Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 22 September 2010

Venue: Room 21, Parliament Buildings

In the absence of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson the Clerk took the Chair and opened the meeting in public session at 2.03pm.

1. Appointment of Acting Chairperson

The Clerk invited Members to nominate one of their number to act as Chairperson for this meeting. Mrs M Bradley proposed Miss M McIlveen and Mr T Lunn seconded this proposal. There were no other nominations.

Agreed – Miss M McIlveen would act as the Chairperson of the meeting.

Miss M McIlveen took the Chair.

2. Apologies

Apologies as above.

3. Minutes of the Meeting of 15 September 2010

Agreed – the Committee approved the draft minutes of the meeting of 15 September 2010

4. Matters Arising

(a) The Committee noted correspondence of 15 September 2010 from the Department of Education on assessment arrangements in support of the revised curriculum.

(b) The Committee noted correspondence of 16 September 2010 from the Clerk to the Committee for the Office of the First and deputy First Minister on the European Commission’s Communication on the Rights of the Child.

(c) The Committee noted an invitation of 14 September 2010 from the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation to attend its Northern Conference at Canal Court Hotel, Newry on 1-2 April 2010.

(d) The Committee noted copy correspondence of 16 September 2010 from the Minister of Education to Ms P Leeson, Director of Children in Northern Ireland on the draft Early Years (0-6) Strategy. Miss M McIlveen proposed that the Committee invite CiNI to come to Committee on the draft Early Years (0-6) Strategy.

Agreed – the Committee would invite representatives of CiNI to come to Committee on the draft Early Years (0-6) Strategy.

5. Correspondence

(a) The Committee noted an invitation from the Lifestart Foundation to attend a presentation on Lifestart/Edenderry Nursery School Partnership and Annual General meeting at Argyle Business Centre, Belfast on 6 October 2010.

(b) The Committee noted an invitation from the Children’s Law Centre to attend training seminars on Special Educational Needs and Autistic Spectrum Disorder at the Children’s Law Centre, Belfast on 20 October and 24 November 2010.

(c) The Committee noted an invitation from the West Belfast and Colin Autism Support Group to attend a variety of training courses and programmes on Autism at a number of venues and dates.

(d) The Committee noted correspondence of 16 September 2010 from the Clerk to the Committee for Finance and Personnel enclosing copies of the Executive’s Budget Process Action Plan and DFP’s response to the Committee for Finance and Personnel’s Second Budget Scrutiny Inquiry Report.

6. Presentation from the Regional Training Unit on the Characteristic’s of effective School Leadership

Dr Tom Hesketh, Director of the Regional Training Unit joined the meeting at 2.11 pm.

The witness provided a briefing on the characteristics of effective school leadership in the context of post-primary schools serving disadvantaged communities and answered Members questions on a number of issues, including: what training RTU provides to Boards of Governors, the bodies responsible for selecting school leaders; key/priority leadership practices; who would take the lead responsibility for the redefining or remodelling of the role of headship; the pass/fail rate for those commencing the Professional Qualification for Headship (PQH), the percentage of current Heads holding the PQH and that PQH is non-mandatory; ‘distributed’ leadership and the ‘lead learner’ role; the importance of building relationships with the local community and parents as a key leadership characteristic; why the PQH was not held by more school leaders and whether there were any studies comparing the performance of schools led by PQH holders with schools led by non-PQH holders; what factors other than school leadership the Committee should be looking at as having a potentially significant impact on raising standards in struggling schools serving disadvantaged communities; whether the lessons learned in urban settings are applicable in rural schools; whether the PQH is delivered by means of summer schools, on-line study, ‘twilight’ study etc and related disruption in schools; the gender mix of both the applicants for PQH and those successfully completing the course; the importance of partnership with the wider community in breaking the ‘Iron Circle’ and expanding the role of mentoring and coaching of new school leaders by established and effective school leaders.

Miss M O’Neill left the meeting at 2.40pm

Miss M O’Neill rejoined the meeting at 2.53pm

Mr J McCallister joined the meeting at 3.00pm

Dr Hesketh left the meeting at 3.14pm

7. Forward Work Programme

The Clerk briefed the Committee on the Forward Work Programme including the earlier agreement that CiNI come to Committee on the draft Early Years (0-6) Strategy and the visit to the Boys’ Model School, Belfast on 29 September 2010 from 11.30am to 12.30pm and asked Members to indicate their likely availability for this visit. Mr J O’Dowd and Mr J McCallister indicated their likely availability. The Committee noted and agreed the amended Forward Work Programme.

8. Any Other Business
9. Date of the next meeting

The next Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday 29 September 2010 at 2.00pm in Room 21, Parliament Building.

The Acting Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 3.15 pm.

Mr Mervyn Storey
Chairperson, Committee for Education
29 September 2010

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