Brendan is an innovative social entrepreneur, always seeking ways to improve how collaborative and community focussed social enterprise can support the development of a just and prosperous society. Brendan is Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, a Member of the Institute of Directors, the Society for Education and Training, and the Association of Learning Technology. Brendan has an Honours Degree in Applied Social Studies and Community Relations, and a Master’s Degree in Social Policy from the University of Lancaster, where he achieved a distinction in his thesis. He has a Post-Graduate certificate in management ‘The Competent Manager’ from the Open University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education from Manchester Metropolitan University in Social Science, Personal and Social Education and Drama. Brendan is currently studying for a Masters in Online and Distance Education with the Open University.
Brendan has worked in FE, in Youth Work, in the Voluntary, the Not for Profit Sector, and a FTSE 100 Company. As a Youth Worker, he worked in Liverpool and Glasgow on Social Educational Programmes. In FE he was responsible for the largest Professional Development Programme for Adult Educators in the North of England and re-designed Preston College’s Adult Literacy and Numeracy Programmes. In Wirral Met as Student Support Manager, Brendan developed the largest and most innovative team in the UK, supporting the student learning pathway in England and was a member of the Hamilton Quarter multi-million regeneration project.
While working for BTEC, an educational charity and awarding body, Brendan was responsible for ensuring that vocational education remained high on the policy agenda in Northern Ireland. As a National Manager for Pearson, a FTSE 100 quoted company, he was responsible for a Sales Revenue of over £20 million pounds, leading teams in Ireland, Wales and England and ensuring that BTEC vocational qualifications didn’t disappear in Northern Ireland and remained the real alternative to general qualifications. Brendan joined OCN NI as CEO and latterly Responsible Officer in 2008 in the middle of the largest slowdown NI has seen. He rebuilt the company from the ground up and developed a new Governance Infrastructure and team structure. Introduced a range of new technologies and working practices and lead OCN to double in size, income, and registrations, and to become the UK recognised awarding body, with by the time he left, over 100 qualifications on the national framework.
Brendan has always been active in his community and was a founding member of Spires Integrated Primary School and a Governor. He has been a Governor of an FE College, and a Board Director of and International Director for the National Open College Network one of the largest awarding bodies in the UK. Brendan has continued to be active in his community. As a committee member of the Special Olympics Group in Magherafelt, as a board member of Magherafelt Area Partnership leveraging in over £4 million pounds in developmental funding for the area and a member and Chair of his local Lions Group establishing the hugely successful Santa Trail in Collaboration with the Rural College. Brendan is an IRFU Level 3 Rugby Coach and has achieved both cup and league success with his Youth Teams and is also a Rugby Union Referee. Brendan is committed to working to ensure all citizens have the opportunity to access learning that is relevant and meaningful to them, wherever they are.