Northern Ireland

Education Authority’s Sara Long to take up new role with Health Service Executive in Republic

EA Chief Executive Sara Long
Sara Long is leaving the Education Authority (EA) in April

The Education Authority’s chief executive is to leave her post to take up a new role with the Health Service Executive (HSE) in the Republic.

Sara Long, who has been at the helm of the EA for the past five years, is to leave in April.

The EA said on Monday that she is due to join the HSE as regional executive officer for one of the newly established health regions.

EA chair Barry Mulholland thanked Ms Long for his contribution and said the search will begin soon for a new chief executive.

“Sara has made an outstanding contribution to the EA the wider education sector firstly as director of operations and estates from 2016 to 2019 and then as chief executive for the past five years, taking forward an ambitious programme of transformation and service improvement during that time,” he said.

“I want to sincerely thank Sara for all of her hard work and dedication and wish her continued success for the future.

“The board will now ensure that appropriate arrangements are put in place to recruit a new chief executive.”

Speaking after the announcement that Ms Long is to leave, Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan called for the Department of Education to “work to quickly fill the post”.

“In light of the resignation of the Education Authority’s chief executive Sara Long today, the Department of Education must work to fill the vacancy as soon as possible,” he said.

Sinn Féin's Pat Sheehan has raised concerns about the Dr Michael Watt case. Picture by Hugh Russell
Sinn Féin's education spokesperson Pat Sheehan PICTURE: HUGH RUSSELL

“Giving the existing staffing gaps within the Education Authority, and the fact there’s no minister in place as a result of the DUP’s blockade of the Executive, it is crucial there is leadership in place to guide them through the challenges ahead and deliver for children and young people.”