Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 12 October 2007

Venue: Room 135, Parliament Buildings

The Deputy Chairperson opened the meeting at 10.46am in public session.

1. Apologies

One apology was received as detailed above.

2. Minutes of the Meeting of 5 October 2007

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft minutes of the meeting of 5 October 2007.

3. Matters Arising from the Minutes

(a) The Committee noted the responses from the South Eastern Education and Library Board regarding funding and accommodation issues.

Agreed – the Committee to write to the Department regarding the ‘Building Handbook’.

(b) The Committee noted the response from the North Eastern Education and Library Board regarding the Chinese Language School Northern Ireland.

(c) The Committee noted a number of items of correspondence regarding the Classroom Assistants’ dispute.

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft responses.

Agreed – the Committee agreed to issue a reminder to the Minister regarding its letter of 5 October 2007.

The Committee welcomed the involvement of the Labour Relations Agency in the dispute.

Agreed – The Committee agreed to request details of the agreed terms for the independent mediation discussions from the Department.

(d) The Committee noted two Departmental Press Releases: ‘Education Minister meets classroom assistants’ and ‘Ruane chairs first business meeting of Review of Public Administration’ organisation groups.

(e) Agreed – the Committee agreed the letter to the Department regarding Sustainable Schools policy requesting details of equality impact assessments for minima enrolment levels.

4. Correspondence

(a) The Committee noted the invitation from the Northern Ireland Childminding Association to the ‘Surestart Childminding Networks Information Mornings’ in Cookstown and Belfast in November 2007.

(b) The Committee noted the contents of the email from Mr B Nolan regarding literacy interventions.

Agreed – the Committee will forward the correspondence to the Department for comment.

(c) The Committee noted the letter from Mrs E Porter regarding the Classroom Assistants’ dispute.

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft response.

(d) The Committee noted the invitation to the National Association of Head Teachers seminar, ‘Let School Leaders Lead’, on 15 October 2007 in Belfast.

(e) The Committee noted the contents of the correspondence from Mr W Graham.

Agreed – the Committee will forward the correspondence to the Department for comment.

(f) The Committee noted the correspondence from Dr G Sanchez Espinosa.

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft response.

(g) The Committee noted three Departmental press releases: “Minister for Education & Science Mary Hanafin and Education Minister in the North of Ireland Caitríona Ruane Join Forces to Launch Second Annual ‘GLEO’ Schools Scheme”; “Minister Announces Education and Library Board Appointments”; and “St Gabriel’s College to Close”.

Ms O’Neill left the meeting at 10.59am.

5. Departmental Briefing on Curriculum Reform

Dr Robson Davison, Deputy Secretary; Katrina Godfrey, Head of Raising Standards Division; Faustina Graham, Assistant Chief Inspector, Education & Training Inspectorate; and Shirley McKee, Head of Curriculum and Assessment Team, Department of Education, joined the meeting at 10.59am. The officials gave a presentation on Curriculum Reform, after which they answered questions on a number of issues including: early years and the foundation curriculum; literacy and numeracy; reporting arrangements and the use of the InCAS tool; communication with teachers, parents and pupils; the Entitlement Framework; the ability of schools to deliver a minimum of 24 subjects at Key Stage 4 and 27 subjects post-16; the classification of subjects as ‘vocational’ or ‘academic’; modification of exams to reflect the revised curriculum; and assessment of skills.

The Chairperson thanked the officials for a useful discussion and they left the meeting at 12.18pm.

Ms O’Neill rejoined the meeting at 11.05am.
Mr Lunn joined the meeting at 11.05am.
Rt Hon J Donaldson joined the meeting at 11.06am.
Rt Hon J Donaldson left the meeting at 11.16am.
Rt Hon J Donaldson rejoined the meeting at 11.18am.
The Chairperson joined the meeting at 11.19am.
The Chairperson took the Chair at 11.26am.
Rt Hon J Donaldson left the meeting at 11.26am.
Mrs Bradley left the meeting at 11.27am.
Rt Hon J Donaldson rejoined the meeting at 11.30am.
Mrs Bradley rejoined the meeting at 11.43am. 
Mr Bradley left the meeting at 12.15pm.

6. Draft Work Programme

The Committee agreed its work programme up to and including Friday 9 November 2007.

7. Date, time and place of next meeting

An informal meeting will be held in closed session on Friday 19 October 2007 at 9.30am in Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.19pm.

Mr Sammy Wilson
Chairperson, Committee for Education

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