Education Minister and Chair of Education Authority welcome secondment of new Chief Executive

Date published: 21 March 2024

The Board of the Education Authority (EA) has agreed to the Education Minister’s proposal to second Richard Pengelly to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from 15 April 2024.

Richard will replace Sara Long who is leaving the post after five years to take up another appointment.

In welcoming the Board’s agreement, Education Minister Paul Givan said: “The Education system is facing a period of unprecedented challenges and requires a senior leader to build on the positive work carried out to date and to continue to take forward critical transformation to meet the needs of all of our children and young people.

“I am pleased the Board has agreed to the appointment of Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly as CEO of the Education Authority and I am grateful to the Head of the Civil Service for agreeing to release Richard to undertake this important role.”

The Minister continued: “Richard is an experienced senior leader with a track record of delivering transformation in complex multi-disciplinary public sector organisations. The Education system is facing significant operational challenges, not least in terms of the delivery of Special Educational Needs provision, and while I recognise that it will take time to address such issues, Richard has the experience and skill, working with the EA Board, to deliver real change.”

In announcing the Board’s decision, EA Chair Barry Mulholland said: “I would like to pay tribute to outgoing Chief Executive Sara Long who has made an outstanding contribution to the EA and to the wider education sector taking forward an ambitious programme of transformation and service improvement during that time.

“Moving forward it is essential we build on EA’s excellent work to transform services to inspire, support and challenge all our children and young people to be the best that they can be and I wish Richard every success in his new role.”

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