Appointments and extensions to the Governing Body of South Eastern Regional College

New appointments

Mark Huddleston

Mark has had significant experience in advanced manufacturing and skills across the UK over the past 20 years.

Over that time he has worked in a range of advanced manufacturing sectors including space and automotive and is currently a director of King & Fowler in Liverpool and jheSOLUTIONS in Newtownards, working in aerospace and wider advanced manufacturing, materials and engineering (AMME) sector respectively. From 2015 until its closure he was the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Employment and Skills at the UKCES. He is currently a member of the Matrix Panel, an industry led panel advising government and informing academia and industry on the commercial exploitation of R&D and science and technology. Mark is also chair of the PMC for Connected, supporting innovation in micro and small SME’s and vice chair of the Skills Strategy Advisory Group to the Department for the Economy. He previously volunteered as Institute of Directors Management and Leadership Ambassador in Northern Ireland and continues to volunteer as a business advisor for Young Enterprise.

Mark is also a parent governor in Regent House School, Newtownards.

Dr Danny McConnell

Danny leads the technology consulting practice in Deloitte in Northern Ireland and has over 25 years’ experience, primarily working with clients across the UK public sector focusing on data and digital transformation. 

He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy, has a BSc in chemistry from Queens University, a Masters in business administration from Ulster University and a PhD from Loughborough. 

Danny was previously a board member of Helm Housing Association and Radius Housing Association.

Alan McCrum

Alan has over 30 years' policing experience in the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. He is a graduate of the highly prestigious UK College of Policing, Strategic Command Course 2015. He has extensive leadership experience and was previously commander for policing in Belfast, County Antrim and County Armagh. He has widespread experience in strategic partnership working, change management, critical incident management, and leadership and ethics.

As commander for Belfast, he had responsibility for a wide range of major capital events including: the 2012 World Police and Fire Games; European MTV Awards; and numerous high profile international visits to Belfast.

He led the design of the PSNI Policing with the Community 2020 Strategy and introduced an integrated offender management approach to policing in Northern Ireland, in addition to leading a number of significant change projects.

Since his retirement from policing in 2015, he established his own security sector reform consultancy. Subsequently, he led the British government’s support to policing reform in Lebanon for over four years as the project director for the UK government-funded Conflict Security and Stabilisation Fund policing programme in Lebanon.

Alan holds a postgraduate diploma in legal studies and a Masters in public administration from Ulster University. He is an alumnus of the Windsor Leadership Trust.

Deborah O’Hare

Deborah has been principal of The Wallace High School in 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 Hons degree in French, a post graduate certificate in education, a Master’s degree in educational management and a professional qualification in headship.

She has particular expertise in curriculum development, matching the curriculum to meet the needs of both the individual and the economy, leadership training, leadership development and digital learning. In Wallace she has led the school through a large scale one-to-one digital device roll out, with the associated training and educational programmes placing Wallace at the forefront of digital learning in the UK.

Deborah is a former president of the Association of Schools and College Leaders, Northern Ireland; 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 does not hold any other current public appointments. 

Darren Stewart

Darren has extensive involvement in providing strategic and commercial finance leadership and leading the IT function as the group director of finance within Inspire Wellbeing Ltd.

Darren has over 20 years’ experience working in a number of senior finance roles delivering improved financial performance and business growth, transformation and enhanced system, process and control environments across a variety of sectors including financial services, FMCG, charitable and social enterprise. He has a BSc in accounting, MSc in computer science and applications, as well as being a fellow of the Chartered Accountants Ireland. Darren is also a member of the Ballyholme Primary School board of governors (non-remunerated).

Derek Wilson

Derek has almost four decades' experience in financial services, having most recently worked in the senior management teams of two local banks, where at various times he managed mortgage businesses in NI, GB and RoI. A business graduate of Queen's University, Belfast he served as chairman of the NI mortgage committee of UK Finance, formerly the Council of Mortgage Lenders, for ten years. Since June 2015 Derek has served on the board and audit and risk assurance committee of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE), where he has recently been re-appointed for a further five years. He is shortly due to commence chairing a new finance and operational performance committee in NIHE.  This position is remunerated at £7029 per annum. On 1 January 2021 Derek took up a three year appointment as a Commissioner with the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. This position is remunerated at £22,000 per annum. Derek has also served on the board and finance and human resources committee of Co-ownership since January 2019. This position is unremunerated. He is a member of the statutory committee of the Pharmaceutical Society of NI for which he receives a daily expenses rate of £250. He was formerly the chair of the board of governors of Lambeg Primary School.

Derek brings a wealth of experience of governance, strategy and transformational change from his varied business experience. 

Majella Corrigan

Majella is Director of Planning and Schools Provision in the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS). She has over 20 years’ experience working in education, working in adult education and training before starting her career as a post-primary teacher. She transferred to the Northern Ireland Assembly to establish the Assembly Education Service. Majella then undertook the role of English subject officer in CCEA, subsequently moving to work with the Northern Ireland Qualifications Regulator which included the role of programme manager on the Ministerial Review of GCSEs and A levels, before returning to CCEA Awarding Body as service improvement and STEM programme manager.

Majella is a member of the board of governors of Stranmillis University College (non-remunerated).


Neil Bodger

Mr Neil Bodger has been involved in international managerial and company finance at senior manager or director level for over 30 years. He worked as a senior management consultant in corporate financial reconstruction and subsequently as board director of a local manufacturing company. He also has experience in strategic planning, human resources, marketing, data mining and analysis and public relations. 

In October 2020, he was appointed as a member of the Health and Social Care Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority, an independent body responsible for monitoring and inspecting the availability and quality of health and social care services in Northern Ireland, a role for which he receives £5,962 per annum. He is also a member of the Probation Board Northern Ireland (since December 2018), for which he is remunerated at £5,050 per annum, and a member of the board of Libraries NI (since July 2019), for which he is remunerated at £3,000 per annum. He was previously a member of the Board of Governors at Stranmillis University College, chair of the Education Authority Appeals Tribunals (formerly Southern Education & Library Board), a trustee of National Museums, Northern Ireland and a member of Northern Ireland Social Care Council.

Heather Reid

Mrs Heather Reid is a retired grammar school head teacher with over thirty-five years’ service in education. She is experienced in curriculum development, pastoral care, safeguarding, special education needs, resource management and policy development. Mrs Reid has been involved across the secondary, comprehensive and grammar sectors of post-primary provision. Her governance experience in the public sector at school, college, and further education level spans over thirty years. As chair of one of the area learning communities she was engaged in activities to encourage a more collaborative approach between schools and further education colleges. Within the area of human resources she has experience in the recruitment and selection of teaching, lecturing and senior staff and she has chaired disciplinary committees.

In the voluntary sector Mrs Reid has been a governor and has held the position of chair of an area management committee for a charity since 2012. Mrs Reid continues to be engaged within the world of education and training, she chairs the Independent Appeals Tribunals addressing expulsion, curriculum, and school admissions at nursery, primary and post-primary level. She has an interest in and works with students requiring special access arrangements for examinations. Mrs Reid does not currently hold any other public appointments.

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