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Focus of work Damian has a wide ranging portfolio that includes; education, young people’s services, child poverty, social care, family support and children’s health. The position combines local leadership with an active role at a regional and national level, to shape and influence government policy. He is particularly interested in local system reform and the role of citizen empowerment to shape complex adaptive systems. Through the UK government’s Building Schools for the Future Programme, Knowsley is investing £250m to radically transform its local education system. Seven state of the art secondary ‘Centres for Learning’ are opening during 2009-10. Knowsley’s award winning approach has received national praise and recognition. Damian has also successfully secured Knowsley’s involvement as the UK representative in Microsoft’s Global Innovative School Programme. Areas of expertise Damian is the Executive Director of Children and Family Services for Knowsley Council, Merseyside. He led the Council to Beacon status for Transforming Secondary Education in 2003 and for Integrating Children’s Services in 2005. His current focus is on effecting system Governance across the new ‘Centres for Learning’ and integrating this with three Local Children’s Partnerships as part of a wider Children’s Trust. This emerged from a joint Innovation Unit (IU)/National College for School Leadership ‘Next Practice’ Project. He has worked with a number of national think tanks such as DEMOS looking at user-designed service delivery in deprived areas, the Young Foundation/NESTA on the application of social network analysis to collaboration in education transformation. Damian is also currently working on the concept of a Social Innovation Laboratory in Knowsley. Qualifications and affiliations Damian has a BSc (Hons) and PGCE from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and an MSc from the University of Salford. He is a Chartered Biologist and Member of the Institute of Biology, Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and a Millennium Fellow. Damian is a founding member of the Association for Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) Council and a member of their Educational Achievement Policy Committee and Research Group. He is a member of the British Education Communication Technology Agency’s Consultative Board, member of the Executive of NW Director of Children’s Services (DCSs) and Chair of the Merseyside DCSs. Damian is also a member of the Council of the University of Liverpool and Director of the Greater Merseyside Connexions Partnership and a Director of Focus Conservation Fund. He has a served as a Governor in every phase of education and previously was a senior manager in a Sixth Form College, an Open University Tutor and prior to that a school teacher.See a case study of Knowsley Council - A Template for Potentiality