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CCMS appoints former colleges boss as new chief executive

The new and outgoing chief executives Gerry Campbell and Jim Clarke. Picture by Matt Bohill.

THE former head of the north's colleges has been named the new chief executive of the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools.

Gerry Campbell, who led Colleges NI and previously Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY), succeeds Jim Clarke who is retiring.

The position, which comes with a salary of up to £87,662, is a "challenging high profile leadership opportunity", according to CCMS.

CCMS was established as an upper tier of management for Catholic schools in 1989 in response to concerns about underachievement.

It has responsibilities including raising standards and the employment of teachers.

The council said its new leader would "provide sectoral leadership developing the sector's vision and strategy and advocating on its behalf".

Mr Campbell will also "play an important and high profile role across the wider NI education system".

He said he was looking forward to the challenge of leading CCMS into the next phase of its development.

"I am delighted to be joining CCMS at this time and to build on the strong legacy left by my predecessor Jim Clarke," he said.

"I look forward to working with council, CCMS officers and our many stakeholders in advocating for the Catholic maintained sector and in raising educational standards to meet the needs and aspirations of all our young people, now and in the future."

Mr Clarke acknowledged the work of his colleagues past and present, in raising the performance of Catholic schools since the inception of CCMS.

"Officers have shown tremendous commitment to helping our schools better meet the every changing needs of our young people and I am proud to have been part of that work initially as a senior adviser and latterly as chief executive," he said.

CCMS chairman Bishop John McAreavey, sent his best wishes to both Mr Clarke and Mr Campbell.

"Jim has spent most of his professional life in the sphere of Catholic education, as a teacher, a principal, an adviser, a strategist and an advocate. As chief executive he has piloted CCMS through choppy waters and he leaves behind a legacy of which he can be proud," he said.

"Gerry Campbell will build on the legacy that Jim, and all involved with CCMS, have put in place. The challenges remain and in the period ahead he will need to draw on the wide range of skills he brings to his role. He can count on the support of CCMS staff, council members and a wide range of stakeholders in the organisation, and indeed outside it."

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