Northern Ireland

Education Authority appoints new chief executive

Sara Long Image copyright Education Authority
Image caption Sara Long is the new chief executive of the Education Authority

The Education Authority (EA) has appointed a new chief executive to succeed Gavin Boyd.

Sara Long already worked in a senior role for the EA as director of operations and estates.

Ms Long will take up her post, which comes with a salary of between £137,000 and £164,000, in April 2019.

The EA has responsibility for the funding and running of education and youth services in Northern Ireland.

It was established in April 2015 as a non-departmental public body of the Department of Education (DE) to succeed the five separate education and library boards.

As well as funding about 1,100 schools, the EA also provides services like school transport, meals, maintenance and support for children with special educational needs.

It is responsible for most of Northern Ireland's £2bn education budget but - like the rest of the education sector - faces financial challenges.

Mr Boyd has been the head of the authority since it was established.

The EA had previously made two unsuccessful attempts to appoint his successor.

Ms Long had worked in a range of senior roles in the health service before joining the EA in 2016.

Image caption Ms Long succeeds Gavin Boyd (above) as chief executive of the organisation

Her appointment was welcomed by the chair of the EA, Sharon O'Connor.

"As the process of transformation of the education system in Northern Ireland continues, we are confident that Sara will successfully lead EA in the future delivery of quality services to children and young people in a very challenging time," she said.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Gavin Boyd for his unstinting leadership, vision and dedication over the last five years.

"Gavin led the successful amalgamation of the five Education and Library Boards into EA, the biggest transformation in the administration of education in 40 years."

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