Mr D Kennedy (Chairman)
Mr S Wilson (Deputy Chairman)
Mr J Fee
Mr T Gallagher
Mr T Hamilton
Mr B McElduff

Mrs E Bell
Mr O Gibson
Ms P Lewsley
Mr K Robinson

In Attendance:
Mrs C Darrah
Mrs V Artt
Ms S O'Neill

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


  1. Minutes of the Meeting of 13 December 2001.

The minutes of the meeting of 13 December were agreed.


2.  Matters Arising


    1. The Terms of Reference and Membership of the Review Groups on the Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and the School Support Programme had been circulated. The Committee noted that the Minister had undertaken to consult with the Committee in due course regarding any proposed changes.


    1. Copies of the Chairman's letter to the Minister of Education regarding a full report of the North South Ministerial Council Education Sectoral meeting and a request to discuss the issues had been circulated for information.


    1. The Committee noted that, as agreed at the last meeting, the Chairman had written to the Minister of Education requesting information regarding the outcome of his meetings with Management and Teachers' sides about the Unions' call for an independent inquiry into pay and conditions of service.


    1. Copies of the Chairman's letter to the Minister of Education requesting further information regarding the fatal school accident in Fermanagh had been circulated. The Committee agreed that research on state law in the United States of America regarding the overtaking of school buses while pupils are alighting and information on the position in European countries regarding bus drivers alighting with pupils should be requested.


    1. Copies of a response from the Minister of Education to the Committee's request for clarification concerning the maintenance of pay differentials for Principals and Vice-Principals had been circulated. The Committee noted that agreement had not yet been reached on appropriate differentials and resolved that it wished to be kept informed of progress.


  1. Members noted that the Assembly debate on the Committee Report on the Proposals for a Common Funding Formula would take place on Tuesday 15 January 2002. A press release highlighting the main recommendations would be issued to coincide with the debate.


 3.  Chairman's Business


    1. Copies of a letter from the Ulster Teachers' Union regarding the delay in the payment of Threshold Awards to teachers had been circulated. The Committee agreed to write to the Minister of Education to request clarification of the situation and an explanation of the delay.
    1. The Chairman advised the Committee that he had received correspondence from the Minister of Education giving details of proposed changes to the existing LMS Formulae for 2002/03 to facilitate the implementation of the Common Funding Formula in due course. The Committee noted that the main proposed change was to return to the use of the enrolment in the previous census instead of including an element of the projected enrolment and that this proposal had received widespread support in the consultation exercise. After a short discussion the Committee agreed to highlight to the Department of Education its recommendation that a rolling 3-year average of enrolment might provide a more appropriate basis for funding for any Formula Factors which use a per capita indicator.


    1. The Chairman informed the Committee that the Headmaster of Fivemiletown High School and Community College had written requesting a meeting with the Committee to discuss the substandard state of the school buildings. Members agreed that the Clerk should arrange for representatives to meet with the Chairman and Deputy Chairman and other available members to discuss this matter.


    1. The Chairman advised the Committee that the Committee for Trade, Industry and Investment had written regarding its Inquiry on Tourism in Northern Ireland. After a short discussion the Committee agreed that, as the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry did not relate to education, it would not submit a response.


    1. An invitation to all Committee members to attend the launch of the Department of Education's work in implementing and delivering European Union Structural Funds on Wednesday 16 January had been received. Members agreed to inform the Clerk if they were able to attend the event.


    1. The Chairman reminded the Committee of the invitation from the Primary Principals Association to attend a meeting in January. Members agreed to inform the Clerk if they wished to attend.

Mr Wilson joined the meeting at 10.45 a.m.


  1. The Chairman advised the Committee that two tickets had been received for a concert to be given by the Celtic Lyre Orchestra. The orchestra had been formed from 'Special Needs' residents and carers from the Camphill Communities which was a registered charity working mainly with children and adults with a learning disability. The Committee agreed that a member should represent it at the event.


4.  Discussion of the Committee Work Programme

The Committee discussed the draft Work Programme which had been circulated and noted the issues to be considered before the Easter recess. The Committee also agreed that it would await the outcome of the consultation exercise on Compulsory Nutritional Standards for Schools before considering the issue in detail.

 5.  Date and Time of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee was scheduled for Thursday 17 January 2002 at 10.15 a.m. in Room 135, Parliament Buildings when the Minister of Education was due to attend to discuss the consultation process on the Report of the Review Body on Post-Primary Education.

 6.  Discussion of the Findings of the Final Report of the Investigation into the Errors in the Results of the Northern Ireland GCSE Higher Tier Home Economics Results - Public Sessio

The Chairman welcomed the representatives of the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment, Mr Gavin Boyd, Chief Executive, Dr Alistair Wallace, Head of Education Services and Mr Gerry Crossan, Head of Corporate Services, to the meeting. Mr Boyd presented the findings of the Final Report of the Investigation into the Errors in the Results of the Northern Ireland GCSE Higher Tier Home Economics Examination. This was followed by a question and answer session. The main issues covered included:

    • the background to the investigation;
    • the possible cause of the error;
    • the findings of the investigation;
    • the agreed action points to prevent a similar occurrence in the future;
    • the proposed improvements to computer security;
    • the proposals for dissemination of the report to all those involved; and
    • the costs of implementing the agreed recommendations.

The Chairman thanked the representatives from CCEA for attending the meeting and for a very useful and frank discussion in the public domain and they left the meeting.

The Committee was adjourned at 11.55 a.m.

Committee Chairman
January 2002

Find MLAs

Find your MLAs

Locate MLAs


News and Media Centre

Visit the News and Media Centre

Read press releases, watch live and archived video

Find out more

Follow the Assembly

Follow the Assembly on our social media channels

Keep up-to-date with the Assembly

Find out more

Useful Contacts

Contact us

Contacts for different parts of the Assembly

Contact Us