New Chairperson and Council members appointed to CCEA Council

Published: 24/03/2021, 4:00pm
CCEA

The Minister of Education has announced today that Mr Tommy O’Reilly has been appointed the new Chairperson for CCEA Council, following a successful public appointments process.

Alongside Mr O’Reilly, Professor Philip Hanna, Mrs Teresa Anne Kingsley, Mr Hugh Edward McCarthy, Mrs Donna Marie O’Connor, Mrs Sarah Sellars and Mr Robert Smyth have been appointed to CCEA Council. Mr Brian Wilson has been re-appointed to the council.

The Chairperson and the seven council members will take up their posts immediately.

Chairperson

Mr Thomas (Tommy) O’Reilly was previously a senior civil servant, holding positions in a number of departments including Education where he was responsible for education policy and children services. He was previously CEO of the Social Security Agency and is currently Vice Chair of the Ashton Community Trust, Belfast. He brings to the Council significant experience in governance, strategic decision making and leadership and during his time in Education he worked closely with CCEA on the curriculum and examinations.

Members

Professor Philip Hanna is a senior academic at Queen’s University Belfast (Dean of Education for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences). He brings to the Council experience in governance through his work as a member of the Education Implementation Strategy Group, strategic decision making and making an impact with others. He led work in developing assessment arrangements during the current pandemic.

Mrs Teresa Anne Kingsley is a professional support lawyer (a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales) specialising in local government law including Education, Judicial Review and other Public law issues and currently works for Lexis Nexis UK.  She brings to the Council experience in governance through her membership of the governance committee of a local youth football club, strategic decision making and making an impact with others through her membership of a Board of Governors. 

Mr Hugh Edward McCarthy is currently a Director of the Controlled Schools’ Support Council, and was Principal of Killicomaine Junior High School for 23 years until his recent retirement. He is a former Chief Examiner, writing the first GCSE paper in Science. He established a school Community Service group whilst teaching in North Belfast which addressed disability and continued community activities throughout his career.  He brings to the Council experience in governance, strategic decision making and making an impact with others. 

Mrs Donna Marie O’Connor is currently the Head of Organisational Development with the NI Fire and Rescue Service responsible for building organisational capability and driving business performance and is a former member of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools. She brings to the Council experience in governance including staffing and financial and risk management, strategic decision making and making an impact with others.   Mrs O’Connor currently holds one other non-remunerated public appointment as a school governor of St Patrick’s Grammar School, Downpatrick. 

Mrs Sarah Sellars is a freelance communications consultant, working primarily with professional training organisations including Extratax Training (international tax) & Inspire MediLaw (medical and legal).  She is a Trustee of Parenting NI, Trustee of Outreach Partner Housing Trust (Oxford), and a Parent member of the Ballycarrickmaddy Primary School PTFA.  She brings to the Council experience in governance, strategic decision making and making an impact with others. 

Mr Robert Smyth is a Director of Delivery and Risk Management for Allstate NI, including Executive Sponsor for Allstate’s Schools Engagement Strategy and Future of Work for NI.  He brings to the Council experience in governance, strategic decision making and making an impact with others. 

Mr Brian Wilson 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 continues to bring 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.

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