The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, recently announced five appointments to the Board of the State Examinations Commission (SEC) including Prof. Teresa O’Doherty, from Killmallock, Co. Limerick who is Dean of Education at Mary Immaculate College (MIC) Limerick.
The SEC is a statutory body, separate from the Department of Education and Skills, responsible for the operation of the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate examinations and, according to Minister O’Sullivan, “plays a key role in our education system generally, but in particular in effectively overseeing the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate examinations”.
The five appointees, who were selected following applications received through the Public Appointments Service process, include Mr. Patrick Burke (Chair), former Assistant Secretary General, Department of Education and Skills; Ms. Mary Ryan, former Principal of Sacred Heart School, Westport, Co. Mayo; Dr. Richard Thorn, former President of the Institute of Technology, Sligo; Mr. David McGarry, Group Chief Financial Officer of Shannon Group plc. and Prof. Teresa O’Doherty, Dean of Education at MIC.
Prof. O’Doherty was appointed Dean of Education, MIC, in February 2007. Prior to this she was a Senior Lecturer in Education and Director of Continuing Professional Development at MIC from 2003.
Prof. O’Doherty has considerable experience of contributing to national bodies being a member of a wide range of academic, professional and administrative committees on a regional and national level. She was Southern Co-Chair of SCoTENS (Standing Conference of Teacher Education North and South) from 2009-2013 and is now a member of SCoTENS Steering Committee, an organisation that brings together 36 colleges of education, university education departments, teaching councils, curriculum councils, education trade unions and education centres on the island of Ireland with a responsibility for and interest in teacher education.
She is Co-Chair of Incredible Years Limerick, a multi-agency partnership with responsibility for managing the Incredible Years project within the Limerick Regeneration areas, promoting the use of evidence-based programmes as an intervention for young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties.
She has been an expert member of the NCCA Early Childhood and Primary Committee since 2008, and was the invited rapporteur to the 2013 conference ‘Supporting a Better Transition from Second-Level to Higher Education’ held at Maynooth University. This conference, organised by the HEA and DES in association with a number of partners, played a significant role in reviewing the calibration of Leaving Certificate grades as well as making recommendations to the HEA on how the transition to third level education could be revised.
She has extensive experience as an External Examiner on undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Ireland and her research interests are in the area of Teacher Education and the History of Irish Education. She is an active member of a number of national and international projects in the area of teacher education and teacher induction.
Congratulating Prof. O’Doherty and the other appointees Minister O’Sullivan said: “The skills and expertise of the Commissioners will ensure that the Irish examinations system continues to be held in the highest esteem. The role of the Commissioners will be key in ensuring that the SEC continues to respond to existing assessment requirements in the education system. The Commissioners will also play a vital strategic role in the further development of the assessment and examinations system.”
She concluded by welcoming the new appointees and wishing them well in their important roles and said that “The integrity and openness of the Irish examinations system is recognised the world over, and it is vital that these strengths are maintained into the future.”
Following the announcement Prof. Michael A Hayes, President of MIC said “I warmly congratulate Prof. O’Doherty on this prestigious appointment which clearly recognises her wealth of experience in the education sector. I am confident that she will make a valuable contribution to this Board and I wish her continued success”.
On accepting the appointment Prof. Teresa O’Doherty said “The State Examinations Commission is held in high esteem by all members of the education community and over the forthcoming term it will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of Irish second level education and transfer to third level education. I am delighted to accept this appointment and to be in a position to contribute to this important work”.
The Commissioners will hold office for three and a half years, with their term of office ending on 30th November 2018.
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