Department of Education Permanent Secretary to retire

Date published: 12 September 2016

The Department of Education has announced that Permanent Secretary Paul Sweeney will retire at the end of 2016.

Paul Sweeney has served as Permanent Secretary in the Department of Education from February 2010, prior to that he was Permanent Secretary in the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure from April 2006.

Education Minister Peter Weir MLA said:

“Paul Sweeney has held senior positions in the Northern Ireland Civil Service over the past 20 years and can be proud of the contribution he has made during this time. A Permanent Secretary role is a challenging one requiring the post holder to have excellent leadership and communication skills. Paul has led the Department of Education through some demanding periods of change and reform and he can be proud of what he has achieved.”

Paul Sweeney said:

“It has been a great privilege to serve as Permanent Secretary in Education over the past 6 years. I have been enormously impressed by the vocational commitment of those involved in education to give our children and young people the best start in life.”

An open recruitment competition will be launched to appoint his successor with an appointment likely to be announced in December.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Paul Sweeney joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service, initially on secondment in 1994. From 2000-2004 he was Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Department for Regional Development and from 2004-2006 was Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @education_NI
  3. See photos from the Department of Education in our flickr collection.
  4. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.

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