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

Mr T Hamilton

In Attendance:
Mrs C Darrah 
Mrs J McMurray
Miss J Adair
Ms C Angelone

The Committee met at 10.30 a.m. in private session.

1. Minutes of the Meeting of 25 January 2001

The minutes of the meeting of 25 January 2001 were agreed with paragraph 4 (v) amended to read " a reconciliation, provided by the Department of Education, of the draft and final budget figures for 2001/02 had been circulated".

2. Matters Arising from the Minutes of Proceedings

  1. A programme outlining details of the Committee visit to Germany from 6 February to 9 February was circulated.
  2. The Chairman advised members that possible dates for the proposedCommittee visit to Scotland were being identified.
  3. Clarification on the funding arrangements for party staff who accompanied members on visits had been circulated.
  4. The Committee response on the Department of Education's proposals for the Review of the LMS Funding Formula had been circulated.
  5. A list of Assembly Researchers and the specific areas of research each covered had been circulated.

3. Chairman's Business

  1. The Chairman reminded members, who were not participating in the visit to Germany, of the invitation to attend a briefing on the 'Unlocking Creativity' report on Thursday 8 February. Information on the briefing would be circulated to members unable to attend.
  2. A note of the meeting with school principals from the Craigavon area to discuss the Dickson Plan system of post-primary education would be circulated for members' information in the near future.

4. Discussion of Proposed Statutory Rule

The Department of Education had, as requested at the meeting on 18 January, provided the Committee with further information and a copy of the draft Statutory Rule which would provide for the membership, composition and tenure of the 28 member General Teaching Council and the election of its 14 teacher members.

Following a discussion of the regulations, the Committee agreed that further clarification was necessary and instructed the Clerk to make arrangements for officials from the Department of Education to attend the next meeting of the Committee.

5. Discussion with Mr Gerry Burns on the Review of Post-Primary Education (Public Session)

The Chairman welcomed Mr Gerry Burns, Chairman of the Review Body on Post-Primary Education, and Mr Alan McVeigh, Secretary to the meeting. Mr Burns outlined the progress on the Review to date and the main issues/themes being highlighted in the written submissions and public meetings. This was followed by a detailed question and answer session covering the timescale of the Review; the visits to schools undertaken by the Review Body; the format of the public meetings; the composition and role of the Education Consultative Forum; the role of the panel of educational advisers and research being undertaken; the consideration given to systems of post-primary education in other countries; and the need to ensure that all interests have an equal opportunity to be heard.

The Chairman thanked Mr Burns and Mr McVeigh for a useful and informative discussion and they left the meeting.

Mr Gallagher left the meeting at 12.00 noon
The meeting adjourned at 12.00 noon and reconvened in public session at 12.10 p.m.

6. Discussion of the 'Myths & Reality' Report by the Working Group on Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety had invited the Committee to comment on the draft Report 'Myths & Reality' by the Working Group on Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood. Research on the issues highlighted in the Report had been circulated.

Following a short discussion, the Committee agreed to invite officials from the Department of Education to attend the next meeting of the Committee to discuss the education issues and recommendations in the consultation paper.

Mr Robinson left the meeting at 12.17 p.m.

7. Matters Arising from the Minutes of Proceedings (continued in private session)

  1. A draft Committee response on the School Capital 2001/02 Building Programme had been circulated. Following discussion, members agreed the response.

8. Any Other Business

  1. The Clerk was asked to investigate the position regarding the installation of television monitors in Committee meeting rooms.

9. Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee was due to be held on Monday 5 February 2001 to discuss the Department of Education's draft Public Service Agreement. In light of other business, members instructed the Clerk to discuss the position with the Department of Education with a view to holding the meeting on Tuesday 13 February 2001.

The meeting closed at 12.22 p.m.

Committee Chairman
February 2001

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