Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 09 March 2011

Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings

The Chairperson opened the meeting at 2.03 pm in public session.

1. Apologies

As above.

Mr B McCrea joined the meeting at 2.07 pm.

2. Minutes of the Meetings of 2 March 2011

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft minutes of the meeting of 2 March 2011.

3. Matters Arising

(a) The Chairperson noted correspondence of 1March 2011 from Minister of Education on the Committee’s response to the draft Early Years (0-6) Strategy Consultation.

(b) The Committee noted correspondence of 2 March 2011 from the Department of Education regarding the increase in funding to all private/voluntary pre-school settings within the Pre-School Education Expansion Programme.

Agreed – the Committee would forward the correspondence to Mr P Corry, NAHT (NI), Nursery Education Committee.

(c) The Committee noted correspondence of 2 March 2011 from the Department of Education on January 2011 – Outurn and Forecast Outturn.

(d) The Committee noted correspondence of 2 March 2011 from the Committee for OFMdFM enclosing a copy of the Committee’s Report on Statutory Committee Activity on European Issues.

(e) The Committee noted correspondence of 2 March 2011 from Ms A Smyth, WELB on the Derg Mourne Learning Community.

(f) The Committee noted correspondence of 3 March 2011 from the Department of Education on classroom observation of teachers by Schools Principals.

Agreed – the Committee would forward a copy of this correspondence to the NI Teachers’ Council for information.

(g) The Committee noted correspondence of 7 March 2011 from the Department of Education on European Engagement.

Agreed – the Committee would forward the Department’s correspondence to the Committee for OFMdFM for information.

(h) The Committee noted correspondence of 8 March 2011 from the Department of Education on data security and the fourth quarter Assurance Statement being subsumed into the annual Statement of Control.

(i) The Committee noted correspondence of 8 March 2011 on the appointment of DE governors to the Boards of Governors of Voluntary Grammar schools.

(j) The Committee noted correspondence of 8 March 2011 on the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Action Plan.

Agreed – the Committee would forward the Department’s correspondence to the Committee for the Environment for information.

(k) The Committee noted correspondence of 8 March 2011 from the Department of Education regarding the abolition of the Sustainable Development Commission and the proposal to create a sustainability Policy and Performance Centre within OFMDFM.

Agreed – the Committee would forward the Department’s correspondence to the Committee for OFMdFM for information.

(l) The Committee noted correspondence of 8 March 2011 from the Department of Education enclosing copy correspondence of 16 September 2011 from the Minister of Education to Ms P Haren, a Director of the Women’s Support Network on the Early Years (0-6) Strategy.

Lord Empey left the meeting at 2.13 pm and rejoined the meeting at 2.20 pm.

Ms O’Neill joined the meeting at 2.20 pm.

Miss McIlveen joined the meeting at 2.25 pm.

4. Correspondence

(a) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 2 March 2011 entitled ‘Ruane welcomes start of building work on new Fermanagh Primary School’.

(b) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 2 March 2011 entitled ‘Minister announces decision on St Paul’s nursery school, Belfast’.

(c) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 2 March 2011 entitled ‘Attacks on buses must stop – Ruane’.

(d) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 3 March 2011 entitled ‘Ruane encourages children to discover the joy of reading’.

(e) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 4 March 2011 ‘Education Minister approves new nursery unit at Dundonald Primary School.’

(f) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 4 March 2011 entitled ‘Teachers have vital role in improving education – Ruane’

(g) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 4 March 2011 entitled ‘Education Minister agrees establishment of new Irish-medium unit in Castlewellan’.

(h) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 4 March entitled ‘Education a priority – Ruane’.

(i) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 8 March 2011 entitled ‘Inspectors pass inspection’.

(j) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 8 March entitled ‘Education Minister marks start of new era for Dromintee Primary School’.

(k) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 8 March entitled ‘An end to academic selection at Loreto College, Coleraine’.

The meeting moved into closed session at 2.29 pm.

5. Consideration of draft Report on the Committee’s Inquiry

The Committee considered a draft Report on the Committee’s Inquiry into ‘Successful Post-Primary Schools Serving Disadvantaged Communities’.

Agreed – the Committee approved:

(a) the Introduction section to the Inquiry Report;

(b) the sections of the Inquiry Report, including Conclusions and Recommendations, relating to Effective School Leadership, School Engagement with Parents and the Wider Community, and Addressing Underachievement in Disadvantaged Communities.

(c) the appendices comprising Appendix 1 (Minutes of Proceedinds), Appendix 2 (Minutes of Evidence) and Written Submissions (Appendix 3) and Appendix 4 (Other Correspondence and Other Written Evidence).

Agreed – the Committee would meet on Monday 14 March to consider the remaining section of its Inquiry Report

Agreed – the Committee would submit a motion on its Inquiry Report for debate in the Assembly on Monday 21 March 2011.

Mr D Hilditch left the meeting at 2.36 pm. 
Mr J O’Dowd joined the meeting at 2.37 pm. 
Mr B McCrea left the meeting at 2.38 pm 
Mr J Craig left the meeting at 2.45 pm. 
Ms M O’Neill left the meeting at 2.58 pm. 
Lord Empey left the meeting at 3.00 pm.

6. Any other Business

Agreed - the Committee would receive an update briefing from DE officials at next week’s meeting on Budget 2011-15.

Agreed – the Committee authorised the Chairperson to approve the draft Minutes of the Committee’s final meeting during the current Assembly mandate.

7. Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next Committee meeting will be held in the Room 30, Parliament Buildings on Monday 14 March 2011 commencing at 2.00 pm.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 3.04 pm.

Mr Mervyn Storey
Chairperson, Committee for Education
14 March 2011

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