Former rocket scientist will be Wakefield Council’s first corporate director of children’s services

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A former rocket scientist will become Wakefield Council’s first corporate director of children’s services.

John Wilson, who has been assistant director of East Riding Council’s children and young people’s services since 2009, will take on the role in the summer.

He will be responsible for schools and children’s services, which used to be part of the family services directorate before the council decided to change the system this year.

Mr Wilson worked as a rocket scientist for British Aerospace before becoming a physics teacher and, later, a headteacher.

He said: “This council’s ambition shines out and I am delighted to get the chance to work with council colleagues, headteachers and partners to improve opportunities for children and young people.”

A panel of councillors, young people, headteachers and family services staff were involved in recruiting Mr Wilson, who is married with two sons and a daughter.

Council leader Coun Peter Box said: “John brings a wealth of experience and so is ideally placed to lead this new directorate. I look forward to working with him when he takes up this new post.”

Elaine McHale, the last corporate director of family services, retired in October last year.

Family services then became children’s services, with adult services becoming a separate part of the council’s communities directorate.