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Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has today (Thursday 18 May) appointed Donald Macleod as chief officer for education and children’s services.

Donald replaces Uilleam Macdonald, who is retiring after three years.

Donald has over 25 years of experience in education, the majority of which has been in the Western Isles.

Having initially begun his teaching career with Aberdeen City Council, he returned to his native Lewis in 2001 and joined Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

After many years as a teacher at Stornoway Primary, he was appointed headteacher of Sgoil a’ Bhac and Tolsta School in 2013 and then joined the Education and Children’s Services Department in 2016 as a senior education officer. He has most recently been head of education in the service.

A CnES spokesperson said that his years of experience and knowledge of the needs, aspirations and challenges of island communities equip him well for leading the service into the future.

Donald said: “I am delighted to be taking on the responsibility for leading education and children’s services at a time of significant change and opportunity across the delivery of public sector services.

“I want to build a service focused on inclusion, equity and positive outcomes for all children and young people, with a focus on growth in Gaelic and embracing the opportunities that digital innovation can bring us.

“In doing so, I recognise the importance of strong relationships and engagement with parents, carers and the many partners that contribute to the lives of children across our islands.

“I also wish to express sincere thanks to our outgoing director, Uilleam Macdonald, who has given many years of service to education in the Western Isles (which) has seen unparalleled growth in the Gaelic Medium Education and continuous development of the service to meet the needs of children.”

Chief Executive of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Malcolm Burr said: “I would firstly like to thank Uilleam Macdonald and congratulate him on his many achievements in a long and fruitful career of committed service to education and children’s services in the Western Isles.

“Secondly I would like to extend my congratulations and best wishes to Donald in this new role.

“In his previous positions Donald has demonstrated all the qualities and expertise that will allow him to thrive. The delivery of the best possible education and children’s services to young people in the Western Isles remains one of our leading corporate priorities and, with the appointment of Donald, I am confident that this delivery is in good and capable hands.”