St Helena : St Helena: The Directors – Part X - Lilla Oliver
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 07.08.2011 (Article Archived on 21.08.2011)
St Helena Government has introduced a new directorate structure which came into effect on 1st April. Because of this, instead of Departments SHG now has ten Directorates.
The Directors – Part X
Lilla Oliver, former Director of Education and Employment
St Helena Government has introduced a new directorate structure which came into effect on 1st April. Because of this, instead of Departments SHG now has ten Directorates. In a ten part series the Public Relations/Information Office has been introducing each of the ten Directors, their responsibilities and directorate plans for the next year.
In this last article we meet former Director of Education and Employment, Lilla Oliver. Lilla left the island on Thursday 21st July 2011 on completion of her contract. Below are her reflections on her time spent as Director of Education and Employment.
The Director of Education and Employment is responsible for the whole of the Education Sector, this includes responsibility for the Primary and Secondary Schools, Adult Education (AVES), Teacher Training and Special Educational Needs and the Administration Section. The directorate is also responsible for the training and retraining of the unemployed.
The Directorate has 184 posts including part-time and an annual budget of £2.6 million which does not include external projects.
Under the Primary and Secondary Education Section, Lilla managed the DfID funded Education Sector Support Programme 2 which helps towards raising the standards of educational attainment and the whole school improvement agenda.
During the last two years, Prince Andrew School’s management, pastoral and curriculum structure has undergone a reform process and continues to do so. Work also continues under the Teacher Training and Special Educational Needs Section.
The AVES Strategy was revised and implemented in 2010 with the objective to raise the standards on the island taking into account potential air access and tourism developments. AVES is about life-long learning and the service continues to provide as many opportunities as possible.
The Administration Section recently moved from the Canister to the Education Learning Centre, Ex-Jamestown First School and this move has proven to be effective for management.
On being the Director of Education and Employment Lilla said:
“I have been in education practically all of my life and enjoy the teamwork and drive towards making improvements. The staff are dedicated, hardworking and forward thinking and I have enjoyed my time with them. I particularly liked the strategic elements of the job and the cross cutting issues.”
The key successes during Lilla’s time as Director included the reform at Prince Andrew School, the revised AVES Strategy, the amalgamation of the First and Middle Schools into three Primary ones, and the recent mid-term review, conducted by David Levesque and Patt Flett which was very positive. All of these have been highlights for Lilla which she thoroughly enjoyed playing a part in.
Lilla started her career in education as a classroom teacher and progressed in the Education Service, to Acting Head Teacher at the Jamestown First School and then to Head Teacher at Levelwood. Lilla became the Education Officer for First Schools and then Education Officer Primary where she was responsible for primary education on St Helena. Lilla remained in this position for seven years, and once took on the additional responsibility of being Head Teacher for two of the Primary Schools.
Lilla left the Island in 2006 to teach in the United Kingdom. The following year she was working as a self-employed Education Consultant providing teacher training and development courses in primary and secondary schools in the UK.
Lilla soon progressed to an Associate of the University of Wolverhampton’s Centre for International Development and Training. In this role she managed the DfID funded St Helena Education Sector Support Programme. This included budgetary control, organising teacher placements and tertiary placements in the UK, teacher training and development and providing support to the management team at the Education Department and to the Adult Vocational Education Service.
Lilla has a Master’s degree in Education and has been trained in management, curriculum delivery and implementation and conducting learning assessments.
In her spare time Lilla enjoys listening to music by Seal and watching films, her favourite one for this year being ‘The King’s Speech. She also enjoys walking and eating Pilau (her favourite food). In addition she loves a good coffee.
Public Relations/Information Office
4 August 2011