The Education Authority has announced the appointment of Sara Long as its new Chief Executive.
Currently the Director of Operations and Estates, Sara joined the Education Authority in 2016 and has been responsible for a wide range of services including home to school transport, school meals, school maintenance and capital development.
Sara previously enjoyed an extensive career within Health & Social Care, initially joining in 1999 as a general management trainee. In more recent years, Sara held a number of management posts across the Western Health & Social Care Trust, most notably as Director of Performance & Service Improvement and working regionally as an Assistant Director at the Health & Social Care Board.
Sara will commence her new role on 1 April 2019, taking over from Gavin Boyd, who has held the post of Chief Executive since 2014.
Welcoming the appointment, Sharon O’Connor, Chair of EA said: “The Board of the Education Authority is delighted to announce that we have appointed Sara Long as Chief Executive. EA is one of the largest public bodies and employers in Northern Ireland and Sara brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this role.
“As the process of transformation of the education system in Northern Ireland continues, we are confident that Sara will successfully lead EA in the future delivery of quality services to children and young people in a very challenging time.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Gavin Boyd for his unstinting leadership, vision and dedication over the last five years. Gavin led the successful amalgamation of the five Education and Library Boards into EA, the biggest transformation in the administration of education in 40 years.”
Incoming Chief Executive of the Education Authority, Sara Long, said: “I am delighted to be appointed EA Chief Executive. 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.
“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.”
Commenting on the appointment of Sara Long, current EA Chief Executive, Gavin Boyd said: “I wish Sara every success as EA’s new Chief Executive. She takes over at a critical time for the organisation, as we face unprecedented challenges, especially financial.
However, there is a growing recognition that the education system must transform and Sara is the right person to lead EA’s part in this process.
“I would like to thank all my colleagues both inside EA, and across the education sector for their hard work and commitment to delivering the highest standards in education over the last five years in such very difficult circumstances.”