The State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie, today announced that he has accepted the resignation of the Secretary for Education and Chief Executive Ms Lesley Longstone.

Mr Rennie said that the last six months have been especially challenging for the Ministry of Education.  Despite the best efforts of the Chief Executive to work through a number of issues, there now needs to be a focus on re-building the critical relationships that have been strained.

"Following very careful thought and discussion, Lesley and I have decided that the best interests of the Ministry would be served by her stepping down and the appointment of a new Chief Executive," Mr Rennie said.

"Lesley is a highly capable and dedicated professional who has been strongly committed to achieving better education outcomes for all New Zealanders.  I respect the very difficult decision that she has made and expect she will continue to contribute her expertise to public service.

"Lesley returns to the United Kingdom for the Christmas break, as planned, and then will return to complete her role on 8 February 2013," Mr Rennie said.

"Lesley and I have agreed to a package that falls within the Auditor-General’s guidelines for severance payments in the public sector. Further details of this package will be released in the New Year once it is finalised."

Mr Rennie said he was grateful to Victoria University of Wellington for supporting the secondment of former Public Service chief executive Peter Hughes as the Acting Chief Executive and Secretary for Education. Peter Hughes will take up his role from 9 February 2013. The State Services Commission will advertise for the permanent role in the New Year.

ENDs

All enquiries: Lisa-Marie Richan, Director, Communications 021 244 1361

Last modified: