On 01 April 2015, the Education Authority became operational and took over all of the roles and responsibilities of the former Education and Library Boards (ELBs) and the Staff Commission.
A long term change programme is currently being implemented to manage the transition from five organisations with responsibility for delivery of education services to a single authority.
In time, the result will be that education policies are delivered in the same way, regardless of which school your child attends or where you live. It will mean that a child with special educational needs in Omagh will receive the same treatment as a child in similar circumstances in Armagh, Belfast, Downpatrick or Ballymena.
It will mean that a child's entitlement to free school transport will be governed by the the same policy right across Northern Ireland so all children are treated equally.
The Education Authority also provides a more cost effective model for the delivery of education services. As the education sector deals with the challenges of the current budget situation, it is important that plans are in place to streamline administration of education and protect teaching and learning in the classroom.
In Brief - What you need to know
In the short term, in the majority of cases, there will be no change to services, how you access them or the policies that apply to you, your child or your school.
The first stage of the change programme aims to make sure there is no disruption to services as we bring together the structures of the five ELBs into one.
The staff of the former ELBs remain in position and can be contacted at the same numbers in what are now known as the Regional Offices of the Education Authority. The Regional Offices are responsible for the delivery of services within the same geographical area as the ELBs.
The EA local offices are managed by the most senior staff of the former Education and Library Boards reporting to the EA Chief Executive.
These are transitional arrangements which will remain in place until Directors are appointed to review and redesign the delivery of services within a single structure.
The information on the ELB websites is being maintained during the transition period and can be accessed via the links below.
EA Omagh Office (Western Education and Library Board)
EA Dundonald Office (Southern Education and Library Board)
EA Armagh Office (Southern Education and Library Board)
EA Belfast Office (Belfast Education and Library Board)
EA Ballymena Office (North Eastern Education and Library Board)
Contacting the Education Authority
You should continue to contact the local offices in relation to any specific queries you might have.
You can also contact EA Headquarters at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +44 (0)28 9069 4964
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have also been developed to help answer your questions.