Dáil Éireann - Volume 537 - 12 June, 2001
Written Answers. - Committee on Disadvantage.
Ms Shortall Ms Shortall
66. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason for the long delay in establishing the long promised committee on disadvantage; the proposed terms of reference; and if he will provide details of its composition. [17137/01]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): As part of a systematic approach to progressing the provisions of the Education Act, 1998, I signed the Commencement Order for section 32 of the Education Act, 1998, dealing with the establishment of the Educational Disadvantage Committee, in December last.
I subsequently announced on 12 February 2001 that the Educational Disadvantage Committee would be chaired by Professor Áine Hyland, Vice-President and Professor of Education, University College Cork.
In accordance with Section 32(1) of the Act, I have consulted patrons, national associations of parents, recognised school management organisations, recognised trade unions and other organisations which have aims and objectives or experience in the area of tackling disadvantage and have requested potential nominees willing to serve on the committee. The closing date for receipt of nominations was 30 April 2001, but not all organisations had responded by that date.
I am currently finalising arrangements regarding the composition of the committee and I intend to announce the full membership of the committee shortly. The final size and composition of the committee will be structured with a view to ensuring that it can do its work in the most effective way possible.
The main terms of reference of the committee are to advise me on policies and strategies to be adopted to identify and correct educational disadvantage.
I have also decided to set up a larger forum to address educational disadvantage. This forum, which will have a broader representation than the committee, will meet twice a year. It will have a vital role in advising the committee on broader issues relating to disadvantage and exclusion from the full benefits of education.
Dáil Éireann 537 Written Answers. Committee on Disadvantage.