Appointment of new members to the Boards of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education and Comhairle na Gaelscolaĺochta

Date published: 07 January 2022

The Minister of Education has announced the appointment of two new members to the Board of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) and one new member to the Board of Comhairle Na Gaelscolaíochta (CnaG).

Speaking today, Education Minister Michelle McIlveen said:

“I am pleased to appoint new members to the Boards of NICIE and CnaG. The wealth of experience and expertise they will bring to both organisations will prove invaluable.”

The members, appointed by DE, are as follows:

Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education

Mr Gavin Benjamin Gray is an Education Manager in the fields of Science and Physics at the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment and was responsible for designing a unique new Science qualification to address the future employment needs of local industry as highlighted in the NI Matrix Report into Life Sciences.  He is the Ireland Secretary of the Institute of Physics and a member of the Education Group of the UK Association for Science Education, having previously served as a representative of the South East England region and as UK Chair of Trustees.  Mr Gray has declared that he has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years.  He holds one other public appointment as a Governor of Belfast High School for which he receives no remuneration.

Mr Bob Hanna is currently the Chairperson of Smart Grid Ireland and a Board Member of the Northern Ireland Community Energy cooperative.  He is a former General Manager of NIE International and former Commercial Manager of Premier Power, and was the first Director of the Integrated Education Fund. Mr Hanna has declared that he has not undertaken any political activity during the past five years, and does not hold any other public appointments.

Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta

Ms Nuala Toman is the Head of Policy, Advocacy, Information and Communications at Disability Action.  She is a Disability Support Tutor at both the Ulster and Queen’s Universities, and is Vice-Chairperson of Thrive Audience Development. She previously served as a political member on the Education Authority Board from April 2015 until 31 January 2021. Ms Toman 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 two other public appointments as member of the Board of the NI Museums Council for which she receives no remuneration and a Council member of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools for which she receives an attendance allowance of £22.

Notes to editors: 

  1. NICIE is a Non-Departmental public body sponsored and supported by the Department of Education (DE) under the Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989. NICIE’s role is primarily to promote integrated education and to perform a wide range of roles in facilitating the development of integrated education.  The membership of the NICIE Board of Directors consists of a Chairperson and not more than 20 members including four members appointed by DE.
  2. CnaG is an executive Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB) sponsored DE. CnaG’s role is to promote Irish-medium education and to perform a wide range of roles in facilitating the development of Irish-medium education in Northern Ireland. The membership of the CnaG Board consists of 14 members including two members appointed by DE.
  3. The appointments will be effective from 6 January 2022 until 24 February 2024 for the NICIE Board members and until 4 December 2024 for the CnaG Board member.  Members are not remunerated but can claim travel and subsistence allowances.
  4. The expected time commitment for members on the NICIE Board is estimated at approximately 1-2 days per month, with members expected to attend board meetings, committee meetings and other events, including evening meetings and public occasions.
  5. The expected time commitment for members on the CnaG Board is anticipated to be approximately 5 days per annum with members expected to attend board meetings, committee meetings and other ad hoc meetings.
  6. 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.
  7. Follow us on Twitter @Education_ni
  8. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office at Press.Office@education-ni.gov.uk
  9. 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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