Mr Mervyn Storey
Chairperson, Committee for Education
Ms Caitríona Ruane
Minister of Education
Department of Education
2 March 2009
Thank you for your letter of 23 February 2009 confirming that you will meet the Committee for Education to discuss transfer guidance as requested in my
4 February 2009 letter to you. I understand you have also agreed to discuss and address the Committee’s proposal and points set out in my 20 February 2009 letter to you, alongside the discussion on Transfer 2010 Guidance. As you requested, the meeting will take place on Tuesday 10 March 2009 commencing 10.00am and finishing at approximately 11.30am – in Room 21, Parliament Buildings.
The Committee sees this as a very important meeting because clearly there are widespread and growing concerns with an unregulated system of transfer. The Committee asked you to give its proposal ‘full and urgent consideration’, reflecting of course that time is short – for current P6 pupils, their parents and teachers – to agree an interim compromise arrangement.
You will recall that in my letter of 6 October 2008, following your meeting with the Committee on 1 October 2008, I highlighted the issue of the lack of papers from you in advance of that meeting (and indeed papers in good time in advance of some earlier meetings). This resulted in the Committee agreeing to request you to provide appropriate papers in adequate time in advance of all future meetings, so that discussions would be more productive for all. Clearly there will be legislative, policy and perhaps administrative points on the Committee’s proposal for an interim compromise transfer arrangement. The Committee would find it most helpful if these and other points you wish to bring to the Committee for this meeting, could be set out in papers and forwarded to the Committee in adequate time before 10 March 2009.