Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Friday, 09 November 2007

Venue: Room 135, Parliament Buildings

The Chairperson opened the meeting at 10.32am in public session.

1.    Apologies

One apology was received as above .

2.    Minutes of the Meeting of 26 October 2007

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft minutes of the meeting of 26 October 2007.

3.    Matters Arising from the Minutes

(A) The Committee noted the note of the informal meeting with Departmental officials to discuss key RPA policy issues on 26 October 2007.

Agreed – Members will discuss key RPA policy issues with their respective parties by 23 November 2007.

(B) The Committee noted the note of the informal meeting with the Minister and senior Departmental officials to discuss the classroom assistants’ dispute on 5 November 2007. The Committee also noted the article “Weekly Strike for School Helpers” from the BBC News website.

Agreed – Due to the consultations currently being undertaken by two Trade Unions involved, the Committee agreed that it would not be appropriate to either issue a press notice or meet with the Trade Unions at this time.

(C) The Committee noted the response from the Department regarding possible amalgamation of Movilla and Donaghadee High Schools.

(D) The Committee noted the response from the Department regarding Lisanelly Barracks, Omagh.

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft responses.

(E) The Committee noted the response from the Department regarding enrolment figures for three new Irish-Medium schools - Gaelscoil Éanna, Gaelscoil Ghleann Darach and Gaelscoil na Daróige.

(F) The Committee noted the response from the Department regarding the proposed review of the schools’ education workforce and the classroom assistants’ dispute.

Agreed – the Committee will request details of the terms of reference of and timescale for the completion of the review.

(G) The Committee noted the responses from the Minister of Education to the Committee Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson’s letters of 5 October and 15 October 2007 regarding the classroom assistants’ dispute.

(H) The Committee noted the response from the Department regarding the School Building Handbook.

Agreed – the Committee will request more information regarding the Review of the Handbook.

(I) The Committee noted the response from the Department regarding the use of wireless computer networks in schools.

(J) The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on the Review of Public Administration, addressing a number of issues raised by the Committee on the proposed education reforms.

Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 10.35am. 
Mr Storey left the meeting at 10.59am.

4.    Correspondence

(A) The Committee noted the correspondence from the ESA Implementation Team (ESAIT) advising of updates on the EASIT website.

(B) The Committee noted the contents of the letter from the Principal of Currie Primary School on the issue of primary school funding.

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft response.

(C) The Committee noted the invitation from the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) to the launch of “Elephant, Bee or Other, Including Everyone in Our Schools” on Friday 7 December 2007 in Belfast.

(D) The Committee noted the letter the Chief Executive Officer of NICIE regarding the development of Blackwater Integrated College in the Mid-Down area.

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft response, with one amendment.

(E) The Committee noted the invitation from the Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health to the launch of “Promoting Mental Health: Building an Economic Case” on Friday 23 November 2007 in Parliament Buildings.

(F) The Committee noted the “Foreword and Financial Statements 2004 – 2005” for the Youth Council for Northern Ireland (YCNI). The Committee also noted the invitation to YCNI’s “Investing in Youth Work” event on Monday 12 November 2007 in Belfast.

(G) The Committee noted the correspondence from the National Association of Head Teachers requesting an opportunity to meet with the Committee.

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft response.

(H) The Committee noted the letter from Dr McCrea MP MLA DC regarding the Transfer Procedure.

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft response.

(I) The Committee noted the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland’s e-newsletter, “Equality Focus for MLAs”.

(J) The Committee noted the letter from the Chairperson of the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister inviting the Department of Education to submit written evidence to its Inquiry into Child Poverty & also inviting the Committee to submit views.

Agreed – the Committee to forward the correspondence to the Department.

(K) The Committee noted three Departmental Press Releases, “Skills Development Essential for Economic Success – Ruane”; “Education Minister Sends Best Wishes to Children”; and a Media Invite to the launch of the ‘Curriculum Sports Programme’ on 12 November 2007.

5.    Departmental Briefing on the Draft Budget, the Draft Programme for Government and the Draft Investment Strategy

Dr Eddie Rooney, Deputy Secretary; Catherine Daly, Head of Finance; Brian Morrow, Financial Planning Branch; and Eugene Rooney, Head of Development and Infrastructure, Department of Education, joined the meeting at 11.10am. The officials gave a presentation on the implications of the Draft Budget 2008 - 11, the Draft Programme for Government 2008 – 11 and the Draft Investment Strategy 2008 – 18 on education. Officials answered questions on a number of issues, including: primary school funding and Local Management of Schools; planning, preparation and assessment time for teachers, Vice-Principals, Principals and particularly teaching Principals; cost benefits of using newly-qualified teachers as substitute teachers as opposed to retired teachers; literacy and numeracy bids and specific programmes; the discipline strategy and parenting initiatives; funding for Irish-Medium schools; and Club Bank funding for both the Irish-Medium and Integrated sectors.

Officials agreed to provide the Committee with further information regarding a range of issues raised during the discussion.

The Chairperson thanked the officials for the informative briefing and they left the meeting at 12.42pm.

Mr Storey rejoined the meeting at 11.13am. 
Mr Bradley left the meeting at 11.45am. 
Mr Lunn left the meeting at 11.50am. 
Mr Bradley rejoined the meeting at 11.53am. 
Mr Butler left the meeting at 12.29pm. 
Mr McCrea left the meeting at 12.37pm. 
Mr Storey left the meeting at 12.40pm.

6.    Draft Work Programme

The Committee agreed its work programme up to and including Friday 23 November 2007.

7.    Date, time and place of next meeting

The next meeting will be held on Friday 16 November 2007 at 10.30am in Room 135 Parliament Buildings. It will be followed immediately by a joint informal presentation by the Department of Employment and Learning and Department of Education officials on the Careers Education Strategy consultation in the Long Gallery at 12.30pm.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.43pm.

Mr Dominic Bradley
Deputy Chairperson, Committee for Education
16 November 2007

Find Your MLA

Locate your local MLA

Find MLA

News and Media Centre

Read press releases, watch live and archived video.

Find out more

Follow the Assembly

Keep up to date with what's happening at the Assembly.

Find out more

Subscribe

Enter your email address to keep up to date

Sign up