Education Authority appoints new chief executive
THE largest employer in Northern Ireland has appointed its first permanent chief executive.
The Education Authority (EA) announced Sara Long as its new head.
The organisation has a budget of approximately £1.5 billion and employs close to 40,000 people, although most of these are teachers in the state-controlled sector.
The top job was described as "one of the most demanding chief executive appointments in Northern Ireland" and "one of the biggest educational leadership roles in the UK and Ireland".
It comes with a considerable public sector salary of up to £164,000 a year.
Ms Long is currently the EA director of operations and estates and has been responsible for services including home to school transport, meals and maintenance.
She will commence her new role on April 1 2019, taking over from Gavin Boyd, who has held the post of interim chief executive since 2014.
"Having worked in the organisation for the past three years, I recognise that we are entering a new era for education, where both the challenges facing the system and the opportunities that transformation offer are very much part of the public debate," Ms Long said.
"EA is powered by a dedicated and skilled workforce, as we continually strive to deliver quality education and support services to children and young people across Northern Ireland and I look forward to leading the organisation in this next chapter."