The five education and library boards and their staff commission have been replaced by an Education Authority. The new body became operational from 1 April and, with an annual budget of £1.5 billion, will be responsible for the delivery of education.
Interim Chief Executive Gavin Boyd emphasised the continuity of service as a priority. Boyd stated: “In the interim, the staff and structures of the education and library boards will continue to operate as five sub-regions of the Education Authority.” He added: “As we move into the transformation phase of the change programme, our focus will be on developing regional services, policies and procedures that meet the needs of all children.”
Welcoming the new era, Education Minister John O’Dowd acknowledged the role of education and library board staff.
The Minister commented: “You more than anyone else are acutely aware of the distance that has been travelled to get us to this important milestone. Throughout that time, and for the last 42 years, you have served with dedication and distinction.” Looking to the future, O’Dowd expressed his confidence in the education system’s 37,000-strong workforce to rise to any challenges.