Northern Ireland

Education Authority: Six members opposed proposal to appoint Richard Pengelly interim chief executive

Mr Pengelly will be seconded from his role at the Department of Justice to take up the EA post in April

Richard Pengelly, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Justice, said the new laws are a ‘major milestone’ (Liam McBurney/PA)
Richard Pengelly will take up the role at the EA next month, PICTURE: LIAM MCBURNEY/PA

A proposal to appoint Richard Pengelly as interim chief executive of the Education Authority (EA) was opposed by six board members.

Minutes of a special board meeting reveal that some members voted against the suggestion made by Education Minister Paul Givan.

The BBC reported that “significant and intense discussion” took place following the proposal.

Mr Pengelly will be seconded from his role as permanent secretary at the Department of Justice to take up the post in the EA on April 15, replacing outgoing CEO Sara Long.

Education Minister Paul Givan said the Strule Shared Education Campus could not proceed without the restoration of funding
Education minister Paul Givan. PICTURE: LIAM MCBURNEY/PA

Minutes from EA discussions show that nine members voted in favour of Mr Penegelly’s appointment, while six voted against with the chair not voting.

In a statement to BBC News NI, the EA said board members agreed in principle by a majority vote to the proposal after “comprehensive and thorough discussion”.

“This was on the basis that the individual identified to undertake the role of the EA chief executive would be assessed by way of an approved NI Civil Service process as being capable of undertaking effectively this significant and challenging role, and subject to EA and the Department of Education reaching agreement on the terms of a secondment.”

The Department of Education also said the EA board “accepted the minister’s proposal”.