HC Deb 05 December 1983 vol 50 cc75-6W
Mr. Peter Robinson

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many of the recommendations made by the Northern Ireland Assembly Education Committee in its various reports have been accepted and acted upon by the Government; and if he will list the recommendations that have been accepted;

(2) how many statutory and administrative rules have been commented upon by the Northern Ireland Assembly Education Committee; and which of these comments have been accepted by the Government:

(3) how many reports have been issued by the Education Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly; and what subjects have been covered by these reports.

Mr. Scott

The Northern Ireland Assembly Education Committee issued one report up to 31 October 1983, on rationalisation of schools; of the recommendations requiring action the following were accepted in full or in part and appropriate action has been taken.

  • —that consultations with local communities must always be a major feature of development proposals;
  • —that discretionary posts will be maintained in small schools which boards have decided to retain;
  • —that the Department should consider amending article IIA of the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 1972 to provide wider consultative arrangements;
  • —that the Department should clarify the statistical basis upon which enrolment projections are made;
  • —that the full nature of the overfunding in Belfast should be clarified;
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  • —that savings which arise from rationalisation should be retained in the education budget and the Department should specify ways in which they have been used for the benefit of the education service;
  • —that the Department should declare that the small controlled primary schools in border areas will not close and that they will be given support;
  • —that teacher training arrangements should make more provision in relation to the teaching of multiple age groups;
  • —that the Department should seek the agreement of all the authorities to hold an inquiry into the local secondary provision in Belfast.

No comments have been offered on any of the statutory rules which have been submitted by the Department of Education to the Assembly.