Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 16 December 2009
Venue: Room 135
1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.
2. Matters Arising
(i) The Chairman reminded members that they should submit details of relevant pecuniary and other interests to the Clerk if they had not already done so.
(ii) The agreed press release had been issued.
(iii) The Committee noted that the Clerk will issue a paper on Committee consideration of Statutory Rules in the near future.
(iv) The Chairman informed members that the Clerk of Committees was in the process of examining the schedule of Statutory Committee meetings. If possible, the meetings would be rescheduled taking account of certain members' dual membership of Committees to eliminate the problem of meetings "clashing".
3. Presentation by the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Education and senior officials
The Chairman welcomed Mr Nigel Hamilton, Permanent Secretary, Mr Stephen Peover, Deputy Secretary, Mr Tom Shaw, Chief Inspector of Schools and Mr David Woods, Head of Finance and Strategic Planning. They gave a presentation outlining the work of the Department with particular emphasis on key Departmental priorities and issues. Following the presentation there was a question and answer session. The Chairman thanked the Permanent Secretary and officials and they left the meeting.
4. Chairman's Business
(i) The Chairman briefed the Committee on his meeting with the Minister for Education. The Minister has since written to the Chairman outlining a number of issues he wished to refer to the Committee for consideration in the future.
(ii) Agreed: The Committee agreed that the following topics and issues could be the subject of Committee enquiries in the future:
- Capital Building Programme - The Clerk will obtain relevant details from the Department
- Equality of Funding
- Underachievement in schools particularly at primary level
- Cost of Educational Administration
(iii) The Chairman informed the Committee that he and the Deputy Chairman had met with pupils, and their teachers, from local schools to discuss the recent demonstrations. The Chairman reported that the pupils had presented their views in a most articulate way and had submitted a petition that the Chairman undertook to forward to the Department of Education.
(iv) The Chairman informed the Committee that he had received an invitation from Boston College for the Committee to attend an education programme in 2000. It was agreed that the Committee would give further consideration to this invitation in the New Year.
(v) Agreed: The Committee will consider the comments received by the Department of Education on its consultation document "Learning for Tomorrow's World" before considering a Committee response to the document.
5. Date of Next Meeting
The Committee will meet on Thursday 13 January 2000 at 10.30 am in Room 135, Parliament Buildings.
MR DANNY KENNEDY