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Whether parliamentary approval was given to the funding for the festivals in West Belfast, New Lodge and Ardoyne in 2003; 2004; and 2005; if so, when and how such approval was given; and why similar funding was not provided for the Ulster-Scots Agency in 2004 and 2005. [HL1726]
Lord Rooker: Resources made available by DCAL and DSD to fund festivals are part of the departments' annual budgets approved by Parliament in the annual budget order. The Ulster-Scots Agency is not a festival.
Lord Rooker: There are no plans to update these particular publications. Up-to-date information on all Northern Ireland sponsored non-departmental public
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bodies, including advisory and tribunal, can be found on an online searchable database, accessible through the Cabinet Office website at www.civilservice.gov.uk/thefutureofthecivilservice/agenciesandpublicbodies/index.asp.
How much funding has been provided by the European Union PEACE II programme to (a) victims' groups, and (b) ex-prisoners' groups; what were the groups; how much each group received; and for what purposes. [HL1783]
Lord Rooker: The total amount of PEACE II funding allocated to groups which assisted (a) victims is £10,924,161, and (b) ex-prisoners is £7,072,324. Details of the projects funded have been placed in the Library.
|Gross Disposable Household Income 2003||£ per head|
Whether the Northern Ireland Department of Education has appointed a strategic advisory group to provide advice on new arrangements for post-primary education; if so, when the group was appointed; what are its terms of reference; who are its members; and what are the relevant qualifications of each member. [HL1960]
Lord Rooker: The first meeting of the strategic advisory group took place in June 2004. The group provides advice at a strategic level to the Department of Education on the implementation of the new arrangements for post-primary education and related matters. Key educational interests were each invited to nominate persons holding senior positions who have
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detailed knowledge and experience across a wide range of educational issues, and with extensive experience of strategic thinking and working with other organisations on strategic matters. I have arranged for the full terms of reference of the group, its membership and the organisations represented, to be placed the in Library.
Whether the Northern Ireland Department of Education has appointed a project management group to determine curricular arrangements for post-primary education; when the group was appointed; what are its terms of reference; who are its members; and what are the relevant qualifications of each member. [HL1962]
Lord Rooker: The Government have not appointed such a group. In June 2004, the Government accepted proposals from the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) for revised primary and post-primary curriculum arrangements. Officers of CCEA and the education and library boards have jointly set up an informal partnership management board (PMB) to plan and co-ordinate the implementation of the revised curriculum.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Rooker on 30 June (WA 45), how, in respect of major post-primary reform, new arrangements will be determined locally to take account of local needs, wishes and circumstances, and collaboration organised so as to minimise disruption to the school day, given that there is to be no infrastructural audit or determination of costings in relation to transport and supervisory support. [HL1963]
The department has allocated additional funds to the education and library boards, the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools, Comhairle na Gaelscola-ochta and the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education to enable them to support and facilitate schools in their respective sectors. This funding will be used to assist with the development of collaborative arrangements with neighbouring schools, FE colleges and other providers toprovide access to the entitlement framework, and generally to support schools in preparing for implementation of all aspects of the new post-primary arrangements. The department is in correspondence with the Governing Bodies Association regarding support for the voluntary grammar school sector.
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The department issued initial guidance on the entitlement framework on 15 June 2005, and further guidance on practical issues associated with implementation of the entitlement framework is scheduled for publication in December 2005.
Stranmillis University College was established by the Colleges of Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 as a college of education, managed by a governing body appointed by the Department for Employment and Learning.
What is the status of Stranmillis Teacher Training College, Belfast; whether there are plans to change this; whether Protestant clergy have been removed from its board of governors; if so, why; and who is the current chairman of its board of governors. [HL1958]
Lord Rooker: The Colleges of Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 incorporated Stranmillis University College as a legally independent higher education institution accountable to a corporate governing body. There are no plans to change the status of Stranmillis University College at present.
Under the transitional arrangements within the instrument of government, provided for in the Colleges of Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2005, the Church representatives will be appointed to the governing body until the end of their original term of appointment. Once this term of appointment expires, these positions will be filled by a public appointments process, using the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments Northern Ireland (OCPA NI) guidelines.
The Department for Employment and Learning is unable to reserve places on the new governing body for representatives of the three main Protestant Churches once the transitional arrangements are completed. The combined effect of Section 6 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Northern Ireland Act 2000 is that an Order in Council cannot contain a provision which
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discriminates against a class of persons on the grounds of religious belief or political opinion. Furthermore, Section 24 of the Northern Ireland Act means that no department has the power to make or approve any instrument which discriminates against a class of person on the grounds of religious belief.
The current chairperson of the governing body of Stranmillis University College is Mr Stephen Costello, who was appointed by the Department for Employment and Learning, through a public appointments process.
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