Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting commenced at 10.32am in open session. 

Apologies 

Apologies are detailed above.

Chairpersons Business

The Chairperson informed members that St Marys Grammar School and Ballyclare Primary School have thanked the Committee for organising the School Council Inquiry focus groups.

The Chairperson informed members that we will be visiting Bombardier next week, and that members must be on the bus for 9.30am. The Chairperson also informed members to bring their passport or driving licence to the airport to enable them to get on the flight that has been arranged.

The Chairperson informed members that the Department has provided a CD containing all of its key policy documents. 

1.    Draft Minutes of 14 March 2012 

The Committee approved the minutes of the meeting on 14 March 2012. 

2.    Matters Arising  

2.1.    The Committee noted correspondence of 7 March 2012 from the Department of Education responding to issues raised by ASCL regarding education commitments in the draft PfG. 

Agreed – the Committee would write to the Department asking for clarification on the meaning of the term “other sectors” in its correspondence. 

2.2.    The Committee noted correspondence of 14 March and 7 March 2012 from the Department of Education regarding Literacy and Numeracy. 

2.3.    The Committee noted correspondence of 8 March 2012 from the Department of Education regarding the Child Poverty Act 2010. 

2.4.    The Committee noted copy correspondence of 8 March 2012 from the Department of Education regarding proposed changes to GCSEs. 

2.5.    The Committee noted correspondence of 8 March 2012 from the Committee for Finance and Personnel enclosing a Research and Information Service paper entitled ‘Linking budgets to outcomes: international experience’. 

2.6.    The Committee noted correspondence of 9 March 2012 from the Department of Education regarding the Community use of Schools. 

Agreed – the Committee would write to all the party whips asking them to encourage their members to forward any good practices schools have in their constituencies in relation to the community use of schools to the Departmental working group on this issue. 

Agreed – the Committee would write to the Education and Library Boards encouraging them to forward any good practices schools have in their area in relation to the community use of schools to the Departmental working group on this issue. 

Agreed – the Committee would write to the Department asking for a timeline in relation to when the Departmental working group will meet and for details of what items of business will be discussed.

Agreed – the Committee would write to the Department asking if they have information on what schools are currently being utilised by communities, and if so can the Committee see a list of these schools.

Agreed – the working group report “How Best to Increase the Community Use of the School Site” is forwarded to members.

Agreed – the correspondence is forwarded to Mr David McNarry MLA.

2.7.    The Committee noted correspondence of 12 March 2012 from the Committee for OFMdFM regarding the dissolution of DEL and transfer of its functions.

Agreed – the Committee would draft a response to the consultation and consider this at its meeting on 18 April.

Agreed – the Committee would write to the Department asking for its position on the transfer of functions from the Department of Employment of Learning to the Department of Education.

Agreed – the Committee would write to the Committee for Employment and Learning requesting a summary of the responses received to its consultation.

2.8.    The Committee noted copy correspondence from the Minister of Education to two individuals regarding teacher redundancies.

3.    Correspondence

3.1.    The Committee noted correspondence of 2 March 2012 from St Gemma’s High School requesting to meet the Committee to discuss the Commission for Catholic Education Post Primary Review.

Agreed – the Committee would write to St Gemma’s asking them for a written briefing and making them aware that the Committee cannot get involved in individual cases but that it intends to host a small event in the future that St Gemma’s could attend.

Agreed – the Committee would invite CCMS to a future event in relation to this issue.

The Committee noted correspondence of 7 March 2012 from CDSA enclosing a copy of their Manifesto.

Agreed – the Committee would write to CDSA asking them for a written briefing and making them aware that the Committee intends to host a small event in the future and asking them to attend.

3.2.    The Committee noted correspondence of 28 February 2012 from the Speaker regarding a Public Petition entitled ‘Save Drumcree College’.

Agreed – the Committee would write to the Department asking for a copy of the Minister’s response to the petition.

3.3.    The committee noted correspondence of 9 March 2012 from Londonderry Primary School inviting the Committee to visit the school.

Agreed – the Committee would write to Londonderry Primary School informing them that it will consider their invitation as part of the forward work programme.

3.4.    The Committee noted correspondence of 1 March 2012 from the Ulster Farmers Union requesting an opportunity to brief the Committee on rural schools and the impact of the Viabilty Audit.

Agreed – the Committee would write to the Ulster Farmers’ Union asking for a written briefing in the first instance with a view of them briefing the Committee in the future.

3.5.    The Committee noted correspondence of 6 March 2012 from St Patrick’s College inviting the Committee to attend their ‘Celebrating Irish Culture’ event on 16 March 2012.

Mr Craig joined the meeting at 11.05am. 

3.6.    The Committee noted the following Department of Education News Releases previously emailed to Members:

  •          O’Dowd praises spirit of collaboration during St Genevieve’s visit;
  •          O’Dowd announces £170 million ICT investment for schools;
  •          O’Dowd addresses INTO Northern Conference;
  •          Appointment of members to General Teaching Council for NI;
  •          Appointment of members to the Education and Library Boards;
  •          Education Minister says no to “linear only” GCSEs and yes to choice;
  •          Education Minister visits Gaelscoil na gCrann, Omagh;
  •          Minister meets St Mary’s College students on the WorldHost training programme;
  •          O’Dowd opens new extension at St Patrick’s Primary School, Gortin;
  •          O’Dowd visits barrack Street Boys’ Primary School and Nursery Unit;
  •          New Olympic and Paralympic eLearning resource will help pupils Aspire, Aim and Achieve.

 

4.     Teachers Superannuation (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012.

Mrs Hale left the meeting at 11.16am.

Miss McIlveen left the meeting at 11.16am

Mr Nesbitt left the meeting at 11.16am.

The Chairperson suspended the meeting at 11.16am.

The meeting recommenced in public session at 11.20am with the following members present:

Mervyn Storey MLA (Chairperson)

Mike Nesbitt MLA (deputy Chairperson)

Michaela Boyle MLA

Jonathan Craig MLA

Jo-Ann Dobson MLA

Brenda Hale MLA

Trevor Lunn MLA

Conall McDevitt MLA

Michelle McIlveen MLA

Daithí McKay MLA

The Committee considered SR 2012/126 Teachers Superannuation (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012.

Question put and agreed:

The Committee has considered SR 2012/126 Teachers Superannuation (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the Rule subject to the Examiner of Statutory Rules Report.

The Committee divided as follows:

Ayes                                            Noes

Mr Mervyn Storey                      Mr Conall McDevitt

Mr Mike Nesbitt                          Mr Trevor Lunn

Mrs Joanne Dobson

Mr Daithi McKay

Mrs Michaela Boyle

Mr Jonathan Craig

Mrs Brenda Hale

Miss Michelle McIlveen

5.     Departmental Briefing on the Teacher Education Review 

La’Verne Montgomery, Director of Education Workforce Development and Paul Sloan, Teacher Education Branch joined the meeting at 11.22am and provided the Committee with a briefing on the teacher Education Review.

Mr McDevitt left the meeting at 11.27am. 

Mr McDevitt rejoined the meeting at 11.50am.

Mr McKay left the meeting at 12.00pm.

Miss McIlveen left the meeting at 12.10pm.

Mr McKay rejoined the meeting at 12.12pm.

Mr Nesbitt left the meeting at 12.35pm.

Mr McKay left the meeting at 12.36pm.

Agreed – the Department would provide the Committee with a copy of its report into unsatisfactory processes.

Agreed – the Committee would write to the Clerk of the Committee for Employment and Learning asking if they have seen a copy of the Teacher Education Review and if not when will they be considering it and would they be willing to meet with the Committee for Education to discuss concerns their Committee has in relation to this review.

Agreed – the Department would provide the Committee with information on what it is doing in relation to the McCrone Review last year, an update on the review, details of the current status of the review in Scotland, what the Department’s view of the review in Scotland is and how this all interrelates with the workforce review, the teacher education policy document and teacher training issues.

Agreed – the Department would provide the Committee with information in relation to the location of teacher education facilities and how this works.

6.     Forward Work Programme

Members considered and agreed the draft forward work programme, including a stakeholder event to allow some organisations to discuss their concerns with the Committee.

7.    Any Other Business

The Chairperson reminded members to bring their identification to the visit next week and that the bus will leave at 9.30am.                                                        

8.    Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 18 April 2012 at 10.30 am in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.55pm.

Mervyn Storey MLA
Chairperson, Committee for Education
18 April 2012

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