Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 1999/2000

Date: 22 June 2000

Present: 
Mr D Kennedy (Chairman)
Mr S Wilson (Deputy Chairman)
Mrs E Bell
Mr T Benson
Mr J Fee
Mr T Gallagher
Mr O Gibson
Ms P Lewsley
Mr B McElduff
Mr G McHugh
Mr K Robinson

In Attendance: 
Mrs G Ardis
Ms C Angelone
Mrs C Darrah
Miss L Tracey
Miss J Adair

The Committee met at 10.33 a.m.

1. Minutes of Meeting of 15 June 2000 (Private Session)

The minutes of the meeting of 15 June 2000 were agreed.

Mr T Gallagher joined the meeting at 10.34 a.m.

2. Matters Arising

  1. The Chairman informed members that a reply from the Offices of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to his letter of 3 February 2000 regarding North South Ministerial Conference meetings should be received in the next few days. The reply will be circulated to members.
  2. A paper on the Capital Building Programme Process, including the responses from the five Education and Library Boards and CCMS, had been circulated. The Chairman advised members that there would be an opportunity to discuss this after the presentation.
  3. The Department of Education had apologised for the delay in responding to the Chairman's letter to the Minister requesting an up-date on key issues. A response was expected next week and would be circulated. The Chairman also advised members that he had recently received a letter from the Minister requesting the Committee's initial views on the outline for the Programme of Government. Copies of the letter will be distributed and it will be placed on the agenda for discussion at the next meeting of the Committee. The Minister had requested a response by 7 July.
  4. Responses had been received from the Department of Education and the Joint Negotiating Council on behalf of the Education and Library Boards regarding the payment of a retainer fee to term-time staff. Copies of the letters had been circulated together with information concerning the costs involved.
  5. The Chairman informed members that he, the Deputy Chairman and other Committee members had met on Tuesday 20 June with representatives of the Primary Principals' Association to hear their case for enhanced funding for primary schools. Copies of the information provided by the Association and a press release issued by the Chairman after the meeting had been circulated. A note of the meeting will be distributed to members in the near future.
  6. The letters to the Department of Education, the five Education and Library Boards and CCMS on their draft Equality Schemes were issued. The Chairman advised members that the Department had replied thanking the Committee for the helpful and constructive comments which they intended to take full account of in revising their Equality Scheme.
  7. A Committee response to Mr Molloy, Chairman of the Committee for Finance and Personnel, regarding Public Expenditure 2000/01 and End Year Flexibility had been issued. The Chairman informed members that he had received a copy of Mr Molloy's letter to the Minister of Finance and Personnel, Mr Mark Durkan, which included the Committee's bid. Copies of the letter will be circulated to members.

At 10.40 a.m. Mr B McElduff joined the meeting.

3. Presentation by the Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (Public Session)

Mr J Fee joined the meeting at 10.43 a.m.

The Chairman welcomed Mr Alan Lennon, Chairman, Mr Gavin Boyd, Chief Executive, Mr Allistair Walker, Head of Educational Services and Ms Carmel Gallagher, Development Manager (ages 4 - 14) from CCEA. They gave a presentation on the NI Curriculum Review proposals.

Ms P Lewsley left the meeting at 11.25 a.m.

The presentation was followed by a question and answer session. The main issues covered included the rationale behind the Review, the Review process, the results of the consultation exercise, the possible resource implications, assessment and accountability issues, possible implementation difficulties and the implications for teachers' morale and motivation.

Mr J Fee and Mrs E Bell left the meeting at 11.58 a.m. Mrs E Bell rejoined the meeting at 12 noon.

The presentation and question and answer session was recorded by Hansard and will be published at a later date.

The Chairman thanked the CCEA officials for a very informative presentation and they left the meeting.

Mr Gallagher, Mr McHugh, Mr Gibson and Mrs Bell left the meeting at 12.15 p.m.

4. Chairman's Business (Private Session)

  1. Following a short discussion on the presentation the Committee resolved that:
  2. Members will submit written views/comments on the NI Curriculum Review proposals to the Committee Clerk by 5.00 p.m. on Monday 26 June.
  3. The Clerk will provide a summary of the views/comments received before the next meeting of the Committee.
  4. Members will agree a procedure for handling the Committee response on this issue at the meeting on Thursday 29 June.
    Mrs Bell rejoined the meeting at 12.20 p.m.
  5. The Chairman advised members that he had attended a Liaison meeting of Committee Chairpersons on Wednesday 21 June. Issues discussed included co-ordination between Committees on areas of mutual interest, the problem of Committee meetings clashing, staffing and the appointment of Special Advisers.
  6. The Committee agreed the Chairman's proposal that representatives from the Education and Library Boards and CCMS should be invited to attend the next meeting of the Committee to discuss the Capital Building Programme Process and Timetable.
  7. The Chairman advised members that arrangements had been made for him to meet with representatives of Principals of Secondary Schools experiencing funding difficulties on Wednesday 28 June at 11.00 a.m. He invited other Committee members to join him at the meeting if available. The Clerk was asked to circulate further details of the representatives as soon as possible.
  8. The Chairman informed members that the Minister for Education had responded to his letter of 1 June regarding the flying of the Union Flag. Copies of the response had been circulated.

5. Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 29 June 2000 at 10.30 a.m. in Room 135, Parliament Buildings.

6. Any Other Business

  1. The Committee agreed that it would only meet during the summer recess at the call of the Chairman.
  2. Mrs Bell asked the Clerk to obtain a copy of the Education and Employment Select Committee Report on Early Years Education.

The meeting closed at 12.26 p.m.

MR DANNY KENNEDY
Committee Chairman

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