Press Release

Specialist Schools Will Aid Future of Northern Ireland Economy

Session: 2009/2010

Date: Wednesday, 03 June 2009

Reference: EDU 03/08/09

St Paul’s High School in Bessbrook today plays host to a public meeting of the Northern Ireland Assembly Education Committee, where St Paul’s and St Colman’s College will brief Committee Members on the importance of their specialist science status.

Chairperson of the Committee for Education, Mervyn Storey MLA, said: “Education and the use of scarce resources are of great concern to the Committee. One of the most innovative programmes that we are supporting is encouraging young people to study science, technology, engineering and maths—known as the STEM subjects.

“ St Paul’s and St Colman’s are both specialist science schools. As a Committee, we want to learn from them and see what lessons can be applied elsewhere.

“We are also pleased to meet with some members of the Newry and Mourne Learning Community. This is another innovation which, through collaboration, aims to maximise the use of scarce educational resources. In this current economic climate, it is crucial that all available monies are used to provide the greatest benefit to our young people.”

The Committee is also taking evidence from the Department of Education on the current Education budget and area based planning policy. In addition, the Committee will be meeting with some members of the Newry and Mourne Learning Community, a group of 15 schools which share both teaching and other learning resources to maximise learning opportunities for local students.

Notes to Editors:

The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 3 June 2009 at 10.15 am in St Paul’s High School.

The Committee for Education is committed to holding its meetings in local community settings on a regular basis to encourage stakeholder participation and engagement at a local level.

The Chairperson of the Committee is Mr Mervyn Storey MLA 
The Deputy Chairperson is Mr Dominic Bradley MLA

The Committee has a further nine members: 
Mrs Mary Bradley MLA 
Mr Trevor Lunn MLA 
Mr Nelson McCausland MLA 
Mr Basil McCrea MLA 
Miss Michelle McIlveen MLA 
Mr John O’Dowd MLA 
Ms Michelle O’Neill MLA 
Mr Edwin Poots MLA 
Mr Ken Robinson MLA

The Committee has a scrutiny, policy development and consultative role, and advises the Minister of Education directly on the policies of the Department.

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