With over 10 years’ experience of working in the school exclusion sector, Patricia is a skilled researcher, political activist, education consultant and experienced chair. She has a demonstrated history of leadership in the field of education where she is currently employed as a programme manager for the education charity Right to Succeed. In this role she champions collective approaches to achieving impact working closely with 10 schools in North Belfast to cease use of the disciplinary sanction of exclusion. Her expertise in the area of exclusion is driven by her doctoral research Queen’s University, from which seeks to better understand young people’s experiences of exclusion from school within the context of Northern Ireland.
Prior to embarking on doctoral research, Patricia achieved a master’s in social science, a degree in law and a diploma in strategic level leadership and management. In recognition of her academic excellence Patricia was presented with the Sir Tomas Dixon award which will enable her to develop international links to conduct a comparative study on truancy between the jurisdictions of Northern Ireland and New Zealand.
Patricia was also a candidate in the most recent Westminster and Assembly elections and is a former congressional intern to Senator John McCain. In 2019 Patricia was elected to local government to represent the people of Ballymena town via the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland. Since then Patricia has received a public appointment from the Health Minister, she serves as a Commissioner to the Northern Health and Social Care Trust. In the past year Patricia was invited to present her views on the future of democracy to the patron of Cumberland Lodge – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and also participated in the institute’s annual debate on “What should it mean to be British?”
Patricia has a keen interest in transformative action-based research, the arts and broadcasting. She believes the three core values that schools must cultivate to ensure inclusivity are belongingness, recognition and representation. In the near future she looks forward to utilising her breadth of experience and disciplinary expertise to communicate her research findings and life manifesto through the medium of art to diverse audiences in order to create positive social change.
Patricia is the CEO and Founder of Disruption LTD.