Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Friday, 01 June 2007

Venue: Room 135, Parliament Buildings

The meeting opened at 10.30am in public session.

1. Apologies.

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Minutes of the Meeting of 25 May 2007

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft minutes of the meeting of 25 May 2007.

3. Matters Arising from the Minutes

a) Agreed - the amendment to the Minutes of the meeting of 18 May 2007 was agreed.

b) The Committee noted the response from the Department regarding the selection of the North Eastern Education and Library Board to host the Ethnic Minority Achievement Service, with one reservation.

4. Correspondence

The Committee considered a number of items of correspondence:

a) The Committee noted the invitation to visit Oakwood Integrated Primary School, Derriaghy.

Agreed – The Committee will consider visiting the school at a later date.

b) The Committee noted the invitation to the South Eastern Education and Library Board’s Music Service Summer Concerts on Saturday 9 June 2007 and Saturday 16 June 2007. The Chairperson asked Members wishing to attend to notify the Clerk.

c) The Committee noted the letter from NIPSA regarding the issue of job evaluations for Classroom Assistants. The Committee also noted the Department of Education’s press release of 31 May 2007, ‘Ruane announces approval for classroom assistant settlement’.

Agreed – The Committee approved the revised draft response to NIPSA.

d) The Committee noted the request for a meeting from Sydenham Primary School.

Agreed – The Committee will consider inviting the group to attend an informal lunchtime meeting at a later date.

Agreed – The Committee will forward a copy of the letter to the Department for comment.

e) The Committee noted the invitation to Parkhall Primary School’s video conference event, ‘Time Travellers – Land of the Pharaohs’. The Chairperson asked Members wishing to attend to notify the Clerk.

f) The Committee noted the correspondence from a parent regarding the delay by SEELB in conducting a statutory assessment of their child.

Agreed – The Committee will write to SEELB to seek an explanation for the delay.

Agreed – The Committee will write to the Department to ask for clarification of its role in such matters.

5. Briefing from the Education and Training Inspectorate

Marion Matchett, Chief Inspector of the Education and Training Inspectorate, together with Assistant Chief Inspectors Stanley Goudie and Paul McAlister, joined the meeting at 10.41am. The officials gave a presentation on the work of the Inspectorate and the findings of the Chief Inspector’s Report 2004 – 2006. The officials then answered questions on a number of issues, including overall school and individual teacher deficiencies and how these are dealt with, disinterested learners, pastoral care and child protection, English as an Additional Language and the Department’s response to inspection findings.

The Chairperson thanked the officials for the informative briefing.

Rt. Hon. J Donaldson MP joined the meeting at 11.25am. 
Mr McCrea joined the meeting at 11.27am. 
The officials left the meeting at 11.30am.

6. Subordinate Legislation

Dorothy Angus, Head of Division, Equality, Inclusion and Pupil Support and Mary Potter, Pupil Support, Department of Education, joined the meeting at 11.31am. 
Mr Robinson left the meeting at 11.34am.
Mr Storey left the meeting at 11.34am.

The officials clarified the appeals procedure with regard to SR 2007/288 Education (Prohibition from Teaching or Working with Children) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007, and confirmed that it complies with Human Rights requirements.

The Chairperson thanked the officials for their attendance at the meeting.

The officials left the meeting at 11.38am.

Question put and agreed:

That the Committee for Education has considered the Education (Prohibition from Teaching or Working with Children) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 and subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules’ report has no objection to the Rule.

7. Departmental Briefing on the Implementation of Recommendations from the Independent Strategic Review of Education

Will Haire, Permanent Secretary, Dr Eddie Rooney, Deputy Secretary and Russell Welsh, Head of Development Branch, Department of Education, joined the meeting at 11.39am. The Chairperson again expressed concern that the delay in receiving briefing papers from the Department affects the Committee’s ability to carry out its scrutiny role effectively.

The officials gave a presentation on the implementation of the recommendations from the Independent Strategic Review of Education (Bain Report). The officials advised that the Minister is currently considering the Bain Review and how it will be moved forward. During the discussion that followed a number of points were raised regarding the approach to area-based planning. Officials advised that the development of the proposals were at an early stage and undertook to provide the Committee with the proposals as soon as they are available. The Department also undertook to provide the Committee with further information regarding a number of particular issues discussed at the meeting: the analysis of the responses to the consultation on a policy for Sustainable Schools; development proposals that have been stopped, put on hold or not considered; the reform of procurement services; and models of sharing and collaboration projects in Northern Ireland.

Some Members stressed the need for political decisions to be made as soon as possible to enable the process of the implementation of the Bain Report recommendations to move forward and remove uncertainty for schools.

The Chairperson thanked the officials for the informative briefing.

Rt. Hon. J Donaldson left the meeting at 12.25pm.
Mr Bradley left the meeting at 12.26pm.
Mr Bradley rejoined the meeting at 12.29pm.
The officials left the meeting at 12.39pm.

8. Any Other Business.

Agreed – the Committee approved the updated Draft Timetable of Meetings and Outline Work Programme.

The issue of holding the Committee meeting on a Friday was raised. The Chairperson advised that the meeting will continue on a Friday for the remainder of this session, and that the matter will be reviewed after summer recess.

9. Date, time and place of next meeting.

The next meeting will be held on Friday, 8 June 2007 at 10.30am in Room 135, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.42pm.

Mr Sammy Wilson MP
Chairperson, Committee for Education

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