Membership of CCEA Council

CCEA's Council consists of a Chairperson and 12 other members appointed by the Department of Education (DE) and includes representatives from education, industry and commerce as well as having government assessors. Current membership is as follows:

Chairman

Mr Trevor CarsonMr Trevor Carson

Mr Trevor Carson is from Glengormley. He taught Biology and Science in a large boys’ secondary school for 10 years including Year Master and Head of Department. Following this he lectured in Applied Science in what is now Belfast Metropolitan College. He was seconded to BELB as FE Development Officer and Adult Education Officer and also to the Association of NI FE Colleges as Curriculum and Staff Development Officer. He was Director of LSDA NI : quality improvement organisation for the FE and Training Sector. This work included extensive support for governance in the FE Sector and additional responsibility for HR training and development in LSN (LSDA NI’s parent organisation in England and Wales). He has worked extensively for CCEA and its predecessor bodies including Principal Coursework Moderator for GCSE Sciences, subject committees and represented CCEA on Inspections (scrutiny teams) for what is now OfQual. He is currently a self-employed Educational Professional. Other interests include: producer of a talking newspaper for the visually handicapped and part-time sports journalist for the Belfast Telegraph. He has also chaired a range of committees, reference groups and national conferences.

Council Members

Mr Tom ArmstrongMr Tom Armstrong

Mr Tom Armstrong is from Belfast and has worked in the Further Education (FE) and post primary sectors both as a lecturer and coordinator of EU programmes for 23 years and over the past 14 years as a school principal in North and West Belfast. Mr Armstrong has been involved as an advisor and trainer in the development of community partnership arrangements, representing the post primary education sector and the West Belfast Community Partnership Board. He brings to the Council experience in strategic-planning and the implementation of strategic change for communities identifying areas of need; also he brings to the Council a knowledge and experience of vocational and academic programmes as both a trainer and curriculum planner. Mr Armstrong does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years.

Mrs Rosemary CowanMrs Rosemary Cowan

Mrs Rosemary Cowan MSc. (UU); PGCE (UU) is from Belfast and is a Business & Management Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast. Extensive senior management experience acquired in Financial Services sector. Experienced in Human Resource Consultancy with both public and private sector corporate clients. She brings to the Council expertise in governance including financial and risk management coupled with knowledge and experience of education. Mrs Cowan is Chair of CCEA’s Finance and Resources Committee. Mrs Cowan does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity during the past 5 years.

Dr Leslie Caul OBEDr Leslie Caul OBE

Dr Leslie Caul OBE is from Newtownabbey and has held senior positions in Stranmillis University College and over a period of 30 years has written books and academic articles on education. He has held the position of Chair of the Irish Football Association (IFA) since 2007. He brings to the Council experience in governance and strategic leadership and a knowledge and experience of education within the Further Education/Higher Education sector. Dr Caul does not hold any other public appointments and he has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years.

Mrs Christine HarpurMrs Christine Harpur

Mrs Christine Harpur is from Whitehead and a Joint Managing partner in Keep it Simple Solutions Consultancy. She is an independent Consultant for City and Guilds and recently completed two terms as a Joseph Rowntree Trustee for the Integrated Education Fund. She brings to the Council extensive business and HR expertise in Public, Private and Voluntary sectors plus further experience in governance and risk management, thinking strategically / influencing the strategic direction of an organisation, communications and marketing. She has a sound general knowledge of education with specific skills in vocational education. Mrs Harpur is Vice-Chair of Council, a member of the Audit & Risk Assurance and Regulatory Advisory Committees. Mrs Harpur does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity during the past 5 years.

Dr Ana KerrDr Ana Kerr

Dr Ana Kerr is from Belfast and is an education consultant providing a range of services to schools, universities, teacher training establishments and education authorities here and abroad. She is also a part-time tutor at Queen’s University Belfast and Stranmillis University College. She brings to the Council experience in governance, including team management, business planning and financial management; experience in strategy development; a wide experience in communication and inter-personal skills; and knowledge and experience of education both in Northern Ireland and abroad. Dr Kerr does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activities during the past five years.

Dr Neill Morton OBEDr Neill Morton OBE

Dr Neill Morton OBE is from Belfast and former Principal of Portora Royal School, Enniskillen. He is a member of the editorial advice board for the educational journal SecEd and writes on educational matters for publication in local newspapers and education journals. He brings to the Council over 40 years’ teaching experience; experience in strategic thinking; effective communication skills; and a well-developed knowledge of the challenges facing the education sector. Mr Morton is Chair of CCEA’s Education Committee. Mr Morton does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activities during the past five years.

Mrs Kathleen O'HareMrs Kathleen O'Hare

Mrs Kathleen O’Hare is from Newry and has been the Principal of two post-primary schools in Northern Ireland. She is currently the Head Teacher of Hazelwood Integrated College in North Belfast. She brings to the Council experience in governance including strategic planning and a knowledge and experience of education in both the post primary and Higher Education sectors. Mrs O’Hare is on the Board of Directors of the Verbal Arts Centre and the Board of Belfast Metropolitan College. She does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years.

Mr Robert ThompsonMr Robert Thompson

Mr Robert Thompson is from Ballyclare and was a Head Teacher in Doagh Primary School from 1980 until his retirement in 2012. He was a former board member of the North Eastern Education and Library Board and is currently a member of the Board of Governors of a large Grammar School, a large Secondary School and a Nursery School; and also a member of the Governing Body of Stranmillis University College, Belfast. In 2015 he was appointed as External Adviser for Headteachers’ Performance, Review and Staff Development (PRSD) and is actively involved in Riding for the Disabled. He brings to the Council experience in governance and a knowledge and experience of education. Mr Thompson does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity during the past 5 years.

Mrs Angela WhitesideMrs Angela Whiteside

Mrs Angela Mary Whiteside was a Northern Ireland Civil Servant within the former Department for Employment and Learning (DEL). She was also a former teacher and a member of the Education and Training Inspectorate. She will bring to the Council experience in education and of promoting good governance, managing risk and strategic planning. Mrs Whiteside has declared that she has not undertaken any political activity during the last five years and does not currently hold any other public appointments.

Mr Cormac McKinneyMr Cormac McKinney

Cormac is currently Principal of St Colman’s College, Newry. He is a member of the Catholic Heads Association and has recently been appointed Vice-Chair. He brings to the Council experience of promoting good governance, experience in strategic thinking and analytical thinking which includes aspects of curriculum planning, financial and staff management and students’ attainment. Mr McKinney does not hold any other Ministerial public appointments and has not undertaken any political activities during the past five years.

Mrs Carol Fitzsimons MBEMrs Carol Fitzsimons MBE

Mrs Carol Fitzsimons MBE is currently Chief Executive Officer of Young Enterprise NI. She is an Associate Lecturer in the Open University within the Faculty of Business and Law and is also a Scout Leader. Mrs Fitzsimons will bring to the Council experience of managing staff, operational delivery, developing strategic plans and financial and risk management. She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Mrs Fitzsimons has declared that she has not undertaken any political activity during the last five years and does not currently hold any other public appointments.

Mr Brian WilsonMr Brian Wilson

Brian is currently employed by the British Council as a Skills Advisor providing technical advice on thematic programming on skills and employability in the Middle East North Africa and Americas regions. He brings to the Council experience of promoting good governance, holding teams to account, financial and risk management and influencing opinion and developing networks. Mr Wilson is also a member of the Governing Body of the Belfast Metropolitan College for which he receives a sitting fee for each meeting attended. He does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activities during the past five years.

CCEA Officers

Mr Justin Edwards
Chief Executive

Miss Noleen Kennedy
Manager, Council Secretariat, Chief Executive's Office

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