Press Release

Young People and School Governors to Have Their Say on the Education Bill

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Monday, 28 January 2013

Reference: EDUC 06/12/13

The Committee for Education will host an event this week - facilitated by PTA-NI and The Youth Forum - to ask school governors and young people for their views on the Education Bill. The event marks the end of the evidence-gathering phase of the Committee Stage of the Bill. From 30 January 2013, the Committee will scrutinise the clauses of the Bill and proposed amendments, before producing a final Committee report.

The event will take place in the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 from 6pm-9pm.

Committee Chairperson, Mervyn Storey MLA said: "I very much look forward to engaging directly with school governors and young people from across Northern Ireland to hear their views on the Bill and how they envisage that the Bill will affect them. The Committee has taken evidence from a number of stakeholder organisations, sectoral bodies, unions and the Department of Education. We now need to hear the voice of those that will have to implement the proposed changes – school governors – and those who will be ultimately affected – young people."

He concluded: "This is an important Bill. The Committee has undertaken its scrutiny role thoroughly and seriously. The Committee has considered around 40 written submissions and has taken 15 oral briefing sessions. The event on Wednesday will provide further evidence and will significantly assist in the Committee's deliberations on the Bill."

Notes to Editors:

One of the main purposes of the Education Bill is to establish the new Education and Skills Authority (ESA), which will replace the 5 existing Education and Library Boards (ELBs); the Staff Commission; the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools and the Youth Council for Northern Ireland. The proposed 4 main functions of ESA include:

· planning the education estate and establishing ESA as the only body with a statutory education planning function;

· establishing ESA as the employing authority, with its role focusing on system-wide workforce planning and development;

· promoting the raising of standards; and

· supporting professional development in schools.

In addition to the above, it is proposed that ESA take on a range of existing functions from the bodies that it will replace, including school maintenance, the school library service, school meals, transport and youth services.

Committee Membership:

Chairperson: Mervyn Storey MLA

Deputy Chairperson: Danny Kinahan MLA

Michaela Boyle MLA

Jonathan Craig MLA

Jo-Anne Dobson MLA

Brenda Hale MLA

Chris Hazzard MLA

Trevor Lunn MLA

Michelle McIlveen MLA

Sean Rogers MLA

Pat Sheehan MLA

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