MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE THIRTIETH MEETING OF THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE IN ROOM 152, PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS ON TUESDAY 5 DECEMBER 2000
Present: Mr D Kennedy (Chairman)
Mr S Wilson (Deputy Chairman)
Mr O Gibson
Mr B McElduff
Mr K Robinson
Apologies: Mrs E Bell
Mr T Benson
Mr J Fee
Mrs P Lewsley
In Attendance: Mrs G Ardis Miss J Adair
Mrs C Darrah Ms C Angelone
The Committee met at 2.30 p.m. in private session.
The minutes of the meeting of Thursday 30 November 2000 were agreed.
- Mr Alan McVeigh, the Secretary to the Review Body on Post-Primary Education had written to the Chairman confirming that the Review Body's Website was on-line and submissions were now being placed on it.
- Information regarding the Education and Training Inspectorate had been requested and would be circulated prior to the proposed meeting in January 2001.
- Information on the financial costs of the various post-primary education systems had been requested and would be circulated in due course.
- The Chairman advised members that information on the Dickson Plan system of post-primary education in Craigavon and the system operating in Lagan College had been circulated. Following discussion, members instructed the Clerk to arrange a short Question and Answer session with Assembly Researchers after the Christmas Recess and to obtain additional information on the Dickson Plan prior to the meeting.
- Members briefly discussed the information provided by the Assembly Researchers on the public meetings held by the Review Body on Post-Primary Education.
- The Chairman informed members that he had received a letter from representatives of High School Principals in the Dickson Plan area seeking a meeting to discuss the future of post-primary education in Northern Ireland. Members agreed that the Clerk should arrange for the representatives to meet with the Chairman and Deputy Chairman and other available members to discuss this matter.
- The Chairman reminded members that the closing date for tabling Assembly Oral Questions to the Minister for Education was 12 December. The Questions will be answered on Monday 15 January.
4. Response to the Department of Education's Review of the Viability Criteria for Irish-Medium and Integrated Schools
A response to the Department of Education's review of the viability criteria for Irish-Medium and Integrated Schools, containing the submissions received from the various groupings within the Committee, was circulated at the meeting. Members agreed that the response should issue. It was noted that information was still outstanding from the Department regarding Section 75/Equality Dimensions in relation to this review.
A draft forward work programme for January/February 2001 had been circulated. A discussion took place regarding the priority issues and the envisaged timescales. Members agreed the proposed arrangements for meetings and also briefly discussed the Committee's handling of the review of post-primary education. Members also agreed that the researchers should provide a synopsis of the written submissions on the Post-Primary Review Body's website on a regular basis.
A copy of a letter from the Minister for Education and a paper on the consultation exercise on School Performance Tables had been circulated. The Chairman reminded members that the Minister would attend the meeting on 14 December to discuss the outcome of the consultation exercise.
The Department of Education had written informing the Committee that it proposed to make three Statutory Rules, which would be subject to Negative Resolution. The Committee considered the proposed Statutory Rules (Teachers' Superannuation (Additional Voluntary Contributions) (Amendment) Regulations 2001) and (The Teachers' (Compensation for Redundancy and Premature Retirement) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000) and noted the intention to make a Statutory Rule under powers conferred by the Superannuation (Northern Ireland) Order 1972. The Committee resolved that it had no objections to the proposals.
The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Thursday 14 December at 10.15 a.m. in Room 135.
The meeting closed at 3.00 p.m.