Officer to help shape the successful future of this region and champion the citizens of the Highlands

As part of the Executive Leadership Team you will undertake a leading role in transforming the Council to achieve better outcomes to improve performance and outcomes for all our young people of the Highlands.

You should be educated to degree level with a further relevant professional qualification. You will have significant leadership experience across large, complex organisations, as well as the ability to work effectively with key stakeholders and partners. A visionary and empowering leader, you will relish change, have a passionate commitment to high quality public service and continuous improvement.

Roles and Responsibilities:

As a senior leader you will take responsibility for:

  • Budget delivery, both service and corporate budget tasks and sustainability
  • Corporate performance culture and aspirations
  • Process improvement
  • Undertaking customer needs and delivering quality services across the whole of the Highlands
  • Simplifying and enabling partnership working at all levels
  • A culture of commerciality with an agile structure, capable of facilitating and encouraging innovation amongst its employees
  • Leadership ambition and self-awareness
  • Working as ‘one council’ with evidence of improved collaboration
  • Improved engagement and connectivity between senior staff across the whole of this Highlands

We are currently transitioning to a new structure of 8 Executive Chief Officers. All Executive Chief Officers will have a range of corporate responsibility alongside their service function and linked to a specific geographical area. These will include community capacity building, strengthening partnership and promoting cross-service collaboration and build on the Council ‘s relationship and reputation with the communities it serves. You will play a key role in including staff in all change and improvement processes impacting positively upon attitude, behaviour, skills and competencies.

Job Description and Person Specifications

How to Apply

For an informal discussion please contact Human Resources on 01463 702160.

Applicants will be shortlisted for interview by matching the details given in their application against the job description and person specification. We would therefore ask applicants to provide clear evidence to show how your experience, skills and knowledge match those requirements as well as why you are interested in the role.

Recruitment timetable

Closing date: 2 December 2019
Shortlisting: early January 2020