Speakers at the Principals' Conference

Ian Sutherland, Head of Admissions, University of Edinburgh

Ian became Head of Admissions at the University of Edinburgh in 2004, following thirteen years at Heriot-Watt University, where he undertook the roles of Education Liaison Officer, Widening Participation Manager, and latterly, Head of Admissions.

Edinburgh is large university with admissions services devolved across three academic Colleges. Ian’s role involves working with staff throughout the University, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, to develop policies and best practice procedures that are responsive to changes in the education sector and legal framework, and that balance the needs of applicants, advisers, and the University.

Ian chaired the Scottish Universities Admissions Practitioners Group from 2015 – 2017, and currently sits on the UCAS Undergraduate Advisory Group, Russell Group Undergraduate Admissions Forum, and attends, on occasion, the Cambridge Assessment Higher Education Consultative Forum.

Ian graduated from the University of Edinburgh as a mature student in 1998, with First Class Honours in Geography. Prior to this, Ian was a time served printer who undertook the necessary qualifications to enter University via further education college.

Richard Emborg, Director of Student Recruitment & Admissions, Durham University

As Durham University’s senior student recruitment and admissions professional, Richard is responsible for providing professional and strategic leadership for student recruitment and admissions across the University that maximises the effective realisation of the University's strategic aspirations and targets and also optimises the contribution of the Recruitment and Admissions Office.

Richard has 20 years of experience in FE and HE admissions performing roles right across an admissions office at a variety of institutions before being appointed to his current role in 2008. During his career he has also managed teams delivering student financial support and widening access activity. He has actively contributed to the development of HE admissions locally and nationally; serving a number of expert working and advisory groups for UCAS and the QAA, as well as delivering presentations on a regular basis to national and regional conferences.

Richard is Secretary to the Academic Registrars Council Admissions Practitioner Group, the largest practitioner group for HE admissions professionals in the UK outside of UCAS, is Chair of UCAS’s Business Rules and Admissions Principles Working Group and recently finished a term of office as Deputy Chair of UCAS’s Undergraduate Advisory Group.

Alison Matthews, Deputy Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Oxford University

Alison is Deputy Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Oxford. Her role involves both supporting the administration of the admissions round by departments and colleges, as well as the technical review and revision of admissions processes. Alison has a background in psychology, and has spent her career in the field of education and assessment.

She led a large team of technical experts at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, providing policy advice on qualifications and curriculum, and evaluating the impact of change both to individual qualifications and of large scale systemic reform. Her team also worked on the development and quality assurance of qualifications and National Curriculum Tests.

Working mainly within the UK, she has also worked on a series of international projects. As a consultant she worked with the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the British Council.

Prof. Philip Hanna, Director of Education, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Queen’s University Belfast

Prof. Philip Hanna, Director of Education, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Queen’s University BelfastAs Director of Education within the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Queen’s University Belfast, Prof. Hanna is responsible for the development and delivery of degree programmes for an undergraduate and postgraduate population of just over two thousand students.

Prof. Hanna graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 1998 with a PhD in automatic speech recognition. He was appointed as an academic in 1998. During his time at QUB he has held a number of educational development and quality assurance roles. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2017.

Prof. Hanna’s scholarly interests include the use of technology to aid teaching and assessment, interactive large group teaching and employer engagement.

Faustina Graham, Director for Curriculum, Qualifications and Standards Directorate, Department of Education

Faustina Graham, Director for Curriculum, Qualifications and Standards Directorate, Department of EducationFaustina has responsibility for all aspects of policy in relation to these three key aspects of statutory education.  Previously Faustina led the work on a new teacher education strategy for Northern Ireland ‘Learning Leaders’ and managed a £25 million Delivering Social Change project and a €35 million Peace IV project on Shared Education.  Her substantive post in the NICS is as an Assistant Chief Inspector in the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI).  She led the Schools’ Directorate within ETI for seven years developing and implementing all aspects of the inspection process in the primary, post-primary and special education sectors.

Prior to joining ETI, she taught English and Drama in both all-ability and grammar schools and held a range of curricular and pastoral responsibilities.  She also led her own private drama school working with children of all ages.

Deborah O’Hare, Principal, The Wallace High School

Deborah has been Principal of Wallace for 10 years and previous positions include Principal of Portadown College, Vice Principal of Antrim Grammar and a Head of Faculty in Methodist College Belfast.  Deborah is a member of CCEA’s Education Committee and is a Past President of ASCL NI.

An enthusiastic advocate of the advantages of digital technology as a useful learning tool, under her leadership Wallace has developed a three strand approach to the promotion of digital technology.

  1. As a learning tool.
  2. As an extra-curricular/enrichment activity.
  3. As a career pathway through taught KS3, GCSE and A level curriculum.

The numbers of young people studying GCSE and A level Digital Technology and Software Systems Development A level are high: currently 136 students across Year 11 and 12 are studying Digital Technology at GCSE (about 50% of each Year Group), 35 young people are studying Digital Technology at either AS or A2 and 30 are studying SSD.  On average, almost 25% of Year 13 and Year 14 in Wallace study either Digital Technology or SSD at A level.

In the past 12 months, Wallace has hosted visitors from Japan, Scandinavia, Spain and Belgium on a range of Erasmus and other projects to share The Wallace Way with our use of Digital Technology.

Among 130 Upper Sixth 2018 leavers were 13 (10 boys and 3 girls) who are now studying Computer Science/Software Engineering across a number of universities: Queen’s, Ulster, Northumbria, University of Liverpool, University of Newcastle.

Tim Oates, Director of Assessment Research and Development Cambridge Assessment, (University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate)

Tim Oates is Group Director of Assessment Research and Development at Cambridge Assessment, focussing on national and international research on assessment and measurement. More recently, he has undertaken wide-ranging international comparison of the performance of education systems, and advised OECD on its curriculum review work.

In 2010 he published ‘Could do better’ which laid down the principles for the review of the National Curriculum in England. From 2010-2013, he was chair of the Expert Panel for Review of the National Curriculum. He has published widely on assessment and curriculum. He was a member of the Ofqual Vocational Standards Advisory Group. Tim routinely provides briefings and advice to UK and other governments. He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. In 2015 he was awarded a CBE for services to education.

Book Now!

CCEA Principals’ Conference 2017 - Tuesday 29 January, Lisburn Civic Centre  eventbrite.co.uk