Appointment of DE members to the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) and its Diocesan Education Committees (DECs)

Date published: 29 April 2021

The Minister of Education has announced the appointment of 10 new members to the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools and its Diocesan Education Committees, as follows:

CCMS appointments

Council

Mr John Martin Allen was the Director of Operational Support Services with the NI Fire and Rescue Service.  He is a former Area President of the Newry, Mourne and Down St Vincent De Paul, and held a position on the Regional Council for NI.  He is a member of the Warrenpoint branch of St Vincent De Paul, a Trustee representative on the Dromore Diocesan Education Committee, a Trustee Governor on the Board of St Marks High School Warrenpoint, a Governor of St Colmans Primary School, Kilkeel and an Independent member of the Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership. Mr Allen has declared that he has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years and does not hold any other public appointments.

Dr Ana Kerr is a Company Director of CEON Ltd.  She is a former member of the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment and most recently was its interim Vice Chairperson. She is a member of the Reference Group for the Department of Health. Dr Kerr has declared that she has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years and does not hold any other public appointments.

Ms Nuala Toman is a Disability Support Tutor at both the Ulster and Queen’s Universities, a project manager of Future Screens NI and a member of Thrive Audience Development Research Project Steering Committee. She previously served as a political member on the EA Board from April 2015 until 31 January 2021. She has declared that during the last five years she has undertaken political activity, stood as a candidate and canvassed on behalf of Sinn Féin. She currently holds one other public appointment as member of the board of the NI Museums Council for which she receives no remuneration.

Council and Down and Connor DEC

Michael James Beatty, worked in the NI Civil Service before joining the NI Assembly soon after it was set up. During his time in the Assembly he held a number of posts within the Committee Directorate, including Clerk to the Public Accounts Committee. Before leaving, he worked directly to the Clerk to the Assembly as Secretary to the Senior Management Team. He currently holds two other public appointments as an Independent Assessor for the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments NI for which he receives £250 per day and as a member of the Board of Governors of St Martin’s Nursery School for which he receives no remuneration. Mr Beatty has declared that he has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years.

Dr Mary Elizabeth McIvor is partially retired and working for the NI Civil Service.  She currently holds two other public appointments as Chairperson of the Audit and Risk Committee for the Commission for Victims and Survivors for which she receives £320 per meeting and as a member of the Board of Governors of St Dominic’s Girls High School, Belfast for which she receives no remuneration. Dr McIvor has declared that she has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years.

Armagh DEC

Aiden McVey Aiden McVey recently retired as Principal of Tannaghmore Primary School, Lurgan. In a career spanning 38 years in the teaching profession, he has acquired a wealth of experience in primary education, having fulfilled the role of Principal for 28 years, in four different primary schools. Mr McVey has declared that he has not undertaken any political activity, during the past five years, and does not hold any other public appointments.

Derry DEC

Catherine (Clare) Bradley is currently the Principal of Holy Cross College, Strabane. She is an Assessor for CCMS and Secretary of the Strabane Chamber Choir and member of St Mary’s Church, Melmount Choir.  Mrs Bradley has declared that she has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years and does not hold any other public appointments.

Sean Mullan is currently Vice Principal of St Mary’s Limavady and Branch Treasurer of the Limavady & Dungiven branch of the Irish National Teachers Organisation. Mr Mullan has declared that he has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years and does not hold any other public appointments.

John Paul O’Doherty is currently a Director of Corporate Services with the Loughs Agency. Mr O’Doherty has declared that he has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years and does not hold any other public appointments.

Briege O Neill is a former Principal of both Chapel Road Primary School, Waterside and St Colmcilles Primary School & Nursery Unit, Claudy over the last 25 years. She is also a former Assessor with CCMS and a former Top Team Moderator with the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment. Mrs O Neill has declared that she has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years and does not hold any other public appointments.

All new appointees bring to the council experience in Governance, Strategic Decision Making and Working with Others. 

Speaking today, Education Minister, Peter Weir said “I am very pleased to appoint the new members to the Council and DECs. The wealth of knowledge and expertise they bring will no doubt prove invaluable.”

Notes to editors: 

1. The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools is a non-departmental public body established by the Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989. The Council is primarily a strategic organisation representing the needs of Catholic Maintained Schools, although it also has a significant advisory and operational responsibility in supporting Boards of Governors and schools directly. A primary function of the Council is to provide the Catholic Maintained sector with a unified voice in all matters relating to education policy and procedures.

2.  The Council also has a Diocesan dimension in respect of its policies and their implementation and the 1989 Order established a Diocesan Education Committee in each of the five Dioceses of Armagh, Clogher and Kilmore, Derry, Down and Connor and Dromore.  Each of the Diocesan Education Committees is supported by a team of professional officers and exercises many of the Council's operational and representational responsibilities.

  1. There are 36 members in total on the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools and 68 across its five Diocesan Education Committees.  Eight members are appointed as public representatives by the Department of Education to the Council and 16 in total on the Diocesan Education Committees.

4.  This competition was widely advertised including in the Public Appointments section of NI Direct.  This competition was sought to fill vacancies on the Council and three of the Diocesan Education Committees (Armagh, Derry and Down and Connor).  These vacancies will be filled with effect from 20 April 2021. 

5.  The newly appointed members have a term of appointment ending on 29 November 2024 (unless terminated before that time) to align with the appointment terms of the existing members. The member posts are not remunerated, however members are eligible to claim an attendance allowance (currently £22 up to four hours and £30.39 for more than four hours), or a financial loss allowance (currently £27.65 up to four hours and £55.31 for more than four hours) in respect of any loss of earnings or any expenses. Travel and subsistence allowances necessarily incurred on Council/Diocesan Education Committee business will also be paid. 

6.  The expected time commitment for members on the Council is approximately 10 days per year as well as any sub-committee(s) the member may be asked to serve on; and attendance at additional special meetings, workshops and public occasions, such as celebration events.  In addition Council members may also be asked to carry out specific functions including the ratification of appointments.

7.  The expected time commitment for members on the Diocesan Education Committees is approximately 20 days per year, as well as any sub-committee(s) the member may be asked to serve on; and attendance at additional special meetings, workshops and public occasions, such as celebration events.  In addition, under the current Scheme of Employment, members are required to chair panels for appointments to prescribed posts (Principals and Vice-Principals).  DEC meetings and committee meetings are normally held during business hours.

8.  These appointments have been made in accordance with the principles and practices of the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.  Appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, the Commissioner requires the political activity of appointees to be published.

9.  Follow us on Twitter @Education_ni

10. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office at Press.Office@education-ni.gov.uk.

11. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

 

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