Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

NI change at the top

In December, ASCL said farewell to a long-time colleague and activist following the retirement of Bill Wallace, Northern Ireland secretary.

On becoming a head in 1974 Bill joined the Ulster Headmasters Association which became part of SHA when it was formed in 1977. Bill is therefore a founder member of SHA Northern Ireland and has been an active member for the past 30 years, filling at one time or another each of the offices on the Executive Committee.

He was for many years branch secretary for District 18 (Northern Ireland) and represented the area on national Council in the four years prior to his election as branch president in 1995-96. His association with Council resumed when he was appointed regional officer for Northern Ireland in 2001.

Bill was the first principal of Cambridge House Boys Grammar School, Ballymena, Co Antrim when it opened in September 1974. In a sense he was its only principal - he when his school amalgamated with Cambridge House Girls Grammar School to create - not surprisingly - Cambridge House.

Everyone at ASCL wishes him the best of luck in all his future endeavors.

We are also very pleased to welcome Jim McBain as the new Northern Ireland secretary. Jim brings with him a wealth of experience, both in secondary education and in the association.

Jim served as principal of Omagh Academy in Co Tyrone for 22 years, until his retirement in 2006, having starting his career as a geography teacher.

Upon taking up his headship in 1984, he also joined the association and ended up serving on the Northern Ireland Executive for 18 years. He was Northern Ireland president from 2000-01. Some colleagues may also remember him as a Northern Ireland representative on national Council from 1994-98.

Jim says he is looking forward to representing members and further raising ASCL's profile in Northern Ireland. "Maintaining the close links which exist between the association and the Government of Northern Ireland is of the highest importance at a time when our members are anxious about the pace of education change in the province."

He adds: "As a young head I valued greatly the advice and support I received from SHA colleagues and I am pleased to be in a position to do the same for new ASCL members."

Jim can be contacted on jim.mcbain@ascl.org.uk

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