Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Venue: Room 144, Parliament Buildings

The Chairperson opened the meeting at 10.01am in closed session.

1. Apologies

Apologies are detailed above.

2. Legal Advice

The Legal Advisor to the Assembly provided a briefing on legal advice on specific issues in the Education Bill requested by the Committee, and answered Members’ questions.

Mr O’Dowd and Ms O’Neil joined the meeting at 10.07am 
Mr McCrea joined the meeting at 10.08am

The meeting moved into public session at 10.10am.

3. Minutes of the Meeting of 23 September 2009

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft minutes of the meeting of 23 September 2009.

4. Matters Arising

(a) The Committee noted correspondence of 21 September 2009 from the Department of Education on the funding of Funtime After School Club and similar projects.

Agreed – the Committee would forward the Department’s letter to Funtime After School Club for information.

(b) The Committee noted correspondence of 23 September 2009 from the Department of Education advising that the Committee will receive a copy of the Minister’s correspondence on arrangements for teachers’ redundancy and early retirement as soon as it is available.

(c) The Committee noted correspondence of 23 September 2009 from the Department of Education providing comment on the NI Multiple Deprivation Measure 2009: Consultation Document.

Agreed – the Committee would forward the Department’s letter to the Committee for Finance and Personnel.

(d) The Committee noted a copy of correspondence of 22 September 2009 from the Minister for Education to Relate on the work of the organisation.

(e) The Committee noted correspondence of 24 September 2009 from the Committee for the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister regarding the Priorities for European Engagement End of Year Report 2008-2009.

(f) The Committee noted a copy of correspondence of 22 September 2009 from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety to the Minister for Education regarding proposed Autism legislation.

Agreed – the Committee would forward the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety’s letter to the Minister for Education as requested.

(g) The Committee noted correspondence of 30 September 2009 from the Department of Education proposing two further amendments to the Education Bill.

(h) The Committee noted correspondence of 29 September 2009 from the Department of Education enclosing the draft Education (No. 2) Bill.

5. Correspondence

(a) The Committee noted correspondence of 25 September 2009 from the Methodist Church in Ireland informing the Committee of a resolution passed at the Belfast District Synod on 10 September 2009 on transfer arrangements from primary to post primary school. It was noted that this correspondence was also sent to the Minister for Education for response to the issues raised.

Agreed – the Committee would write to the Department of Education to request that the Committee is copied the Minister’s response on this.

(b) The Committee noted a Press Release of 23 September 2009 entitled ‘Education Minister celebrated design and technology work’.

(c) The Committee noted a Press Release of 24 September 2009 entitled ‘Attitudes to domestic violence must change – Ruane’.

Further to a Member’s query, it was confirmed that briefing will be requested from the Department of Education on its Domestic Violence policy and that this would be scheduled post Halloween recess.

(d) The Committee noted a Press Release of 25 September 2009 entitled ‘Minister celebrates 20 years of Naíscoil Mhic Reachtain’.

(e) The Committee noted correspondence of 24 September 2009 from Mr Ian Boyd, Dundonald on this year’s AS Level Physical Education results.

Agreed – the Committee would forward Mr Boyd’s correspondence to the Department of Education for response to the issues raised and advise Mr Boyd of the Committee’s action on this.

(f) The Committee noted correspondence of 28 September 2009 from Ms Lisa Saunders on a specific concern regarding the Education Bill.

Agreed – the Committee would forward Ms Saunder’s correspondence to the Department of Education for response to the issues raised and advise Ms Saunders of the Committee’s action on this.

6. Education Bill – Final Draft Committee Report

The Committee noted the Clerk’s paper on Indicative Timing of Consideration Debate on the Education Bill and that the Committee would be provided with an updated paper at next week’s meeting. The Committee noted that the earliest date for Consideration Stage was the week commencing 12 October, but that no date had yet been confirmed.

The Committee concluded its formal clause-by-clause scrutiny of the Education Bill:

Schedule 1

The Committee considered a draft Committee amendment to Schedule 1:

Schedule 1, page 31, paragraph 2, line 23, at end insert:

and:

(c) that the members, as a group, are representative of the community in Northern Ireland’

The Committee divided: Ayes 6; Noes 2;

AYES

NOES

Mervyn Storey

John O’Dowd

Dominic Bradley

Michelle O’Neill

Trevor Lunn

 

Basil McCrea

 

Michelle McIlveen

 

Alastair Ross

 

Agreed – That the Committee recommend to the Assembly that Schedule 1 be amended by the Committee’s proposed amendment as set out above.

The Committee considered a draft Committee amendment to insert a new paragraph 23 to Schedule 1.

Schedule 1, page 36, paragraph 22, at end insert:

“Representative of the community in Northern Ireland”

23.— (1) In this Schedule, and without prejudice to the generality of the words, a membership “representative of the community in Northern Ireland” shall in particular include–

    (a) persons with experience of the controlled, maintained, grant-maintained integrated, Irish-medium and voluntary grammar school sectors; and,

    (b) persons from the local government districts, where “local government district” has the same meaning as in the Local Government (Boundaries) Act ( Northern Ireland) 2008.’

The Committee divided: Ayes 2; Noes 2; Abstain 4

AYES

NOES

ABSTAIN

Dominic Bradley

John O’Dowd

Mervyn Storey

Trevor Lunn

Michelle O’Neill

Basil McCrea

 

 

Michelle McIlveen

 

 

Alastair Ross

Agreed – That the Committee is not content with the proposed amendment as set out above.

Clause 32

The Committee considered a draft Committee amendment to Clause 32:

Clause 32, page 17, line 42,

leave out from ‘ subsection’ to ‘ cannot’ in line 2 on page 18

and insert

‘ section 31(1)(b) does not comply with regulations under section 30(6) or does not accord with any guidance issued by ESA under section 31(3) and cannot (in either case)’.

The Committee divided: Ayes 6; Noes 2;

AYES

NOES

Mervyn Storey

John O’Dowd

Dominic Bradley

Michelle O’Neill

Trevor Lunn

 

Basil McCrea

 

Michelle McIlveen

 

Alastair Ross

 

Agreed – That the Committee recommend to the Assembly that Clause 32 be amended by the Committee’s proposed amendment as set out above.

Further to the Committee’s receipt of correspondence of 30 September 2009 from the Department of Education proposing further amendments relating to the increase in ESA numbers and ensuring Boards of Governors’ commitment in Irish speaking schools, Mr McCrea proposed that the Committee note the Department’s correspondence and consider the amendment in relation to the latter at next week’s meeting (the first of the proposed amendments was addressed by the Committee on 23 September 2009).

The Committee divided: Ayes 6; Noes 2;

AYES

NOES

Mervyn Storey

Dominic Bradley

Basil McCrea

Trevor Lunn

Michelle McIlveen

 

John O’Dowd

 

Michelle O’Neill

 

Alastair Ross

 

Agreed – That the Committee will consider the Department’s proposed amendments at next week’s meeting.

The Committee discussed the issues adversely affecting the Controlled Sector as set out in paragraph 148 and considered the proposed inclusion in the Report of a recommendation regarding the Controlled Sector as it appears in paragraph 148 of the draft Report.

The Committee divided: Ayes 5; Noes 3;

AYES

NOES

Mervyn Storey

Dominic Bradley

Trevor Lunn

John O’Dowd

Basil McCrea

Michelle O’Neill

Michelle McIlveen

 

Alastair Ross

 

Agreed – That the Committee include the paragraph regarding the Controlled Sector in the Final Report.

Ms McIlveen left the meeting at 10.53am

The Committee considered the draft Report on the Committee Stage of the Education Bill paragraph by paragraph.

The Committee agreed the Title Page, Membership and Powers, and Table of Contents of the Report.

The Committee agreed the main body of the Report as follows:

Paragraphs 1 - 25, read and agreed, subject to amendment at paragraphs 5 and 10.

Paragraphs 26 - 28, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 29 - 35, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 36 - 49, read and agreed, subject to amendment at paragraphs 37, 41 and 49.

Paragraphs 50 - 52, read and agreed.

Mr McCallister joined the meeting at 11.10am

Paragraphs 53 - 73, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 74 - 83, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 84 - 90, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 91 - 99, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 100 - 103, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 104 - 112, read and agreed subject to amendment at paragraph 112.

Paragraphs 113 - 137, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 138 - 144, read and agreed.

Ms McIlveen rejoined the meeting at 11.18am

Paragraphs 145 - 148, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 149 - 159, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 160 - 167, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 168 - 173, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 174 - 181, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 182 - 191, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 192 - 195, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 196 – 201 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 202 – 230 , read and agreed, subject to amendment at paragraph 205.

Paragraphs 231 – 237 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 238 – 244 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 245 – 268 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 268 - 291, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 292 – 304 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 305 - 308, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 309 – 313 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 314 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 315 – 323 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 324 – 329 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 330 – 341 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 342 – 346 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 347 – 363 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 364 – 375 , read and agreed.

Paragraphs 376 – 380 , read and agreed.

The Committee considered the Final Decisions on the Clause by Clause Scrutiny of the Bill in the draft Report.

Paragraphs 1 - 12, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 13 - 23, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 24 - 29, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 30 - 40, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 41 - 50, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 51 - 54, read and agreed.

Paragraphs 55 - 58, read and agreed, subject to amendment at paragraph 56.

Paragraphs 59 – 63 , read and agreed.

The Committee agreed the Executive Summary, subject to amendment at paragraphs 2, 3, 4 and 11.

The Committee agreed that Appendix 1 to 5 be included in the Report.

The Committee agreed that an extract of today’s Minutes of Proceedings should be included in Appendix 1 of the Report and was content that the Chairperson agrees the minutes to allow them to be included in the printed report. The Committee also agreed that today’s Minutes of Evidence be included in Appendix 2 of the Report.

The Committee agreed the Long Title of the Bill as drafted.

The Committee ordered the Report on the Education Bill (NIA 3/08) to be printed.

The Chairperson thanked the Clerk, the Committee Secretariat, Hansard and all other Assembly staff who have assisted the Committee during its Committee Stage scrutiny of the Bill.

7. Forward Work Programme

Mr O’Dowd left the meeting at 11.56am

The Committee agreed its updated Forward Work Programme, with some additional items.

Agreed – the Committee would discuss prioritising its work commitments at next week’s meeting.

8. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The Committee noted that the next meeting of the Committee would be held on Wednesday, 7 October 2009 at 2.00pm, Room 21, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.02pm

Mr Mervyn Storey
Chairperson, Committee for Education
7 October 2009

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