MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE SIXTY EIGHTH MEETING OF THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE IN ROOM 135 PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS ONTHURSDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2001Present:
MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE SIXTY EIGHTH MEETING OF THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE IN ROOM 135 PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS ON THURSDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2001
Mr D Kennedy (Chairman)
Mr S Wilson (Deputy Chairman)
Mrs E Bell
Mr T Gallagher
Mr O Gibson
Mr T Hamilton
Mrs P Lewsley
Mr G McHugh
Mr K Robinson
Mr J Fee
Mr B McElduff
Mrs C Darrah
Mrs V Artt
Miss P Bradley
Ms C Angelone
Ms G Kane (Assembly Research Directorate for Item 5)
The Committee met at 10.30 a.m. in private session.
1. Minutes of the Meeting of 25 October 2001
The minutes of the meeting of 25 October 2001 were agreed.
2. Matters Arising
- Copies of the Chairman's letter to the Chief Executive of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority regarding exam mistakes by Edexcel and the reply had been circulated. The Committee agreed that the Chairman should write requesting a copy of the final Report in due course.
- The response from the Minister of Education on the Committee's views on the Department of Education's Executive Programme Funds Bids was noted.
- Copies of the agreed response on the Draft Budget 2002/03 in respect of Education had been circulated for information.
3. Chairman's Business
- Copies of the Revised Work Programme for November and December 2001 had been circulated. The Chairman highlighted the changes, which had been made and members noted that it may be necessary to hold additional meetings to consider the Committee Report on the Proposals for a Common Funding Formula.
The meeting was suspended at 10.40 a.m. to enable any members and staff, who wished, to attend the Remembrance Day Service in the Senate Chamber.
The meeting reconvened at 11.20 a.m. Mr Wilson, Ms Lewsley and Mr Robinson joined the meeting.
Consideration of Committee Responses
- A draft Committee Response on the Taskforce on Employability and Long-Term Unemployment discussion document had been circulated. The Committee agreed to defer discussion of the response until the meeting scheduled for 15 November.
Mrs Bell joined the meeting at 11.24 a.m.
- Copies of a Draft Committee response to the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister on the Consultation Paper on a Commissioner for Children for Northern Ireland had been circulated. The draft response included a number of proposed amendments tabled by Mr Wilson. A detailed discussion ensued and the Committee agreed several amendments to the response. Further information regarding the promotion of languages was also requested. A proposal to remove section 7 of the response on the Provision of Cultural Education was not accepted. Mr Wilson and Mr Gibson requested that their objection to the inclusion of section 7 be recorded. The Committee agreed to give further consideration to the response at the next meeting and members would submit any further additions/amendments to the Clerk.
Mrs Bell left the meeting at 12.00 noon.
- The Chairman informed the Committee that the Chairman of the Employment and Learning Committee had referred a consultation document outlining Proposals to improve the operation of the Employment Tribunal system to the Committee and had requested views on the adoption of such measures in Northern Ireland. After a short discussion the Committee agreed that it would not consider the matter in detail or submit comments but that individual members could submit views if they so wished.
Ms Lewsley left the meeting at 12.45 p.m.
Briefing by the Specialist Adviser, Mrs Penny Mckeown, on the Proposals for a Common Funding Formula.
The Chairman welcomed Mrs McKeown, the Specialist Adviser on the Proposals for a Common Funding Formula, to the meeting. Mrs McKeown briefed the Committee on the proposals for the Treatment of Teachers' Salaries. After a short discussion the Committee agreed to schedule an additional meeting for Tuesday 13 November at 12.30 p.m. to consider the issues further. The Chairman thanked the Specialist Adviser for her assistance.
6. Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Committee was scheduled for Tuesday 13 November at 12.30 p.m. in Room 135, Parliament Buildings. A meeting of the Committee was also scheduled for Thursday 15 November at 10.15 a.m. in Room 135, Parliament Buildings.
The meeting was adjourned at 1.15 p.m.