Falkirk Council bids farewell to retiring education chiefs

Falkirk Council’s director of Children’s Services, Robert Naylor, has retired from his post after nearly 36 years in local government.
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His retirement was announced at a meeting of Falkirk Council’s children, young people and education executive on Tuesday.

In a statement, the council paid tribute Mr Naylor, who took up his post with Falkirk Council in April 2015 and was instrumental in setting up the new Children’s Services which brought together children and families social work, education, community learning and development and the catering and cleaning service. He retires after 36 years in Local Authority service and eight and a half years with Falkirk Council.

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The council statement said: “Robert brought a vast amount of knowledge and experience to the new Director post and over the years he tackled many challenges across his wide and diverse remit which included leading the demanding response to COVID-19 across the Council’s early year’s and school estate.”

Robert Naylor has retired as Director of Children's Services for Falkirk Council. (Picture: Falkirk Council)Robert Naylor has retired as Director of Children's Services for Falkirk Council. (Picture: Falkirk Council)
Robert Naylor has retired as Director of Children's Services for Falkirk Council. (Picture: Falkirk Council)

The leader of Falkirk Council, Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn added: “Robert dedicated his career to education and during his time here adapted and led the new Children’s Services and with his skill, enthusiasm and commitment made real progress over the years which put children, young people and families at the centre of service design and delivery. On behalf of the Council I would like to thank Robert for his leadership, contribution and service over the years and wish him a long and happy retirement.”

At the same meeting, councillors said farewell to another senior figure in the education department, the head of resources and planning, Gary Greenhorn.

Mr Greenhorn joined Falkirk Council’s finance team in 2003 and then moved to education where he “became custodian of all things finance”, Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn said in her tribute.

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In the last five years, Mr Greenhorn led the massive expansion of the council’s early years’ services, overseeing new nurseries being built and existing ones expanded to help double the number of hours offered to three and four-year-olds.

Cllr Meiklejohn said: “Managing the roll-out of that programme, Gary has kept us on track and helped us deliver it on time. Gary has also been involved in the newbuild schools including Denny, Falkirk High, St Mungo’s, St Bernadette’s, Kinnaird and Maddiston.”

Cllr Meiklejohn paid tribute to the way in which he led all of those projects and also helped to deliver the Connected Falkirk project, which saw all children in Falkirk from P5 upwards being given their own iPads for schoolwork.

She said: “We rolled that out before Covid and I believe that has had a significant role in us continuing the attainment levels that we have.”

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Mr Greenhorn will leave his post in December and Cllr Meiklejohn wished him all the best for his retirement.

Last month, Falkirk Council announced that Mr Greenhorn’s finance job would be replaced with a second head of education. Both of these posts will come under the leadership of the new Director of Children’s Services. The council has said that a report on the appointment process for a new Director will be considered over the coming months.

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