The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) today celebrated the official opening of its new headquarters in Lisburn.
Staff have relocated to new offices in Linenhall Street and are providing services to schools across Northern Ireland.
Colleagues from across the education family attended the event to mark this new chapter for CCMS and to reflect upon the achievements of the organisation to date.
Mayor Tim Morrow, who opened the event, welcomed CCMS to Lisburn and emphasised the importance of education, particularly with respect to community planning.
Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Education, in recognising the achievements of CCMS said: “As advocate for the Catholic Maintained Schools sector, CCMS plays an essential role providing vital support to its schools and teachers and enhancing the learning and teaching, as well as raising standards across the sector. I wish them all the very best in their new offices and have no doubt that the professional and dedicated service that they currently provide will continue into the future.”
The Chair of Council, Bishop John McAreavey, reflected on the history of CCMS and all those who have contributed to its success in raising standards. He said: “The ethos of Catholic education is embedded in the partnership of the home, the school and the community. CCMS has fostered that powerful relationship to improve the educational outcomes for generations of our young people through the dedication of our teachers, school leaders, governors and Trustees and Council members.”
Bishop McAreavey also spoke of the contribution to CCMS and education of the first Director (Chief Executive) of CCMS, Monsignor Colm McCaughan, who passed away last year and after whom the council chamber is named.
CCMS Chief Executive, Jim Clarke, congratulated his colleagues on embracing changes following its restructuring and recent relocation. He then referred to the core purpose of the council’s work.
“Education is about transformation; of our children to adults, of learners to teachers, of schools from satisfactory to outstanding, of failure to success, so that together we can reshape our society and our economy. CCMS will not rest on its success but will continue the journey of constant improvement with its schools and their stakeholders,” he commented.