Minutes of Proceedings - 21 September 2000
Present: Mr D Kennedy (Chairman)
Mrs E Bell
Mr T Benson
Mr T Gallagher
Mr O Gibson
Mrs P Lewsley
Mr B McElduff
Mr G McHugh
Mr K Robinson
Apologies: Mr J Fee
In Attendance: Mrs G Ardis Miss J Adair
Mrs C Darrah Ms C Angelone
Miss L Tracey
The Committee met at 10.35 a.m.
1. Minutes of Meeting of 14 September 2000 (Private Session)
Mr Robinson joined the meeting at 10.38 a.m.
The minutes of the meeting of 14 September 2000 were agreed.
2. Matters Arising from the Minutes of Proceedings
(i) The Chairman had written to the Minister for Education regarding the payment of a retainer fee to term-time staff and copies had been circulated. As agreed the Clerk had replied on behalf of the Committee to Mr O'Gallagher on the same matter. The Committee noted that a further meeting between the JNC and the Trade Union sides was scheduled for 22 September and awaited the outcome with interest.
(ii) The Committee noted that the Chairman had written to the Minister on the Department of Education's draft new TSN Action Plan as agreed and copies had been circulated.
(iii) The Chairman advised members that the Clerk had commissioned research on the employment of newly qualified teachers. The Committee agreed that the issue would be placed on the agenda for consideration when the information became available.
Mr Benson joined the meeting at 10.47 a.m.
(iv) The information from the Department of Education regarding the various Working Groups established as part of the North/South Ministerial Council arrangements had been circulated and was briefly discussed.
(v) Information on the allocation of additional funding for schools under the Chancellor's Initiative had been circulated. The Committee agreed to raise any questions with the Department of Education officials during the presentation on the Department's Comprehensive Spending Review proposals.
3. Presentation on the Department of Education's Comprehensive Spending Review Proposals
The Chairman welcomed Mr David Woods and Mr Brian Morrow to the Committee meeting. Mr Woods and Mr Morrow gave a presentation on the Department's Comprehensive Spending Proposals. It was followed by a detailed Question and Answer session.
The officials concluded the presentation by inviting the Committee to comment on the priorities and quantum.
Mr Gibson left the meeting at 11.49 a.m. and returned at 11.53 a.m.
Mr Gallagher left the meeting at 11.49 a.m. and returned at 11.59 a.m.
Mrs Lewsley left the meeting at 11.57 a.m.
The Chairman thanked the officials for a very informative presentation and they left the meeting.
The Committee agreed to provide the Clerk with comments/views on the Department's Spending Review proposals by Thursday 28 September. The Committee will then meet to discuss its response to the Department.
4. Presentation on the Educational Aspects of Residential and Secure Accommodation for Children in Northern Ireland (Public Session)
Mrs Bell and Mr Benson left the meeting at 12.30 p.m.
The Chairman welcomed Mrs Christine Jenoubi, Mr Paddy Morrow, and Mr Leslie Ashe and Ms Mary Potter to the Committee meeting. Following a short presentation on the educational aspects of Residential and Secure Accommodation for Children in Northern Ireland, the Committee sought the Department's views on the educational difficulties and problems that children in care faced. They also took the opportunity to explore the various relationships between health, care and education providers. The members expressed their concerns about the level of educational attainment of these young people and discussed methods of improvement.
Mr Gibson left the meeting at 1.01 a.m. and returned at 1.06 a.m.
Following the presentation, members agreed to provide the Clerk with comments/views on the educational aspects of residential and secure accommodation for children in Northern Ireland by 26 September 2000. The Committee also agreed that the Clerk would provide a draft response to the Health, Social Services and Public Safety Committee's inquiry, incorporating members' comments/views, for discussion at the next Committee meeting.
5. Chairman's Business (Private Session)
(i) The Chairman advised members that the Department of Education would be publishing the Gallagher Report on Thursday 28 September. Professors Gallagher and Smith will then give their first public presentation of the report to the Committee in the afternoon.
(ii) The Chairman advised members that the Clerk would circulate the draft Committee response to the CCEA Curriculum Review Proposals for comments/views.
(iii) Following a recent meeting the Chairman sought members' agreement to obtain further information on the relationships between the Department of Education and other education providers. The Committee agreed that the Clerk would seek relevant information, which would then be tabled for discussion at a future meeting.
(iv) The Chairman advised members that the Committee had been invited to submit written comments to the Environment Committee's Inquiry into transport used for children travelling to and from school. Members, noting the deadline of 20 October, agreed that the Clerk would commission research on the matter and the issue would then be put on the agenda for consideration.
6. Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Thursday 28 September 2000 in private session at 12.15 p.m. in Room 135, Parliament Buildings and in public session at 2.30 p.m. in the Senate Chamber.
The meeting closed at 1.10 p.m.