Appointment of the Education Advisor (Trustee) to the Board of W5 (Who,What,Where, When, Why)

Date published: 21 October 2020

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has appointed Edwin Paynter as the new Education Advisor (Trustee) to the Board of W5 from 1 October 2020 for a term of up to 4 years.

Public appointments to USEL
Public appointments to USEL

W5 is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status (registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC 100112). It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Odyssey Trust Company Limited, a registered charity.

The main function of W5 is to contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge and education. W5 is a popular visitor destination – over 3.5 million people have visited the facility since it opened 15 years ago. It also plays an active and innovative role in promoting tourism and, in doing so, makes an important contribution to the local economy particularly in the development of the Titanic Quarter where it is located.

W5 provides creative and inspirational STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning experiences that add value to teachers, students and lifelong learners. It is the lead organisation for the STEM Ambassador Hub Northern Ireland.

Notes to editors: 

  1. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. This process was conducted within the spirit of the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments NI (CPA NI) with CPA NI requiring the political activity of appointees to be published.

   Biographical details:

Mr Edwin Paynter

Mr Paynter was a teacher for 28 years at the Belfast Model School for Girls, specialising in teaching Physics, ICT and Technology and Design. He was responsible for introducing Technology and Design to the school and became the Head of Department. He was employed by the South Eastern Education and Library Board as a Curriculum Support Officer in the Areas of Technology and Information and Communication Technology through which he worked with over 200 Primary and Post primary schools. In this role, he was involved in the development of the Educational Technology Strategy for Northern Ireland.

He served as an Independent Board Member for Belfast Education and Library Board (BELB). He also served as the Vice-Chair of its Education Committee and chaired the Teachers Welfare Committee of the BELB.  In addition he served on the Public Private Partnership Committee of the BELB, working with the Strategic Investment Board for N Ireland.

Mr Paynter was employed as a Principal Officer by the Council for Curriculum Examinations and Assessment where he was responsible for the development, organisation and management of GCSE and A-levels and Entry Level examinations in the area of ICT and Technology and Design. He was the former Chair of Governors for Bloomfield Collegiate and a former member on the Board of Governors for Belfast Royal Academy.

Mr Paynter has also been involved in youth work, being Leader-in-Charge of a Cross Community Youth Club in North Belfast. He also served as Chair of the BELB, Duke of Edinburgh Award Expedition Panel. He was also a member of the Northern Ireland Duke of Edinburgh Award Liaison Panel. He has been a trade union representative with the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and with the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance. He holds no other public appointments and has had no political activity in the last five years.


  1. The Trustee positions are unpaid, they receive expenses only.
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