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Executive Director Children Families and Learning

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  • Surrey countrysideSurrey's countryside has lots to offer for visitors and locals
  • Consort House in Redhill is one of the council's offices
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  • Royal Holloway University was founded in 1886 and is based in Egham, Surrey

Welcome to Surrey

Chief Executive Joanna Killian, Surrey County Council

Thank you for your interest in the post of Executive Director Children Families and Learning.

We are about to embark on a large scale turn around within our Childrens service and I need to be clear about that from the outset. This will be my key priority when I take up my role at Surrey in March. This will not be an easy job. It has the potential to be a hugely rewarding opportunity to go on a journey with Surrey and I to make a real positive difference for the children of Surrey, something I am determined to do.

I am looking for an individual who will share my passion, desire and determination to drive this change forward. This has to be complemented with the skills and knowledge gained from substantial past experience of successful improvement journeys in this demanding area of work.

I have spoken at length about our requirements for this position with GatenbySanderson so if you would like to find out more and/or have a confidential discussion, please call Jon Houlihan on 0121 644 5700 or Greg Hayes on 020 7426 3960 at GatenbySanderson.

Surrey as a place

Surrey is an ambitious county. By any measure it is successful economically, with a rich heritage of knowledge and discovery, culture and entrepreneurial endeavour. If not quite the birthplace of the Arts and Crafts movement, Surrey was certainly an incubator that enabled the movement to flourish here a century ago and leave an ongoing legacy for the arts. The county was also midwife to the fledgling automotive and aviation industries, whose influences are still visible today. High-end engineering and cutting-edge technology, along with other specialist areas such as pharmaceuticals and financial services, help make Surrey's economy a net contributor to the UK Exchequer of £11.2bn a year.

At Surrey County Council we are also ambitious, with our focus on standing up for the interests of Surrey residents, ensuring they get the services they need and deserve. It's no secret that this is getting increasingly difficult to achieve, as we have our own unique set of challenges to deal with. Since 2010, we have saved more than £450 million from our annual budgets as demand for our services has continued to rise while central government funding has decreased. Economic success has led to our having the busiest roads outside central London, with the additional cost that involves. We have the highest number of people with learning disabilities and growing levels of special educational needs, so the gap between what people need and what we receive to provide services for them is growing.

While we have been successful on behalf of Surrey residents in securing some additional funding, it is nowhere near enough to meet the growing needs of people at both ends of the age spectrum. Our older population is set to grow by 20,000 over the next few years, while growing pupil numbers in our schools mean we have to find an additional 11,000 school places by 2020.

Providing vital support for older and vulnerable residents depends on the county council's ability to find millions of pounds of reductions every year. Far from easing up on our savings programme, we have to increase our reduction target to £700 million. Clearly this will involve some difficult decisions and commitment to new ways of working, which is where innovation comes in. We have already started down this road, with innovative partnerships on health, transport, waste disposal and business functions. But we need to move to the next level.

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