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Education chief to retire

The top official at the Department of Education and Children Stuart Dobson is to retire.

The 61-year old who joined the department eight years ago and has headed it since January 2011, will step down at the end of August, before the new school year.

Prior to being appointed CEO, Mr Dobson was Senior Advisor and then deputy Director of Education.

It's been a bruising year for the department, which faced an outcry over the decision to close state-funded pre-schools and the mobile and family libraries early in 2012.

That was followed by a long-running political row over the decicion to charge students towards their university tuition fees and there has been further criticism from teaching unions over the closure of teacher-led nurture groups in some Island schools, announced last week.

Stuart Dobson who lives in Kirk Michael has presided over a department with a workforce of of more than 2,100 deployed across 72 centres, with more than 500 supply and relief staff also on the books.

Before coming to the Isle of Man he worked for a number of UK local authorites and in Germany and Saudi Arabia.

Looking to his retirement and a change of pace, Mr Dobson says he plans to 'sleep more, do a lot of work with bricks and mortar' and travel more frequently.

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