Minutes of Proceedings
Date: 06 June 2012
Venue: Senate Chamber
The meeting commenced at 10.03 am in closed session.
Appointment of a Specialist Advisor on Viability Audit/ Area Planning
The Committee discussed the outcome of the Sub-Committee meeting on the appointment of a special advisor on Viability Audit/ Area Planning.
10.06 am Mr Jonathan Craig joined the meeting.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to accept the recommendations of the Sub-Committee to appoint the candidate with the highest score.
The meeting moved into public session at 10.09 am.
The Chairperson welcomed Sheila Mawhinney to the Committee staff, in the absence of Nathan McVeigh.
1. Draft Minutes of Meetings held on 29 and 30 May 2012
The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 30 May 2012, and the minutes of the joint meeting with the Committee for Employment and Learning of 29 May 2012.
2. Briefing from David McNarry MLA on the Community Use of Schools
Mr David McNarry MLA joined the meeting at 10.11am and provided the Committee with a briefing on the Community Use of Schools. The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.
10.32 am Mr Danny Kinahan left the meeting.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister for the Environment to ascertain what consideration was given to the community use of school premises in the development of Area and Community Planning.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to find out to what extent it took into account Community Planning in its area plans for schools.
10.33 am Ms Michelle McIlveen joined the meeting.
11.05 am Ms Michaela Boyle left the meeting.
The briefing ended at 11.11 am.
11.11 am Ms Michelle McIlveen left the meeting.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department regarding Recommendation 33 of the Community Use of Schools Working Group Report.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Belfast Education and Library Board requesting further information on a ‘partnership agreement’ for the community use of schools.
3. Departmental briefing on the SL1, The Pre-School Education in Schools (Admissions Criteria) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012
Linda Wilson, Director of Families and Communities and Julie Stephenson, Head of Youth and Schools in the Community Team, and Marie Abbott, Head of Early Years Team, joined the meeting at 11.13 am and provided the Committee with a briefing on the SL1 proposal to make The Pre-School Education in Schools (Admissions Criteria) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012. The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.
11.15 am Ms Michelle McIlveen rejoined the meeting.
11.30 am Ms Michaela Boyle rejoined the meeting.
11.49 am Mrs Jo-Anne Dobson left the meeting.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek an update on the Open Enrolment policy; the definition of socially disadvantaged to be used in admissions criteria; a list of the Pre-school Education Advisory Groups (PEAGs) in Northern Ireland and the members of each; and the number of two-year olds entering statutory pre-school education in 2012/13, with comparative figures for 2011/12.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to defer further consideration until the Rule is laid.
The officials left the meeting at 12.00 pm.
12.00 pm Mr Daithí McKay left the meeting.
4. Briefing from the Association of Professionals in Education and Children’s Trust (ASPECT) on the Review of Teacher Education
Mr John Chowcat, Secretary, Mr Sean Maguire, Membership and Industrial Relations Officer, and Mr Peter McAlister, NI Representative on ASPECT Council, joined the meeting at 12.01 pm and provided the Committee with a briefing on the Review of Teacher Education. The briefing was followed by a question and answer session.
12.05 pm Mrs Jo-Anne Dobson rejoined the meeting.
12.15 pm Mr Jonathan Craig left the meeting.
12.15 pm Ms Brenda Hale left the meeting.
The briefing ended at 12.42 pm.
5. Matters Arising
5.1 The Committee considered correspondence of 25 May 2012 from Mr J Nicolson regarding an error in a CCEA mathematics paper.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request a definitive timeframe on the implementation of the CCEA Action Plan, and to seek the Department’s views on the interpretation of questions on mechanics and statistics papers and associated marking structure. The Committee also agreed to ask the Department to correspond directly with Mr Nicholson, copying to the Committee for information.
5.2 The Committee considered a response of 24 May 2012 from the Department of Education regarding the entitlement framework.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to note this response.
5.3 The Committee considered a response of 24 May 2012 from the Department of Education regarding children and young people with dyslexia.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for further information on the number of schools that have achieved dyslexia-friendly status, analysed across the Education and Library Board areas and for further information on the scheme itself.
5.4 The Committee considered correspondence of 28 May 2012 from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the monitoring of Post Project Evaluations (PPEs).
Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for an update on outstanding PPEs, including the original date of receipt by the Department.
6.1 The Committee considered correspondence of 16 April 2012 from Business in the Community inviting the Committee to attend a ‘Seeing is Believing’ visit.
Agreed: The Committee agreed to decline this invitation at present, but reconsider at a later date.
6.2 The Committee noted the following press releases previously emailed to Members:
- O’Dowd visits Rossmar Special School in Limavady;
- Post-Primary Transfer letters to issue;
- Minister announces decision on increased capacity at Brackenagh West Primary School in Kilkeel;
- O’Dowd approves new controlled Irish-medium primary school for Dungiven.
12.51 pm Mr Trevor Lunn left the meeting.
7. Committee Discussion on Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Inclusion Review
The Committee had a brief discussion on members’ concerns and comments on the Minister’s proposals for his Review.
Agreed: The Committee agreed a response to be forwarded to the Minister in advance of his briefing next week.
8. Committee Discussion on Assembly Contribution to Budget Process
The Committee had a brief discussion on a paper provided by the Committee for Finance and Personnel on an Assembly contribution to the Budget process.
Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Clerk would prepare a draft response for consideration at its next meeting.
9. Forward Work Programme
Members agreed the forward work programme.
10. Any Other Business
There was no other business.
11. Date, Time and Place of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 13 June 2012 at 11.00 am in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting at 12.59 pm.