East Renfrewshire education director delays retirement to support coronavirus response

Mhairi Shaw has delayed her retirement until October.Mhairi Shaw has delayed her retirement until October.
Mhairi Shaw has delayed her retirement until October.
The Director of Education at East Renfrewshire Council has delayed her retirement to support the challenges faced during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mhairi Shaw announced her retirement in February and was set to step down at the end of August after seven successful years in the role.

The end of Mhairi’s tenure at the helm of Scotland’s leading education department will now not be until October, as she took the decision that stability during these extremely challenging times would be of benefit to all.

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All schools in the area closed on Friday, March 20, and since that time a large amount of work has been required to ensure pupils are supported during these difficult times.

Given the uncertainties caused by coronavirus, the search for Mhairi’s successor has also been postponed and extending her time with the Council will support a well-organised handover.

Mhairi said: “It has been an absolute honour to lead the Education Department at East Renfrewshire Council for the past seven years and I was looking forward to starting my retirement in the summer.

“No one could have predicted the situation we now find ourselves in though, and it wouldn’t have been right to stand down when originally planned in August.

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“We are now faced with an unprecedented situation but our team is working extremely hard to provide support for all our children and young people and as we are provided with guidance about re-opening schools we will put the necessary plans in place to help us to return to a new normal as soon as is possible.

“With that in place there will be secure direction which will help schools and the department to move forward.”

Councillor Paul O’Kane, Convener for Education and Equalities, added: “Mhairi has a wealth of experience and has been the driving force behind East Renfrewshire’s phenomenal educational success over recent years.

“I am delighted and grateful that Mhairi has taken the decision to stay on longer and help steer us through this situation.

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“Her vast knowledge will be invaluable and at this time of crisis strong leaders are needed to guide us through.

“This is another wonderful example of dedicated staff going above and beyond to support East Renfrewshire at this time.”

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