Schools chief to move to top job in Australia

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SHEFFIELD schools supremo Dr Sonia Sharp is moving Down Under - after being headhunted for a top job in Australia.

The city’s head of children and young people’s services, pictured below, has been asked to take on a job running services for young children in Victoria state.

Dr Sharp, aged 49, took charge of Sheffield’s education service four years ago and is expected to leave her post in the summer.

John Mothersole, Sheffield Council chief executive, said: “Sonia’s appointment to such a high profile and influential role is a testament to how Sheffield’s children’s services have come to be viewed nationally and internationally under her leadership.”

Coun Julie Dore, council leader, said: “This is a great move for Sonia and I am pleased for her, but it also reflects well for the city.

“The hard work done to integrate children’s services has clearly been recognised globally.”

During her time in Sheffield, Dr Sharp led an ambitious strategy to transform standards in education across the city, which had at its heart a focus on ensuring every child is articulate and literate by the age of 11.

However, despite important work in child safety and early learning, pass rates at primary and secondary levels have, in general, still failed to move closer to national averages.