An Aberdeenshire native is to return home to take the reins of the region’s education department.
Aberdeenshire Council’s director of education Maria Walker retired last month.
Now it has been announced Laurence Findlay, who has been director of education and social care at Moray Council for the past 14 years, will be her successor.
Mr Findlay, a former Fraserburgh Academy pupil, is “delighited” to be taking on the role.
The former modern languages teacher said: “As an Aberdeenshire native, I am delighted to be coming home to take on this pivotal role at a time of change and great opportunity within education.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my 14 years with Moray Council and the incredible colleagues I’ve been privileged to work with.”
Aberdeenshire Council leader Jim Gifford last night welcomed the news and said: “I am pleased with the outcome of the interviews and I am confident that this appointment is an exciting opportunity.”
Mr Findlay is currently seconded to the Northern Alliance of councils, to help drive forward education reforms.
Moray Council’s head of lifelong learning, culture and sport, Graham Jarvis, was recently appointed as his acting replacement, and will continue in the role for now.
Mrs Walker, 63, retired in April after seven years at the helm of Aberdeenshire’s education department. She had worked within the education system for four decades, after deciding to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a teacher before moving onto managerial roles in Tayside, Perth and the north-east.