Present: Mr D Kennedy (Chairman)
Mr S Wilson (Deputy Chairman)
Mrs P Lewsley
Mr B McElduff
Mr G McHugh
Mr K Robinson

Apologies:Mrs E Bell
Mr T Benson
Mr O Gibson

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

The Committee met at 10.27 a.m. in private session. Members welcomed Mr Conor McGinn to the meeting. Mr McGinn, as part of his work experience, was shadowing Mr Kennedy.

1. Minutes of Meeting of Thursday 19 October

The minutes of the meeting of Thursday 19 October 2000 were agreed.


2. Matters Arising from the Minutes of Proceedings

  1. A draft Committee response to the Environment Committee's inquiry into home to school transport had been circulated. Members agreed the response, noting that it focused on the issues and concerns discussed with Education and Library Board officials at a previous meeting.


3. Chairman's Business

    1. The Chairman advised members that he intended to invite the Minister for Education to the Committee meeting on 9 November to discuss the draft Programme for Government that had been announced on 24 October. The Clerk was instructed to prepare a summary of the education issues for consideration.
    2. The Chairman informed members that the Minister for Education had responded regarding the proposed consultation paper on School Performance Tables. Members noted that the comments made by the Committee on the format and content had, in the main, been accepted and the consultation paper revised accordingly. Members agreed to discuss the handling of the consultation exercise at the Committee meeting on 9 November. They also agreed that the Minister for Education should attend the Committee meeting scheduled for 14 December to discuss the outcome of the consultation exercise.
    3. The Chairman informed the Committee that he and the Deputy Chairman would meet with representatives of the New Opportunities Fund on Monday 6 November at 1.30 p.m. and invited members to attend if they were available.

Mr K Robinson joined the meeting at 10.35 a.m.

  1. The Chairman advised members that the Committee response to Phase 1 of the CCEA Review of the Northern Ireland Curriculum had been published and copies were available.
  2. The Chairman referred to correspondence that had been received by all members of the Committee. The Committee agreed that, given the current work schedule, a visit was not possible but a meeting in Parliament Buildings with the Chairman and any available Committee members should be arranged. The Clerk was instructed to respond accordingly, in writing, on behalf of all the members.


4. Discussion of the Format for the Public Session

The Committee, in preparing for the public session, discussed the terms of reference of the Review Body on Post Primary Education and the issues they wished to raise with the Chairman and Secretary.


5. Presentation by Mr Gerry Burns, Chairman of the Review Body on Post Primary Education - Public Evidence Session

The Chairman welcomed Mr Gerry Burns, Chairman of the Review Body on Post Primary Education and Mr Alan McVeigh, Secretary. Mr Burns gave oral evidence on the Review Body's terms of reference and it's proposed handling of the consultation exercise. This was followed by a detailed question and answer session. Hansard recorded the evidence for publication in due course.

The Chairman thanked Mr Burns and Mr McVeigh for an interesting discussion and they left the meeting.

The Committee went into private session.

Members agreed that the Chairman would write to the Minister for Education seeking clarification regarding who was responsible for appointing the Consultative Forum/Educational Advisers and concerning the issue of significant submissions. The Chairman would also inform the Minister that the Committee would wish to discuss these matters further at the meeting on 9 November.


6. Presentation on the Department of Education's Budget Allocation

The Chairman welcomed Mr David Woods and Mr Brian Morrow, officials from the Department of Education, to the meeting. Mr Woods and Mr Morrow outlined the Department's provisional budget outcome for 2001/02, highlighted the bids met or partly met and summarised the overall position. A detailed discussion of the issues, including the position regarding the 'Chancellor's money' took place.

Mrs P Lewsley left the meeting at 12.27 p.m.

The Chairman thanked Mr Woods and Mr Morrow for a very useful and informative discussion and they left the meeting.

The Chairman reminded members that the Committee had been asked to respond to the Chairman of the Finance and Personnel Committee on the Department of Education's proposed budget allocations by 10 November indicating the priority to be attached to each of the budget headings. Members agreed to provide the Clerk with comments/views by 6 November. The Clerk would then prepare a draft Committee response for consideration at the meeting on 9 November.


7. Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Thursday 9 November at 10.15 a.m. in Room 135, Parliament Buildings when the Minister for Education will attend to discuss the Programme for Government.


The meeting closed at 12.45 p.m.

Committee Chairman

November 2000

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