Policy Forum for Northern Ireland

Key issues for education in Northern Ireland: area plan implementation, effective collaboration and improving leadership

Morning, Tuesday, 23rd January 2018

Radisson Blu Hotel, The Gasworks, 3 Cromac Place, Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 2JB


The first in a two-part series from the Policy Forum for Northern Ireland on the future for education policy, this seminar will bring together policymakers and key stakeholders to examine challenges for improving school sustainability and priorities for the Education Authority’s Strategic Area Plans.

Timed as the Education Authority completes its first annual Strategic Area Plan - and as work continues for the 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020-2023 area plans - delegates will examine the next steps in the process of reviewing and re-shaping education provision in Northern Ireland - assessing the latest thinking on the development of sustainable schools policy and the shape of education provision for the future.

Those attending will discuss options for addressing provision where sustainability is an issue - including the potential for greater collaboration between schools and the future role of community engagement in improving sustainability and educational outcomes.

They will also examine the latest thinking on priorities for ensuring sustainable, high quality education in schools - including in the continued development of outstanding teachers and school leaders; encouraging cooperation at all levels of school leadership; meeting the requirements of priority geographical areas and ensuring staff wellbeing.

Guest of Honour

John Collings

Director of Education, Education Authority

Guest of Honour

John Collings

Director of Education, Education Authority

Keynote Speaker

Kieran Donnelly

Comptroller and Auditor General, Northern Ireland Audit Office


Chris Lyttle MLA

Northern Ireland Assembly

Peter Weir MLA

Northern Ireland Assembly


Dr Sam McGuinness

Course Director, Master's Level Leadership and Headship Courses, School of Education, Ulster University

Professor Tony Gallagher

Director of Research at the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast

Jayne Thompson

Programmes Manager, Parent Teacher Association Northern Ireland

Peter Bryson

Head of Country, Northern Ireland, Save the Children

Dr Patricia Eaton

Director of Teaching and Learning, Stranmillis University College, Belfast

Dr Graham Gault

Principal, Maghaberry Primary School and Nursery Unit

Dermot Mullan

Principal, Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock and President, Association of School and College Leaders NI

Kathleen O’Hare

Principal, Hazelwood Integrated College, Newtownabbey

Justin McCamphill

National Official, Northern Ireland, NASUWT