Our annual lecture in Northern Ireland was inaugurated in 2006, when Baroness May Blood spoke to us. The Lecture has become, for many, an important part of the educational calendar. 

It’s a place where educationalists can meet, listen and share views in an environment that is unashamedly intellectual, and pragmatic.

This year, we were honoured to host Professor Tony Gallagher, from the School of Social Sciences at Queens University delivering his lecture on: ‘If I where Minister for Education . . .’

You can watch a recording below.

Professor Tony Gallagher

Tony Gallagher is Professor of the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (SSESW) at Queen’s University Belfast, and the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (CESI). Professor Gallagher is considered one of the world’s leading academic experts on the role of education in divided society. He has worked for over 15 years on shared education, which involves collaboration between schools from different communities in divided societies aimed at promoting social cohesion and school improvement.

Tony works with the Council of Europe and the International Consortium for Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy on the civic and democratic role of higher education and will deliver this year’s NEU annual lecture on the theme of ‘If I were Minister of Education - Educational Policy in a Time of Change’

There will a response to the lecture by our panel of education speakers:

Michelle Corkey

Michele Corkey is the Director of Education at the Education Authority (EA) having been appointed in November 2019. A music graduate of Ulster University, Michele has over 28 years’ teaching and leadership experience, having served as Vice-Principal at St Louise’s Comprehensive College in Belfast and as a Principal for 11 years, first at St Mark’s Warrenpoint, then at St Ronan’s, Lurgan. Michele successfully led the amalgamation of three schools in the Lurgan area to create St Ronan’s College, the largest, all ability grammar school in Northern Ireland

Dr Glenda Walsh

Glenda is Head of Early Years Education at Stranmillis University College, a College of Queen’s University Belfast. Her areas of expertise focus on play and playful pedagogies in early childhood and primary education. She has been involved in many major research projects such as the longitudinal evaluation of the Early Years Enriched Curriculum Project in Northern Ireland that has guided the course of the Foundation Stage of the revised Northern Ireland Primary Curriculum, and she also headed a major project on examining pedagogy in Early Childhood Education for the Department of Education in the Republic of Ireland. Her journal articles and book chapters reflect her interest in curriculum and pedagogy, focusing in particular on resolving the dilemma associated with play as learning in practice

Faustina Graham ETI

Faustina was appointed in September 2020 to the post of Chief Inspector of the Education Training Inspectorate (ETI) in the Department of Education, following an open recruitment competition. She brings a wealth of experience to the post having previously held the position of Assistant Chief Inspector within ETI, driving initiatives on creative learning. She has also worked in a range of policy roles in the Department including most recently shaping and developing policy in relation to Curriculum, Qualifications & Standards. Faustina began her career as an English teacher, going on to be policy director for integrated education and Irish medium education. More recently, Faustina was seconded to the Department of Education, leading policy reform for 14-19 year-olds

Dr Patricia O’Lynn

Patricia is employed as a Programme Manager by ‘Right-to-Succeed’, an education charity. Patricia is an experienced Chair with a demonstrated history of working in the research industry - skilled in Strategic Planning, Public Speaking, Research, Advocacy and Business Planning. A strong business development professional Patricia recently achieved a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) focused in Education from Queen’s University Belfast. Currently an elected Alliance Party councillor at Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Patricia has contested previous Assembly and Westminster General Elections. She is a former congressional intern of Senator John McCain.