The new top civil servant in Guernsey’s education service is the Channel Islands’ former Director of Civil Aviation.
Gus Paterson has been appointed Chief Secretary to the Education, Sport and Culture Committee, with the government hailing his ‘proven track record in overseeing transformation and senior management’.
It comes at a time when Guernsey’s education is sharply in the spotlight as the debate over how many senior schools the island needs rolls into 2018, and follows a series of high profile political resignations.
Mr Paterson said: “I’m really excited by the opportunity to support the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture as it delivers its wide and incredibly important mandate. Few issues mean more to a community than the education of its children. My leadership style is collegiate in nature and I’m very much looking forward to working closely with States Members and colleagues more broadly across the States of Guernsey.”
As part of his current role, in which he regulates all aspects of aviation, Mr Paterson oversaw the implementation and development of Guernsey’s successful aircraft registry – 2-REG – which now has more than 160 aircraft registered.
Prior to moving to Guernsey, Mr Paterson worked in air traffic control for 15 years and held senior management positions in Manchester and Bristol, in roles where he managed large teams.
States of Guernsey Chief Executive Paul Whitfield said the interview panel was unanimous in appointing Mr Paterson given his experience in successfully delivering change and showing strong leadership.
He said: “The Chief Secretary to the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture is not an educationalist role per se; it is a demanding and challenging senior civil service post where quality leadership, management and policy skills are vital. Gus has a proven track record of bringing people with him as he delivers transformation and I’m confident he will offer excellent support to the Committee while providing strong leadership for staff.”
It means Malcolm Nutley, who has been covering while the top job was vacant in recent months, returns full-time to his primary role as Chief Secretary to the Committee for Employment and Social Security.
Education president, Deputy Paul Le Pelley, said: “The position of Chief Secretary is the most senior advisor to our Committee and I am sure Gus will prove to be an invaluable addition. He joins us at a crucial time for the future of our island’s secondary education system. There is much work to do and the whole Committee is delighted to have someone with Gus’s skills and experience on board to support us.”