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Ronan Sharkey

NASUWT member Ronan Sharkey, the youngest NASUWT Northern Ireland President has pledged to “strive for equality, fair treatment and justice” for teachers across Northern Ireland as he takes up his role.

The 30-year-old from Newry said: “As I take up this role, I reflect deeply on the conditions we are currently in, both as a consequence of the pandemic, current industrial action and our current working conditions, and how the voice of the profession is in need of strength moving forward.

“In following a long line of outstanding Presidents, I will continue to strive for positive tangible change to our working profession and pledge to echo your voice in all instances.”

Ronan said as he took up his role that he wanted to concentrate on three areas: empowerment through leadership, advocacy for teachers’ well-being and amplifying inclusivity in education.

He said: “I will continue to strive to call for outstanding leadership and guidance from Government to School-level. I firmly believe that leadership is not about authority; it's about guiding, inspiring, and enabling positive change”.

Mr Sharkey, a music teacher at St Ronan’s College in Lurgan has held a number of teaching positions in his eight years of teaching including Numeracy Coordinator and Transition Coordinator and his current role as Head of Year.

He has a Postgraduate Certificate in Middle Leadership, Postgraduate Diploma in Headship, Masters in Educational Management and is currently undertaking a PhD at Ulster University’s School of Education.

Within the NASUWT Ronan has been involved at all levels of the Union’s democratic structure including President of his local association, convener of a range of executive committees, tutor on NASUWT courses and an active participant in the NASUWT Northern Ireland Conference and Annual Conference.

He credits his sister, a teacher, and his school teachers for instilling a love of education and lighting the spark that led to him entering the profession: “I had a fantastic role model in my Sister as to what the job entailed. Her passion and enthusiasm for the profession was infectious. Alongside the wonderful role models I had in school this ultimately led me into education. “

Hi lists achieving the NI Presidency and addressing Ulster University graduates at his Masters graduation ceremony as among his proudest achievements, adding: “To have been elected as a Champion for the profession is an outstanding achievement and I thank every member for their confidence and support in affording me this position.

“As they have put their trust in me, I will strive to make them proud and pursue positive change for them all.”

Asked what he would do were he in charge of education in Northern Ireland he said: “I would adequately fund education. It is the heart of every society around the world and is the sole creator of effective workforces.

“I would certainly increase wages to reflect the outstanding workload and dedication educators and leaders bring to education.” 


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