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02/10/13 09:48

Interim Chair for Children’s Hearings Scotland

Board member John Anderson takes up post.

John Anderson has been appointed as interim Chair of Children’s Hearings Scotland (CHS) by Scottish Ministers.

Mr Anderson, who currently sits on the CHS Board, will take up the role until a decision on the new Chair is taken towards the end of 2013.

This follows the departure of Craig Spence, who played a key role in establishing the new Children’s Hearings body since his appointment two and a half years ago.

Having overseen CHS from establishment in 2011 to the point at which it secured its full statutory functions in June 2013, Craig Spence had previously indicated that he did not wish to seek re-appointment when his term expires next March.

Mr Spence has also recently been asked to contribute to work with the Scottish Government around diversity in public appointments.

A regulated public appointments exercise to appoint his replacement has already begun.

Pending the appointment of a new Chairing member, Ministers have accepted the unanimous recommendation of the CHS Board that serving Board member John Anderson MBE be appointed interim Chair.

Children’s Minister Aileen Campbell said:

“I thank Craig Spence for his contribution as CHS’s first Chair since his appointment in April 2011 to establishing this important new body.

“CHS is now fully operational, and with the body moving into a new phase I am delighted to be able to appoint John Anderson to act as interim Chair, pending the appointment of Craig’s permanent successor.

“I know that John and the Board will continue to develop CHS to provide the best support for volunteers and through them, for vulnerable children across the country.”

John Anderson said:

“This is an important and exciting time for CHS and for the system that we serve. I am grateful to the Board for recommending me and to the Minister for accepting that recommendation.

“In my time in office, I expect to focus on supporting our staff and reinforcing our relationships with panel and Area Support Team volunteers. I pay tribute to Craig’s tireless work during his time here, and he leaves with our sincere thanks and best wishes.”

Craig Spence said:

“It has been an honour to have been involved in the Children’s Hearings system for over a decade, and to have been the first Chair of CHS. Having seen in the delivery of the new system, it feels the right time to move on to a new role in another area of public service. I have found my time at CHS enjoyable, challenging and rewarding, and I have very much enjoyed working with a great team to strive to deliver the best for panel members.

“I am looking forward to my new role, and my decision has been made easier knowing that John will act as Interim Chair. He has been an excellent Board member and I know he will do a great job. I wish John and all involved in the children’s hearings system every success.”

Notes to editors

John Anderson started his career as a teacher and after graduating in law in 1991, became involved in the area of regulation and protection of the public. A panel member for fourteen years, he also served as Chair of the Edinburgh Children’s Panel and Depute Chair of the Children’s Panel Chairs Group (CPCG). He has wide experience in professional regulation and worked for the General Teaching Council for Scotland for ten years until he retired in 2012.

He has been an Independent Assessor for Public Appointments and is currently a member of the Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal, the Faculty of Advocates Complaints Committee and Disciplinary Tribunal and the disciplinary panels of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Scottish Football Association (SFA).