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CAFRE role for Wallace head

Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots today welcomed the appointment of three new members on the CAFRE College Advisory Group (CAFRE CAG).

Deborah O'Hare
Deborah O'Hare

Barclay Bell from Rathfriland has been appointed as Member representing the Arable/Crops Sector; Wallace High School principal Deborah O’Hare representing the Education Sector; and Elaine Willis representing the Food Processing Sector.

The role of the Group is to provide advice at a strategic and operational level to the management team of CAFRE. It was established in January 2007 and reports to the College Director, Martin McKendry.

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In carrying out its work, the Group takes full account of Departmental policies and strategies.

The successful candidates have been appointed by the Department for an initial period of three years from 1 January 2022.

They are all well-known and respected in their chosen fields.

Minister Poots said: “I welcome the appointments of Mr Bell, Mrs O’Hare and Mrs Willis.

The Advisory Group plays an important role in helping CAFRE deliver excellent services to the farming and Agri-Food sectors and I’m sure that the wealth of experience brought by these new members will enable CAFRE to continue to be recognised as a world leader in Agri-Food education provision.”

Minister Poots wished them well in these important roles and thanked the outgoing members, Mr Allan Chambers and Professor David McDowell for their contributions to the CAFRE CAG.

Deborah O’Hare has been Principal of The Wallace High School, Lisburn since 2009.

Previously she was Principal of Portadown College and has held a range of leadership positions in Antrim Grammar School, Methodist College and Banbridge Academy.

She has a BA honours degree in French, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, a Master’s degree in Educational Management and a Professional Qualification in Headship (PQHNI).

Deborah is a former President of the Association of Schools and College Leaders, Northern Ireland (ASCLNI); a former member of the Education Committee of the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA), and is a regular contributor to consultations on a range of education, mental health and financial policy across primary, post-primary, FE and HE sectors.

She is a current Board Member of the South Eastern Regional College (SERC) where she is Deputy Chair of The Education Committee and a member of The Audit and Risk Committee.