A former Reading Borough Council (RBC) director of education has been criticised in Private Eye’s ‘rotten boroughs’ feature.

The satirical and current affairs news magazine summed up Avril Wilson’s career since leaving RBC with the remark: “In local government, nothing, it seems, succeeds like failure.”

Avril Wilson, former director of education at RBC, left in February 2015 after an Ofsted report found that one in four of the borough’s primary schools were ‘inadequate’.

She then joined West Sussex County Council (WSCC) as executive director of children, adults, health and education.

Ms Wilson ‘retired’ in December 2017, two months before a damning report on safeguarding procedures at the authority.

Whilst at WSCC, she earned £140,000 per year plus £27,160 employer’s pension contribution.

She most recently joined Worcestershire County Council (WCC) as interim director of adult services in February 2018, where she is paid a day rate of £1,097.

Failures at WSCC

The findings of an independent safeguarding adult review – which highlighted considerable failures on behalf of WSCC’s adult services following similar injuries to two severely disabled men at a care home run by Sussex Health Care – was published in April 2018.

Ms Wilson, who helmed the department at the time, was reportedly one of four staff within adult care at WSCC that left their roles before the review was published.

Sussex Police began an investigation into deaths of 12 people at homes operated by Sussex Health Care.

All 12 deaths took place between April 2015 and June 2017, during which Ms Wilson was executive director of children, adults, health and education.

A WCC spokeswoman said, regarding Ms Wilson: “A search partner was responsible for undertaking appropriate due diligence and a satisfactory reference was provided by WSCC.”

Ms Wilson’s day rate includes all expenses and an agency margin, and is competitive for this level of position, the spokeswoman added.