Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 04 July 2012

Venue: Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The meeting commenced at 10.32 am in closed session. 

1.     Briefing from Assembly Legal Service – Administration of Medication to Pupils in Schools

The Committee was briefed by representatives from Assembly Legal Service on the administration of medication to pupils in schools.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department outlining its views on this issue.

Agreed: the Committee further agreed that this correspondence should be copied to Conall McDevitt MLA.

The meeting moved into public session at 10.50 am.

Apologies 

Apologies are detailed above.

Chairpersons Business

  • The Committee considered amendments to the report on its inquiry into Schools Councils.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that these amendments should be added to the final report for publication.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that a relevant extract of the minutes of this meeting should be approved by the Chairperson and included in the report.

  • The Chairperson updated members on issues raised by the Ulster Farmers Union at an informal meeting last week.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request a paper from Assembly Research on the management of schools in rural areas in other jurisdictions.

  • The Chairperson updated members on his lunch meeting with a group of Senators from the Czech Republic.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to thank the Senators, and to request further information on the education system in the Czech Republic.

2.    Draft Minutes of 26 June 2012 

Agreed:  The draft minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2012, as amended, were agreed by the Committee.  

3.    Matters Arising  

3.1    The Committee noted correspondence dated 18 June 2012 from the Department of Education regarding an error in the CCEA mathematics paper. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward this correspondence to the individual who had originally raised the issue. 

3.2    The Committee noted correspondence dated 20 June 2012 from the Department of Education on the comparison of pre-school education in the voluntary/ private sector and the statutory sector. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to request further information on the proposed Early Years Review. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to obtain information on the structure, role and responsibilities of the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI). 

          Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for information on the funding differences between voluntary/private and statutory pre-school provision. 

3.3    The Committee noted correspondence of 21 June from the Committee for Employment and Learning, and 19 June 2012 from the Department of Education, regarding Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence from the Employment and Learning Committee to the Department of Education for comment. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Employment and Learning Committee to request copies of briefing papers and dates for attendance on its inquiry into Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance.  

3.4    The Committee noted correspondence of 19 June 2012 form the Department of Education regarding the private hire of buses, and correspondence dated 21 June 2012 from the Committee for the Environment regarding cross border passenger services. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for the Environment on issues concerning cross-border operators of school transport. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Western Education and Library Board for information on children whose school transport involves cross-border travel. 

11.16 am Michaela Boyle left the meeting. 

3.5    The Committee noted correspondence dated 21 June 2012 from the Department of Education regarding the review of the financial process. 

3.6    The Committee noted correspondence dated 21 June 2012 from the Department of Education regarding Post Project Evaluations. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for further information on the PPEs still outstanding. 

3.7    The Committee noted correspondence dated 21 June 2012 from the Department of Education regarding classroom assistants. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for updated information on re-evaluation and roles of classroom assistants. 

3.8    The Committee noted correspondence of 21 June 2012 from the BELB, and correspondence dated 28 June 2012 from the Department of Education, regarding community use of schools. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward this correspondence to David McNarry MLA and the Department’s Working Group. 

3.9    The Committee noted correspondence of 8 June 2012 from the Department of Education, 31 May from WELB, 30 May from BELB, 19 June from SEELB, and  29 June 2012 from SELB, regarding Education and Library Board Budget Allocations. 

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for further information on pupil and teacher numbers. 

3.10  The Committee noted correspondence of 25 June 2012 from the Department of Education regarding NEETS. 

3.11  The Committee noted correspondence of 25 June 2012 from the Committee for Finance and Personnel enclosing an Assembly Research paper entitled ‘The Estimates 2012-13: Identification of Potential Issues for Scrutiny’.

3.12  The Committee noted correspondence of 26 June 2012 from the Department of Education regarding the SEN Continued Professional Development (CPD) Literacy Project, and correspondence from the Department dated 28 June 2012 regarding SEN issues.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding its concerns on the limited number of training places available on the Literacy Project, and suggesting that the Project should be extended to post-primary.

3.13  The Committee noted correspondence of 26 June 2012 from the Department of Education regarding Erne Integrated College computer software.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward this correspondence to Erne Integrated College for information.

3.14  The Committee noted correspondence of 26 June 2012 from the Department of Education regarding C2K concerns.

3.15  The Committee noted correspondence of 27 June 2012 from the Department of Education regarding home to school transport.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department concerning the mandatory provision of insurance documentation by transport contractors.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Committee for the Environment to update it on the percentage of contract-based inspections to be carried out.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for an update on the Review of Home to School Transport.

3.16  The Committee noted correspondence of 27 June 2012 from the Department of Education regarding access to inhalers.

3.17  The Committee noted correspondence of 27 June 2012 from the Department of Education regarding the common funding scheme 2012-13.

3.18  The Committee noted correspondence of 20 June 2012 from the Department of Education regarding pre-school education.

3.19  The Committee noted correspondence from the Department on the outcome of the pre-school admissions process for 2012/2013.

3.20  The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister on the response to the Early Years (0-6) Strategy.

3.21  The Committee noted correspondence from the Department on the Achieving Belfast-Derry programmes.

4.         Correspondence

4.1    The Committee noted correspondence of 25 June 2012 from the Rainbow Project regarding inequalities in education, and copies of answers to Written Assembly Questions on homophobic bullying.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward this correspondence to the Department for comment.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request further information from the Rainbow Project.

4.2    The Committee noted correspondence of 25 June 2012 from the Joint Negotiating Council for the Education and Library Boards – Trade Union Side regarding their concerns about the education sector.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward this correspondence to the Department for comment.

4.3    The Committee noted correspondence from the Voice of Young People in Care, enclosing a copy report on the CASI survey.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Fostering Network should be invited to attend its forthcoming event on underachievement.

The Committee noted the following Department of Education News Releases previously emailed to Members:

  • Education Minister addresses Reconciliation Forum in Dublin;
  • O’Dowd turns down proposal for nursery unit at Primate Dixon Primary School, Coalisland;
  • Investment in 18 local schools;
  • O’Dowd approves amalgamation of Newtownstewart Primary Schools;
  • Minister welcomes additional funding for education.

The Committee noted the publication entitled ‘A Deliberate Poll on Education’, from Professor Tony Gallagher, which was previously emailed to Members.

5. Special Advisor on Viability Audit/ Area Planning

The Committee agreed to move to item 6.

6. Assembly Research briefing on CCEA

The Committee was briefed by a representative of Assembly Research and Information Service on the functions of the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA).

7. Briefing from CCEA on its Functions, Funding and Examinations

Gavin Boyd, Interim Chief Executive, Anne Marie Duffy, Director of Qualifications, Richard Hanna, Director of Education Strategy and Adrian Arbuthnot, Department of Education, joined the meeting at 11.52 am and provided the Committee with a briefing on CCEA functions, funding, examinations, curriculum and regulation.  The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.

11.56 am Phil Flanagan left the meeting.

12.47 pm Sean Rogers left the meeting.

The representatives of CCEA left the meeting at 13.02 pm.

8. Forward Work Programme

Members noted the draft forward work programme.                                                                                                    

 

9. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 12 September 2012 at 10.30am in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.

The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 13.06 pm.

Mervyn Storey
Chairperson, Committee for Education
12 September 2012

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