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Re-appointments to the Board of the Middletown Centre for Autism

The Department of Education today announced four re-appointments to the Board of Directors of the Middletown Centre for Autism.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Professor Mary Hanratty CBE, Mr Harry Mullan, Mrs Daphne O’Kane and Mrs Ethel Ruddock have been re-appointed by the Minister for Education, John O’Dowd, for a term of three years, taking effect from 16 March 2013.

Professor Hanratty has worked as Director of Nursing and Midwifery Education for the Southern and Eastern Health and Social Services Boards, where she gained skills and experience in the development and management of education programmes for nurses involved in the care of children and young people with autistic spectrum disorders. She is currently a Non-Executive Director with the NI Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust.

Mr Harry Mullan has served as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman on Health and Social Services and Education and Library Boards. He has considerable knowledge and experience of areas including corporate leadership, auditing and addressing the needs of children with special needs through his work in the education and health sectors.

Mrs Daphne O’Kane has extensive knowledge and expertise associated with the leadership and management of organisations providing educational services, including those supporting children with autism. She has experience of working with children with autism spectrum disorders as a school Principal; when she was Head of Pre-School Services for Children with Special Education Needs in Bromley Education Department; and through her membership of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Mrs Ethel Ruddock has a detailed background in education and was responsible for training and support for new Principals, Vice-Principals, school Senior Management Teams and Boards of Governors in the South Eastern Education and Library Board area. Through this work she developed a considerable understanding of the needs of children with autism spectrum disorders and their teachers. She also has particular knowledge of the voluntary and not-for-profit sector.

The appointments have been made in accordance with the principles of the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for NI.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Middletown Centre for Autism is a joint north-south initiative with funding provided by the Department of Education in the north (DE) and the Department of Education and Skills in the south (DES) to support the promotion of excellence in the development and harmonisation of education and allied services to children and young people with autistic spectrum disorders.
  2. Both DE and DES are each responsible for appointing four members to the Centre’s Board of Directors. In addition, each Department appoints either the Chair or Vice-Chair on a rotating basis. It is intended that DE will conduct a public appointments process in the coming months for the currently vacant position of the Vice-Chair.
  3. Board members are remunerated at a rate of £160 per day based upon an estimated workload of one to two days per month.
  4. Each of the appointees have declared that they have not been involved in any significant political activity within the last five years.
  5. There are no specific qualifications for these appointments.
  6. Professor Mary Hanratty’s position as Non-Executive Director of the NI Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust receives annual remuneration of £5,845.
  7. Mrs Daphne O’Kane’s position as a panel member of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal is remunerated at a rate of £169 per day.
  8. The Department of Education has launched a new ‘Education Works’ advertising campaign. The campaign encourages families to play, talk, read and count with their child and to ‘Get Involved Because Education Works’. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect website for more information or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.
  9. View photos from the Department of Education in our Flickr collection.
  10. Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Communications Team on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699715440 and your call will be returned.