Central Bedfordshire Council sign

Departing Central Bedfordshire Council director of children’s services Sue Harrison has secured a new role with Birmingham City Council.

Ms Harrison is due to leave CBC next month and take up the position of executive director for education and skills in Birmingham later this year.

Her appointment was referred to by Independent Potton councillor Adam Zerny during open questions at a full council meeting on Thursday (23 September 2021).

It came as a shock to many to see she had been provided with new employment just this week by Birmingham City Council,” he said, directing a question to Conservative deputy council leader Sue Clark.

I wonder did this news come as a surprise to you or had Ms Harrison kept you abreast of the recruitment process, which must have inevitably run parallel with her work here at Central Bedfordshire?

It must, of course, have been hampered by her being, as you yourself described, very poorly indeed.”

Cranfield and Marston Moretaine councillor Clark replied: “Matters concerning officers are the responsibility of the chief executive and I’m not going to comment on the employment of a particular member of staff.

I suggest you write to the chief executive and request a written response.”

Councillor Zerny added: “Given Ms Harrison is moving on at the end of October, please can you confirm there’ll be no compensation or pay off to Ms Harrison before she begins her new position.

She’ll be paid purely her salary up to the end of October.”

Councillor Clark, who’s the executive member for families, education and children, said: “I refer you to my first answer.”

In a press release, the city council said: “Sue brings a wealth of experience to Birmingham having worked as a senior leader for several local authorities.

These include Blackpool where she was director of children’s services and Manchester where she worked closely with headteachers supporting their school improvement journeys.”

Ms Harrison said: “I’m delighted to be joining Birmingham City Council at such an exciting time.

It’s a privilege to be appointed to lead what I know will be a challenging and rewarding improvement journey.

I look forward to working in partnership with Birmingham’s school leaders and with all our key partners, who work hard to support our children and their families.

Working together delivers the best outcomes for children, which is what our job is all about. Together, we’ll make a tangible difference.

I look forward to working with colleagues, bringing my own philosophy and ideas to the table alongside hearing their experiences.”