Profile of Directors

Board Profiles

Colm Cavanagh (President):  Colm Cavanagh BCL LLB is a solicitor who has worked locally in Community and Economic Development, as well as with the UN Development Program in Tanzania, East Africa.  A former board member and Chairperson of NICIE, he has promoted integrated education since the 1970’s. He is co-chair of the Foyle Trust for Integrated Education, which opened Oakgrove Integrated Primary School in 1991, Oakgrove Integrated College in 1992 and Oakgrove Integrated Nursery in 1993. A founding governor of Oakgrove Integrated College, Derry~Londonderry; he is currently a governor of Roe Valley Integrated Primary School, Limavady; and Chair of London-Derry Connections Ltd.  In 2007 he edited the first ever ‘International Directory of Joint Protestant-Roman Catholic Schools, Colleges and Universities”.   In January 2016 the Minister for Education appointed him to the 2-person panel of the Independent Review of Integrated Education.

Alan Henry, OBE,  Chair of the NICIE Board of Directors Alan has spent 25 years working as an HR professional, including 20 years as HR director for a large public body. He is currently the Independent Assessor of Complaints for the Public Prosecution Service and a Board Member of the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration Board. He is a lay panellist for Industrial Employment Tribunals. Alan is a former Commissioner of the Equality Commission, the Human Rights Commission and the Civil Service Commission. He is a governor in the South East Regional College and a governor in Blackwater Integrated College. Alan was appointed chair of NICIE Board of Directors in December 2014.

Dr Helen McLaughlin (Vice Chair) Dr Helen McLaughlin joined the NICIE Board in November 2010. She has almost twenty years of experience working in the community and voluntary sectors, both as a paid employee and as an independent practitioner. Her areas of expertise are facilitation and training in areas related to group development such as strategic planning, leadership, and negotiation. She also undertakes research including project and organisational evaluations, and reports. She is the author of the report entitled: Women and the Conflict: Talking about the ‘Troubles’ and Planning for the Future (September 2008), and the report Women in Disadvantaged Communities: Barriers to Women’s Participation (September 2009).  Helen currently chairs NICIE’s Policy and Planning Committee, and is delighted to be part of NICIE at this important time for the development of the education system in Northern Ireland.

Martin Stroud (Secretary) is a Trust representative. He grew up & was educated in Newport Monmouthshire, went to university in Reading & also Warwick. After marriage he moved to Belfast in 1975. He has lived in north Belfast since 1978. He has been a trade union activist with ASTMS/ MSF/ Amicus/ Unite both in his workplace Queen’s University & at various levels in the union. He is an active member of the Labour party. He was a member of the BELB as an NICTU rep from 1985-9, and chaired its General Purposes Committee. He has been actively involved in the Integrated Schools  movement since 1985 and was a founder parent of Hazelwood IPS. He was on the Hazelwood College Board of Governors from 1989, as secretary since 1991 until 2003. He is chair the Belfast Charitable Trust for Integrated Education. This body was instrumental in setting up the both Hazelwood schools and helped significantly in getting the Cranmore IPS in the Malone Road area and the Millennium IPS in Carryduff established. He was actively involved in establishing the NI Council for Integrated Education in 1989 serving as the Treasurer for the first two years. After a break he was asked to return in 1994 as a Director, becoming the chair in 1997 for four years. Martin returned to the Board of Directors in 2010 as a Trust representative and is Secretary to the Board.

Ian McKay Ian is a Queen’s graduate and worked for 25 years in the LPG industry. In 2001 he joined NICIE as an Outreach Officer and worked there for seven years. He was involved in the setting-up of five integrated primary schools and one integrated college in that time. Ian currently serves as a governor in Phoenix IPS, Cookstown, and Braidside IPS, Ballymena.

David Clement David has spent almost his whole working life endeavouring to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public sector finances in the UK and overseas. In recent years he has concentrated on improving good governance especially in third sector organisations. He was awarded the OBE in 2006 for his voluntary work in the local community in Northern Ireland reflecting his varied interests in helping others to develop their skills and knowledge.

Tim Webster joined the NICIE Board of Directors in 2012 as a trust representative for Foyle Trust for Integrated Education. He has been a Foundation Trust Governor on the Board of Governors for Oakgrove Integrated Primary School and Nursery since 1991 and has chaired the board since 1992. Now retired, Tim worked as a landscape architect, graphic designer and illustrator in the Northern Ireland Civil Service from 1973-2013.

David Burgess obtained a BSSc in Philosophy and Scholastic Philosophy from Queen’s University, Belfast, and a Master of Education from the University of Durham.  He also  studied at Canterbury Christchurch University College, Kent, where he obtained a PGCE, specializing in Religious Education.  After qualifying as a teacher, he spent a year teaching 7 to 14 year olds at Danley Middle School on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent.  In 2000, he returned to Northern Ireland, and began to work in Hazelwood Integrated Primary School, gaining a permanent post there in 2001.  In subsequent years he became a member of Middle Management with special responsibilities for Social and Moral Education.  In 2009 he joined the Senior Management Team as Co-ordinator of Discipline, and also of Inclusion and Diversity, as well as taking on the role of Union Representative.

Dermot MacCann now retired joined the NICIE board in 2012. He worked for the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulator (NIAUR) 2002-2012. He was  also a member of the Single Electricity Market (SEM) committee an all island body responsible for the regulation of electricity on the island of Ireland. Prior to 2002 he worked as a senior economist in OFMDFM, DETI and DFP. He is also a Director of BELTIE.

Stuart Marriott was a teacher in London until 1978 when I took up a post as lecturer in primary education (later senior lecturer) in the school of education at the University of Ulster in Coleraine. He worked there until his retirement in 2005.  He was involved in various roles in the foundation and early development of Mill Strand IPS, Windmill IPS, and since 2002 with Phoenix IPS. He is currently Chair of Governors at Phoenix. During his career he published three books on aspects of education, and a very large number of research reports, articles and other papers. Several of these were about integrated education, notably the first version of  ‘The Anti-Bias Curriculum’ and a research report called ‘Polite Encounters’.

Fiona Darrah obtained a BA Honours degree in French at QUB and went on to obtain a PGCE in Modern languages with PE, also at Queen’s. She is currently Head of Modern Languages at Brownlow CIC, Newcomer Student Coordinator and Chairperson of the Integration Committee.

Nigel Arnold graduated from Stranmills University College in 1994, he has been teaching for 22 years and after gaining his headship qualifications in 2003 at 32 , has been the Principal of Glengormley Integrated Primary school since 2007.  Alongside his senior leadership role in Glengormley, he is also Chairperson of the associated Independent Pre-School Playgroup and has just recently secured substantial finance to lead and open a brand new Playgroup facility on site at Glengormley.  He is also an associate assessor for Stranmillis College and assists in UCAS interviews for teacher training and has also supported RTU with PQH candidate selection for headship training.  Nigel has represented Northern Ireland Principals at an International Leaders in Education Conference in Washington DC in 2014, organised by the Sutton Trust & Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and he continues to support the Nansen Model of Integrated Education in Skopje, Macedonia.

Eamon Quinn joined the NICIE Board in December 2014.  He has over twenty years’ experience as a manager, fundraiser and consultant within the arts and charities sectors in Northern Ireland. He has worked for organisations including Tinderbox Theatre Company, Queen’s University of Belfast, Arts Care and War on Want NI. Eamon teaches on the Arts Management MA at Queen’s University of Belfast and among his freelance roles he is the Northern Ireland Grants Advisor for Comic Relief.

Stephen Peover was born in Belfast and educated at St Mary’s Christian Brothers Grammar School and at Queen’s University from which he has a first degree in Philosophy and a Master of Social Science degree in Irish Studies. He joined the NICS in 1975 and worked in DHSS until 1988 when he transferred to the Department of Education where he remained for 14 years, being closely involved with the development of integrated education throughout that time.  He became Permanent Secretary of the Department of the Environment in February 2003 and moved in August 2009 to head up the Department of Finance and Personnel, retiring in 2014. He is Chair of the Irish medium education body, Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta.

Nigel Frith has been privileged to be the principal of Drumragh Integrated College in Omagh for approximately 10 years.  He is a strong supporter of integrated education and, equally, believes passionately in the importance of excellence in all dimensions of school life. Before taking up his current post he worked in four different schools in England, having trained first at the University of Ulster in Coleraine.