Nick Hynes has spent 11 years at the Education Department in Guernsey, covering several senior leadership roles – most recently as head of inclusion and services for children and schools.
After the States finally resolved last week to end two decades of wrangling over secondary education, Mr Hynes said he had a clear understanding of the challenges ahead and what needed to be done, despite concerns and reports of unrest from States secondary teachers and teaching unions.
‘For lots of valid reasons, the eye has been off the ball and resources have been dedicated elsewhere. It is time for a reset,’ he said.
‘There are elements within education services, schools and across different political realms where people are now looking for clear direction, and not just within the secondary piece. Having worked for Education for quite a long time, I know how challenging it can be but, even though it is a difficult time, I think it is a really exciting time.’
Mr Hynes said he recognised that a key part of his role was to build trust within the key stakeholder community groups.
‘I am here to support the community and schools and to give confidence to teachers about their place in the system moving forward. Trust is something I have to earn, and I am confident I can do that.’
Mr Hynes’s appointment earlier this month halted a period of instability, which saw three people in the top job at Education, Sport & Culture between June 2018 and July 2020. He said that he intended to be ‘staying put’ in the role for the long-term.
When his appointment was announced earlier this month, Policy & Resources vice-president Heidi Soulsby said that the recruitment panel for the post was unanimous in backing Mr Hynes, an experienced educationalist who was said to have ‘made a proven impact both locally and in the UK’.
P&R said Mr Hynes had significant experience in providing strategic direction and leadership, describing that ‘invaluable’ to the transformation of the Bailiwick’s education system.
There was widespread interest in the role both nationally and internationally.