MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE SIXTY SIXTH MEETING OF THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE IN ROOM 135 PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS ON THURSDAY 18 OCTOBER 2001
Mr D Kennedy (Chairman)
Mr S Wilson (Deputy Chairman)
Mr T Gallagher
Mr O Gibson
Mr T Hamilton
Ms P Lewsley
Mr K Robinson
Mrs E Bell
Mr J Fee
Mr B McElduff
Mr G McHugh
Mrs C Darrah
Mrs V Artt
Miss P Bradley
Ms C Angelone
Ms G Kane ( Assembly Research Directorate for items 4 and 5)
The Committee met at 10.30 a.m. private session.
1.Minutes of the Meetings of 9 and 11 October 2001
The minutes of the meeting of 9 and 11 October 2001 were agreed.
2. Matters Arising
Copies of the Committee response on the Bids by the Department of Education for Executive Programme Funds had been circulated.
3. Chairman's Business
- The Chairman informed the Committee that the Report on the Review of Post - Primary Education was available. Members noted that embargoed copies would be issued to the Minister of Education and the Chairman of the Review Body and all MLAs would receive copies prior to the debate which had been scheduled for Monday 22 October 2001.
- The Chairman informed the Committee that he would issue a press release highlighting the main findings and recommendations. The Committee agreed that the press release should include the names of all Committee members.
- The Chairman circulated copies of a letter from the Minister of Education setting out the arrangements for the launch of the Burns Report, dissemination seminars and the timescale for consultation. The Committee agreed to invite Mr Burns to the meeting scheduled for 8 November to present the Review Body's findings and discuss the issues. The Committee, noting the proposed arrangements for members to receive copies of the Review Body Report, agreed to write to the Minister of Education urgently on the matter.
Mr Gallagher joined the meeting at 10.37 a.m. and Mr Hamilton joined the meeting at
4. Discussion with Departmental officials on the Draft Budget 2002/03 - Public Session
The Chairman welcomed Departmental officials, Mr Woods and Mr Morrow to the meeting. A detailed discussion on the Draft Budget 2002/03 for the Department of Education took place. The key issues discussed included:
- bids made by the Department and the outcomes;
- offsets to cover the balance of inescapable bids not met;
- the implications for services;
- details of the proposed Budget spend;
- the priorities for funding; and
- the links between Public Service Agreement targets and funding allocations.
The Chairman thanked the Officials and they left the meeting.
The Committee agreed to consider a draft response on the Draft Budget 2002/2003 at the meeting scheduled for 25 October 2001.
5. Briefing by the Specialist Adviser on the main issues arising from the Proposals for a Common Funding Formula - Private Session
The Chairman welcomed the Specialist Adviser on the Proposals for a Common Funding Formula, Mrs Penny McKeown, to the meeting. Mrs McKeown briefed the Committee on her analysis of the written submissions and evidence sessions. This was followed by a short discussion of the main issues to be included in the Committee response.
The Committee agreed that the Specialist Adviser should prepare a paper expanding the issues discussed and highlighting possible recommendations for consideration.
Mr Robinson left the meeting at 12:00 noon
6. Date and time of next meeting
The next meeting of the Committee was scheduled for Thursday 25 October at 10.15 a.m. in Room 135, Parliament Buildings.
The meeting was adjourned at 12.13 p.m.