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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 26 April 2021

The Assembly met at noon, the Speaker in the Chair.

1. Prayers

Members observed two minutes' silence.

2. Speaker's Business

Order in the Chamber

The Speaker made some remarks about the recent conduct of Mr Wells in the Chamber which he considered had fallen short of the required standards of courtesy, good temper, moderation and respect. The Speaker advised that while no further action would be taken on this occasion, he hoped the Member would reflect on how he interacts with others in the future.

3. Public Petition

3.1 Additional Parking and Traffic Calming around St. Conor's Primary School, Omagh

Mr Daniel McCrossan was granted leave, in accordance with Standing Order 22, to present a Public Petition on Additional Parking and Traffic Calming around St. Conor's Primary School, Omagh.

4. Executive Committee Business

4.1 Statement: British-Irish Council Ministerial Meeting on Misuse of Substances

The Minister of Health, Mr Robin Swann, made a statement regarding the recent British-Irish Council Ministerial Meeting on Misuse of Substances, following which he replied to questions.

The sitting was suspended at 12.33pm.

The sitting resumed at 12.46pm, the Principal Deputy Speaker in the Chair.

4.2 Statement: Response to Wildfire in the Mournes

The Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Mr Edwin Poots, made a statement regarding the Response to Wildfire in the Mournes, following which he replied to questions.

4.3 Second Stage: Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill (NIA Bill 20/17-22)

The Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Mr Edwin Poots, moved the Second Stage of the Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill (NIA Bill 20/17-22).

Debate ensued.

The debate stood suspended for Question Time.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr McGlone, took the Chair.

5. Question Time

5.1 Health

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister of Health, Mr Robin Swann.

5.2 Infrastructure

Questions were put to, and answered by, the Minister for Infrastructure, Ms Nichola Mallon.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Beggs, took the Chair.

6. Executive Committee Business (cont'd)

6.1 Second Stage: Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill (NIA Bill 20/17-22) (cont'd)

Debate resumed.

The Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill (NIA Bill 20/17-22) passed Second Stage.

The Speaker took the Chair.

7. Private Members' Business

7.1 Motion: Academic Selection and the Transfer Test

Proposed:

That this Assembly notes the recent publication of Ulster University's Transforming Education Research Paper on Academic Selection and the Transfer Test; further notes that this is yet another report which outlines the psychological harm that academic selection causes to children; acknowledges the finding within the report that there is little evidence that social mobility is increased by academic selection; agrees with the conclusion articulated in the report that the current arrangements for school transfer at age 11 are damaging the life-chances of a large proportion of the school population; and calls on the Minister of Education to act in the interests of children and the wider education system by ending the use of academic selection as a means of determining post-primary transfer.

Mr Pat Sheehan
Ms Nicola Brogan
Mr John O'Dowd

Amendment

Proposed:

Leave out all after 'school population;' and insert:

"further notes that the right to use academic selection is currently enshrined in law; and calls on the Minister of Education to give notice that he will repeal this legal provision by 2023 and replace it with a system that has the widest support and prioritises educational excellence for all without academic selection."

Mr Daniel McCrossan
Mr Justin McNulty
Mr Matthew O'Toole

Debate ensued.

The Question being put, the amendment was made (Division 1).

The Question being put, the motion as amended was carried (Division 2).

8. Adjournment

Proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

The Speaker

The Assembly adjourned at 6.00pm.

Mr Alex Maskey
The Speaker
26 April 2021

 

Northern Ireland Assembly

26 April 2021

Division 1

Motion: Academic Selection and the Transfer Test – Amendment

Proposed:

Leave out all after 'school population;' and insert:

"further notes that the right to use academic selection is currently enshrined in law; and calls on the Minister of Education to give notice that he will repeal this legal provision by 2023 and replace it with a system that has the widest support and prioritises educational excellence for all without academic selection."

Mr Daniel McCrossan
Mr Justin McNulty
Mr Matthew O'Toole

The Question was put and the Assembly divided.

Ayes: 48
Noes: 37

AYES

Ms Anderson, Dr Archibald, Ms Armstrong, Ms Bailey, Mr Blair, Mr Boylan, Ms S Bradley, Ms Bradshaw, Ms Brogan, Mr Carroll, Mr Catney, Mr Dickson, Ms Dillon, Ms Dolan, Mr Durkan, Ms Ennis, Ms Flynn, Mr Gildernew, Ms Hargey, Ms Hunter, Mr Kearney, Mrs D Kelly, Mr G Kelly, Ms Kimmins, Mrs Long, Mr Lynch, Mr Lyttle, Mr McAleer, Mr McCann, Mr McCrossan, Mr McGlone, Mr McGrath, Mr McGuigan, Mr McHugh, Ms McLaughlin, Mr McNulty, Ms Mallon, Mr Muir, Ms Mullan, Mr Murphy, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mr O'Dowd, Mrs O'Neill, Mr O'Toole, Ms Rogan, Mr Sheehan, Ms Sheerin, Miss Woods.

Tellers for the Ayes: Ms Brogan, Mr Carroll.

NOES

Dr Aiken, Mr Allen, Mr Allister, Mrs Barton, Mr Beattie, Mr Beggs, Mr M Bradley, Ms P Bradley, Mr K Buchanan, Mr T Buchanan, Mr Buckley, Ms Bunting, Mr Butler, Mrs Cameron, Mr Chambers, Mr Clarke, Mrs Dodds, Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mrs Foster, Mr Frew, Mr Givan, Mr Harvey, Mr Humphrey, Mr Irwin, Mr Lyons, Miss McIlveen, Mr Middleton, Mr Nesbitt, Mr Newton, Mr Poots, Mr Robinson, Mr Stalford, Mr Stewart, Ms Sugden, Mr Swann, Mr Weir.

Tellers for the Noes: Mr M Bradley, Mr Stalford.

The amendment was made.

The following Members' votes were cast by their notified proxy in this division:

Ms Armstrong voted for Mr Blair, Ms Bradshaw, Mr Dickson, Mrs Long, Mr Lyttle and Mr Muir.

Mr K Buchanan voted for Ms P Bradley, Mr T Buchanan, Mrs Dodds, Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mrs Foster, Mr Givan, Mr Harvey, Mr Irwin, Mr Lyons, Miss McIlveen, Mr Middleton, Mr Newton, Mr Poots, Mr Robinson, Mr Stalford [Teller, Noes] and Mr Weir.

Mr Butler voted for Mr Aiken, Mr Allen, Mrs Barton, Mr Beattie, Mr Chambers, Mr Nesbitt, Mr Stewart and Mr Swann.

Mr O'Dowd voted for Ms Anderson, Dr Archibald, Mr Boylan, Ms Brogan [Teller, Ayes], Ms Dillon, Ms Dolan, Ms Ennis, Ms Flynn, Mr Gildernew, Ms Hargey, Mr Kearney, Mr G Kelly, Ms Kimmins, Mr Lynch, Mr McAleer, Mr McCann, Mr McGuigan, Mr McHugh, Ms Mullan, Mr Murphy, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mrs O'Neill, Ms Rogan, Mr Sheehan and Ms Sheerin.

Mr O'Toole voted for Ms S Bradley, Mr Catney, Mr Durkan, Ms Hunter, Mrs D Kelly, Ms Mallon, Mr McCrossan, Mr McGlone, Mr McGrath, Ms McLaughlin and Mr McNulty.

Ms Bailey voted for Ms Sugden.

Northern Ireland Assembly

26 April 2021

Division 2

Motion: Academic Selection and the Transfer Test (As Amended)

Proposed:

That this Assembly notes the recent publication of Ulster University's Transforming Education Research Paper on Academic Selection and the Transfer Test; further notes that this is yet another report which outlines the psychological harm that academic selection causes to children; acknowledges the finding within the report that there is little evidence that social mobility is increased by academic selection; agrees with the conclusion articulated in the report that the current arrangements for school transfer at age 11 are damaging the life-chances of a large proportion of the school population; further notes that the right to use academic selection is currently enshrined in law; and calls on the Minister of Education to give notice that he will repeal this legal provision by 2023 and replace it with a system that has the widest support and prioritises educational excellence for all without academic selection.

Mr Pat Sheehan
Ms Nicola Brogan
Mr John O'Dowd

The Question was put and the Assembly divided.

Ayes: 48
Noes: 37

AYES

Ms Anderson, Dr Archibald, Ms Armstrong, Ms Bailey, Mr Blair, Mr Boylan, Ms S Bradley, Ms Bradshaw, Ms Brogan, Mr Carroll, Mr Catney, Mr Dickson, Ms Dillon, Ms Dolan, Mr Durkan, Ms Ennis, Ms Flynn, Mr Gildernew, Ms Hargey, Ms Hunter, Mr Kearney, Mrs D Kelly, Mr G Kelly, Ms Kimmins, Mrs Long, Mr Lynch, Mr Lyttle, Mr McAleer, Mr McCann, Mr McCrossan, Mr McGlone, Mr McGrath, Mr McGuigan, Mr McHugh, Ms McLaughlin, Mr McNulty, Ms Mallon, Mr Muir, Ms Mullan, Mr Murphy, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mr O'Dowd, Mrs O'Neill, Mr O'Toole, Ms Rogan, Mr Sheehan, Ms Sheerin, Miss Woods.

Tellers for the Ayes: Ms Brogan, Mr Sheehan.

NOES

Dr Aiken, Mr Allen, Mr Allister, Mrs Barton, Mr Beattie, Mr Beggs, Mr M Bradley, Ms P Bradley, Mr K Buchanan, Mr T Buchanan, Mr Buckley, Ms Bunting, Mr Butler, Mrs Cameron, Mr Chambers, Mr Clarke, Mrs Dodds, Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mrs Foster, Mr Frew, Mr Givan, Mr Harvey, Mr Humphrey, Mr Irwin, Mr Lyons, Miss McIlveen, Mr Middleton, Mr Nesbitt, Mr Newton, Mr Poots, Mr Robinson, Mr Stalford, Mr Stewart, Ms Sugden, Mr Swann, Mr Weir.

Tellers for the Noes: Mr M Bradley, Mrs Cameron.

The motion as amended was carried.

The following Members' votes were cast by their notified proxy in this division:

Ms Armstrong voted for Mr Blair, Ms Bradshaw, Mr Dickson, Mrs Long, Mr Lyttle and Mr Muir.

Mr K Buchanan voted for Ms P Bradley, Mr T Buchanan, Mrs Dodds, Mr Dunne, Mr Easton, Mrs Foster, Mr Givan, Mr Harvey, Mr Irwin, Mr Lyons, Miss McIlveen, Mr Middleton, Mr Newton, Mr Poots, Mr Robinson, Mr Stalford and Mr Weir.

Mr Butler voted for Mr Aiken, Mr Allen, Mrs Barton, Mr Beattie, Mr Beggs, Mr Chambers, Mr Nesbitt, Mr Stewart and Mr Swann.

Mr O'Dowd voted for Ms Anderson, Dr Archibald, Mr Boylan, Ms Brogan [Teller, Ayes], Ms Dillon, Ms Dolan, Ms Ennis, Ms Flynn, Mr Gildernew, Ms Hargey, Mr Kearney, Mr G Kelly, Ms Kimmins, Mr Lynch, Mr McAleer, Mr McCann, Mr McGuigan, Mr McHugh, Ms Mullan, Mr Murphy, Ms Ní Chuilín, Mrs O'Neill, Ms Rogan, Mr Sheehan [Teller, Ayes] and Ms Sheerin.

Mr O'Toole voted for Ms S Bradley, Mr Catney, Mr Durkan, Ms Hunter, Mrs D Kelly, Ms Mallon, Mr McCrossan, Mr McGlone, Mr McGrath, Ms McLaughlin and Mr McNulty.

Ms Bailey voted for Ms Sugden.

Northern Ireland Assembly

Papers Presented to the Assembly on 21 April 2021 to 26 April 2021

1. Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly

2.Bills of the Northern Ireland Assembly

3. Orders in Council

4. Publications Laid in the Northern Ireland Assembly

Director of Legal Aid Casework Annual Report for 2015-16 (Legal Services Agency)

Director of Legal Aid Casework Annual Report for 2016-17 (Legal Services Agency)

Director of Legal Aid Casework Annual Report for 2017-18 (Legal Services Agency)

Director of Legal Aid Casework Annual Report for 2018-19 (Legal Services Agency)

Director of Legal Aid Casework Annual Report for 2019-20 (Legal Services Agency)

Arts Council of Northern Ireland Annual Report and Accounts for year ended 31 March 2020 (Department for Communities)

Annual Report on Decision Making and Financial Accuracy 2019 (Department for Communities)

5. Assembly Reports

Report of the Examiner of Statutory Rules to the Assembly and the Appropriate Committees Thirty-fourth Report of Session 2020 – 2021 (NIA 94/17-22) (Examiner of Statutory Rules)

6. Statutory Rules

SR 2021/105 The Social Security (Coronavirus) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department for Communities)

SR 2021/106 The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Suspension of Liability for Wrongful Trading) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department for the Economy)

SR 2021/108 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Health)

SR 2021/109 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Amendment No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Health)

SR 2021/110 The Rates (Regional Rates) Order (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Finance)

SR 2021/111 The Rates (Small Business Hereditament Relief) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Finance)

Draft SR - The Renewables Obligation (Amendment) Order (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department for the Economy)

For information only

Explanatory Memorandum for SR 2021/93 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Health)

Explanatory Memorandum for SR 2021/97 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Health)

Explanatory Memorandum for SR 2021/99 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Health)

Explanatory Memorandum for SR 2021/102 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel, Operator Liability and Information to Passengers) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Health)

Explanatory Memorandum for SR 2021/108 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Health)

7. Written Ministerial Statements

8. Consultation Documents

9. Departmental Publications

Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (Amendment) Scheme (Northern Ireland) 2021 (Department of Finance)

10. Agency Publications

11. Westminster Publications

12. Miscellaneous Publications

PROXY VOTING NOTICES – MONDAY 26 APRIL 2021

The following Members notified the Speaker, under Standing Order 112, that they wished to avail of proxy voting arrangements for the sitting on Monday 26 April 2021:

Steve Aiken

Gerry Kelly

Andy Allen

Liz Kimmins

Martina Anderson

Naomi Long

Caoimhe Archibald

Gordon Lyons

Rosemary Barton

Séan Lynch

Doug Beattie

Chris Lyttle

Roy Beggs

Nichola Mallon

John Blair

Declan McAleer

Cathal Boylan

Fra McCann

Paula Bradley

Daniel McCrossan

Sinead Bradley

Patsy McGlone

Paula Bradshaw

Colin McGrath

Nicola Brogan

Philip McGuigan

Thomas Buchanan

Maolíosa McHugh

Pat Catney

Michelle McIlveen

Alan Chambers

Sinead McLaughlin

Stewart Dickson

Justin McNulty

Linda Dillon

Gary Middleton

Diane Dodds

Andrew Muir

Jemma Dolan

Karen Mullan

Gordon Dunne

Conor Murphy

Mark Durkan

Mike Nesbitt

Alex Easton

Robin Newton

Sinead Ennis

Carál Ní Chuilín

Arlene Foster

Michelle O’Neill

Órlaithí Flynn

Edwin Poots

Colm Gildernew

George Robinson

Paul Givan

Emma Rogan

Deirdre   Hargey

Pat Sheehan

Harry Harvey

Emma Sheerin

Cara Hunter

Christopher Stalford

William Irwin

John Stewart

Declan Kearney

Robin Swann

Dolores Kelly

Peter Weir

 

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