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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 10 November 2010

Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings

The Chairperson opened the meeting at 2.01pm in public session.

1. Apologies

Apologies as above.

The Chairperson welcomed Sir Reg Empey to the Committee and thanked Mr John McCallister for his contribution to the work of the Committee.

2. Minutes of the Meeting of 3 November 2010

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft minutes of the meeting of 3 November 2010

3. Matters Arising

(a) The Committee noted correspondence of 4 November 2010 from the Clerk to the Committee for OFMdFM enclosing the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland Investing Activity Report 2010.

Agreed – The Committee would write to the Department of Education for comment on ‘completed’ project costs and the ‘red’ update status for ongoing projects.

(b) The Committee noted correspondence of 5 November 2010 from Mrs L Saunders on data Protection/Security issues and InCAS.

Agreed – the Committee would forward a copy of Mrs Saunders correspondence to the Department of Education to seek further information on some of the issues raised, particularly on the subject of InCAS.

Agreed – the Committee would forward to Mrs Saunders a copy of the Department’s briefing paper for the Committee meeting of 15 September 2010.

(c) The Committee noted correspondence of 8 November 2010 from the Department of Education on the process to appoint elected representatives to the Education and Library Boards.

Agreed – the Committee would seek legal advice on this issue.

4. Correspondence

(a) The Committee noted correspondence of 1 November 2010 from the Fermanagh Trust enclosing a copy of the Report on Fermanagh Shared Education Programme.

(b) The Committee noted correspondence of 4 November 2010 from the Clerk to the Committee for OFMdFM enclosing a copy of the Lifetime Opportunities Monitoring Framework Baseline Report.

(c) The Committee noted correspondence of 4 November 2010 from the Clerk to the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the Outcome of the UK Spending Review Budget 2011-15.

(d) The Committee noted correspondence of 4 November 2010 from Barnardo’s NI requesting an opportunity to present to the Committee on its Report entitled ‘Protecting the Most Vulnerable Children in a Time of Public Spending Austerity’ and an opportunity for Professor Tim Shanahan from Chicago to meet with the Committee, when in Northern Ireland as a guest of Barnardo’s.

Agreed – the Committee would request copies of the Barnardo’s Report and a briefing paper on Professor Shanahan’s work and, once received, consider these requests again.

(e) The Committee noted copy correspondence of 31 October 2010 from Children with Disabilities Strategic Alliance enclosing a copy of their Education Manifesto ‘Looking to the Future for Special EducationNeeds’.

(f) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 5 November 2010 entitled 'Education Minister visits ICT career’s day’.

(g) The Committee noted a Department of Education News Release of 10 November 2010 entitled ’Education Minister congratulates recipients of higher education scholarships’.

5. Any Other Business

The Chairperson thanked the Deputy Chairperson for chairing the meeting on 3 November 2010.

The Chairperson raised the issue of the recurrent funding for the STEM Bus and the present position on STEM capital funding for 2010-11 bearing in mind the £1million surrender of STEM Innovation Fund monies in September 2010 Monitoring.

Agreed – the Committee would write to the Department for clarification on these issues.

6. Presentation from the Education Training Inspectorate (ETI) on the Chief Inspector’s Report (2008-2010)

Stanley Goudie, Chief Inspector, Maureen Bennett, Assistant Chief Inspector, Paul McAlister, Assistant Chief Inspector and John Anderson, Managing Inspector joined the meeting at 2.23 pm.

The Chairperson, in light of the Chief Inspector’s plans to retire early in 2011, thanked him for his assistance to the Committee for Education.

The witnesses provided a briefing on the Chief Inspector’s Report and answered Members’ questions on a number of issues including: the challenge of ensuring effective school leadership and how Curriculum Advisory and Support Services (CASS) customise support within the Formal Intervention Process (FIP); the ‘re-standardisation’ of InCAS and its impact in the context of the ‘jigsaw of reform’ referred to the Chief Inspector’s Report; the status of grade ‘D’ in GCSE in the context of the ‘A*-C including Maths and English’ benchmark; the proportion of school leaders that still needed to improve their leadership and the effectiveness of the Professional Qualification in Headship NI; whether the diversity of training provision was causing problems; morale among teachers; the ETI input to the development of the draft Early Years (0-6) Strategy; the high proportion of ‘Follow Up’ inspections in the post-primary sector; what happens when an ETI inspection report states that a school is ‘out of control’; pupils being allowed to move from primary to post-primary schools without being able to read properly and whether a ‘Hold Back’ year would help; ICT education and training providing an opportunity to deliver literacy and numeracy skills to individuals who might otherwise be reluctant to seek help; the use of learning tools such as ALTA; the benefits of pre-primary education in terms of neural development and social behaviour; the different ways in which young boys and girls learn and the lack of male teachers in primary schools; a graduate placement scheme in disadvantaged areas for unemployed teachers; the co-ordination of youth education with work in schools; the Department of Education’s formal response to the Chief Inspector’s Report and follow up by ETI; and the autonomy and independence of the ETI.

Mr J O’Dowd left the meeting at 3.10pm

Mr B McCrea joined the meeting at 3.25pm

7. Inquiry Terms of Reference

Agreed - The Committee approved the revised draft terms of reference and draft press release as amended.

The Clerk will request Assembly Research to produce a briefing paper reflecting the Inquiry’s terms of reference, including alternative measures of deprivation.

8. Forward Work Programme

The Committee noted and agreed the Forward Work Programme including arrangements and a draft press release for the Committee’s Early Years (0-6) Strategy Event on 17 November 2010.

9. Date of the next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday 17 November 2010 at 2.00pm in Room 21, Parliament Building.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 4.31pm.

Mr Mervyn Storey
Chairperson, Committee for Education
17 November 2010

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