MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE EIGHTY SEVENTH MEETING OF THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE IN ROOM 144, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS ON MONDAY 4 MARCH 2002
Present: Mr D Kennedy (Chairman)
Mr S Wilson (Deputy Chairman)
Mr T Gallagher
Mr O Gibson
Mr T Hamilton
Mr B McElduff
Mr G McHugh
Apologies: Mrs E Bell
Mr K Robinson
In Attendance: Mrs C Darrah (Committee Clerk)
Mr D Stevenson (Executive Support)
Ms S O'Neill (Administrative Support)
The Committee met at 4.05 p.m. in private session.
1. Consideration of Letters from the Minister of Education on the Draft Video and Supporting Materials relating to the Review of Post-Primary Education
Mr T Gallagher joined the meeting at 4.15 p.m.
(i) A detailed discussion of the response from the Minister of Education to the concerns raised by the Committee regarding the content and format of the proposed video took place. The Committee agreed to write again regarding a number of the issues and to consider a draft response at the meeting scheduled for 7 March 2002.
Mr B McElduff joined the meeting at 4.25 p.m.
(ii) A letter from the Minister of Education expressing concern about reported comments by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on the proposed video and supporting materials on the Review of Post-Primary Education, which had been provided to the Committee in strictest confidence, was discussed. A number of members highlighted their concerns regarding the incident and the need to respect information that was provided in confidence with sensitivity, particularly given the wish of the Committee to be fully engaged in the work of the Department of Education, was stressed. The Deputy Chairman explained his position regarding the incident. The Chairman emphasised to all the members of the Committee the need to respect and treat confidential material appropriately.
2. Committee Response on the 2002 Capital Building Programme
(i) The Committee considered a response to the Minister of Education on the 2002 Capital Building Programme. Following a short discussion the response was agreed subject to two amendments.
(ii) The Chairman advised the Committee that arrangements had been made for representatives of the Belfast Education and Library Board and the Southern Education and Library Board to attend the meeting scheduled for 7 March to discuss the Capital Building Programme and the process.
3. Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Committee was scheduled for Thursday 7 March 2002 at 10.15 a.m. in Room 135, Parliament Buildings.
The Committee was adjourned at 4.45 p.m.