Dr Anne Looney has been appointed as head of Dublin City University's new Faculty of Education.

The new faculty is the result of the incorporation into the university of three formerly independent colleges of education: the Catholic St Patrick's and Mater Dei teacher training colleges, and the Church of Ireland College of Education.

Dr Looney is currently CEO of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.

She is also currently the Acting Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority. 

Dr Looney is a graduate of Mater Dei, where she trained as a religion teacher.

From September courses run previously by the three colleges will be delivered by DCU through its new faculty. 

However, although the university will run what is essentially one primary teacher training course, a separate entry CAO entry route - with a lower points requirement - is being maintained exclusively for Protestant primary teaching applicants.

DCU staff were informed of Dr Looney's appointment on Friday.

In an email to staff, DCU President Brian MacCraith said the university was "delighted to have been able to appoint such a strong leadership team to advance the new faculty".

The incorporation of the three colleges into DCU has been under way for the past several years but comes to full fruition this September when students of the former CICE join others mostly in Drumcondra, on the former St Patrick's College campus.

In a 2014 document outlining the plans, DCU said that "while maintaining its secular context the university will facilitate and support the co-existence of different faith-based traditions".

The document, titled 'A New Vision of education for all the children of Ireland' states that while the core curriculum for teacher preparation will be denominationally neutral, it will, "as required", allow for the delivery of modules "to prepare teachers appropriately for employment in denominational schools".

It outlines the creation of two so-called 'Denominational Centres' to be established within the new faculty in order to ensure that "the distinctive identities, values and learning" of both the Catholic and the Protestant traditions "are maintained and promoted".

Both centres will have advisory councils and directors that will be accountable to Dr Looney, as Dean of the faculty.

The centres' functions will include the "teaching of religions, ethics, morals and values specific to denominational preparation".

The document states that the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin will nominate members of the Catholic Advisory Council.

The director of the Catholic Centre will be appointed by DCU's president "in consultation with the archbishop".

It states that in relation to the Church of Ireland Centre "the relevant church bodies" will have a direct input into the appointment of its director.