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Former Ballymena Academy Principal appointed to Board of the Education Authority

Former Ballymena Academy Principal Ronnie Hassard

The Minister of Education has announced the appointment of a new replacement member to the Board of the Education Authority (EA), nominated by the Governing Bodies Association to represent the interests of voluntary grammar schools.

Speaking today, Education Minister, Peter Weir said:

“I am very pleased to appoint a new member to the Board. Mr Hassard brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise which will no doubt prove invaluable to the Board. I would also like to thank the outgoing member, Sir Gerry Loughran, for his dedication and contribution to the work and achievements of the Board in its formative years.”

The appointment is as follows:

Mr Ronnie Hassard is currently a Director of the Governing Bodies Association (GBA NI) representing the voluntary grammar sector and is a member of the Board of Governors of Campbell College. He has over 40 years’ experience in controlled and voluntary post-primary schools. Mr Hassard brings to the board of the EA experience of corporate governance and as a former Principal of Wellington College and Ballymena Academy he has substantial experience of budgetary management and applying financial management principles in an organisation.

He has experience of meeting and negotiating with Trade Unions as the GBA representative on the Management Side of the Teachers’ Negotiating Committee and represents the GBA on two Area Planning Local Groups and on the Project Board reviewing suspensions and expulsions; he was also a member of a ministerial expert group considering the future of qualifications. Mr Hassard has declared that he has not undertaken any political activity during the last five years and does not hold any other public appointments.

The Education Authority (EA) came into operation on 1 April 2015, replacing the five former Education and Library Boards (ELBs) and their Staff Commission.

The constitution of the EA Board is set out in the Education Act (NI) 2014. The Board comprises a Chairperson appointed by the Minister and 20 members who are nominated by a range of interests, i.e. there are 12 members appointed after consultation with bodies representing the trustees of maintained schools, transferors of controlled schools, Irish-Medium schools, integrated schools, voluntary grammar schools & controlled grammar schools, and 8 political members who are nominated by the relevant political parties.