Controlled schools body appoints first directors
A NEW education advocacy body for controlled schools is taking shape with the election of its first board of directors.
The Controlled Schools Support Council (CSSC), which was made operational last September, aims to give a strong and effective voice to hundreds of state schools.
It is the first time the north has had such a body for the controlled sector. It is the largest education sector, comprising 48 per cent of all schools and more than 140,000 pupils.
The Catholic maintained, Irish-medium, voluntary grammar and integrated sectors all have support bodies.
The CSSC, which has 17 full-time equivalent staff and a budget of about £1 million, is led by Barry Mulholland, who previously served as chief executive of the former Western Education and Library Board.
The body elected its directors at its inaugural annual general meeting this week.
Mr Mulholland said the need for the council had been made abundantly clear in the short time it has been in existence, with 90 per cent of controlled schools registering.
"A rich diversity is evident in the controlled sector, including integrated, a range of special schools and Irish-medium. It comprises nursery, special, primary, grammar and non-selective post primary schools," he said.
"The inclusivity of the controlled sector is borne out in its underlying ethos. The fundamental principles of equality, respect, commitment to the value of learning and caring for children and young people drives everything that the sector does.
"Going forward, the Controlled Schools' Support Council will seek to enhance the quality of educational provision within the controlled sector with a focus on advocacy, ethos, governance and raising standards."
THE CSSC directors, representing schools, the Transferors' Representative Council (TRC) and those from a public appointments process will serve for four years. They are:
Nursery schools: Grace Trimble, principal of Kilkeel Nursery School
Special schools: Raymond McFeeters, principal of Ardnashee School and College
Secondary schools: Hugh McCarthy, principal of Killicomaine Junior High School
Grammar schools: Robin McLoughlin, principal of Banbridge Academy
Primary schools: Heather Murray, principal of Millington PS; Gillian Dunlop, principal of Largymore PS
TRC nominees: Dr Peter Hamill, Andrew W Brown and Kenneth Twyble
Public appointees: Johnny Graham, Bill Reilly, Mark Orr and Dorothy Black