NI Assembly TV

Question Time: Education Monday 15 March 2021

Education Minister, Peter Weir, answers Members questions on 15 March 2021. Read the Official Report (Hansard)

Each of the questions answered have been chaptered in the video to help you find them more easily.

Chapters / Questions

00:00 – Schools: Sporting Activities

1. Mr McGrath asked the Minister of Education when he intends to permit the return of sporting activities to schools.

07:11 – Bullying in Schools: Zero Tolerance

2. Mr Buckley asked the Minister of Education how the Addressing Bullying in Schools Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 will contribute to a zero-tolerance approach to bullying across the sector.

13:56 – Smaller Class Sizes

3. Mr Carroll asked the Minister of Education what recommendations he has considered in relation to smaller class sizes post COVID-19.

24:26 – Schools: Capital Projects in Foyle

4. Ms Anderson asked the Minister of Education for a breakdown of major capital projects and contracts grant-aided by his Department in the Foyle constituency since March 2017.

27:58 – BTEC: Irish-medium Provision

5. Mr Lynch asked the Minister of Education for an update on the provision of BTEC qualifications through the medium of Irish.

Topical Questions

31:08 – Relationships and Sexuality Education

T1. Mr Lyttle asked the Minister of Education whether he agrees that standardised relationships and sexuality education (RSE) is fundamental to promoting appropriate behaviour and to preventing serious sexual offences against women and girls and to state the action that he has taken to implement the Gillen review recommendations, including a school sexual offences awareness campaign, particularly in light of the fact that the outpouring of pain and anger in response to the heinous murder of Sarah Everard and in relation to male violence against women and girls has been palpable.

34:48 – Face-to-face Teaching

T2. Mr Middleton asked the Minister of Education whether, at tomorrow’s Executive meeting, he will urge his ministerial colleagues to ensure that children can go back to school as soon as possible, given that many parents who have children in P4 and above are very much in the dark about when their children will return to face-to-face teaching.

37:39 – Holywood Primary School: New Build

T3. Mr Easton asked the Minister of Education for an update on a potential new build for Holywood Primary School.

40:12 – Portadown College: New-build Plans

T4. Mr Buckley asked the Minister of Education for an update on the new-build plans for Portadown College, given that although the college is an educational jewel in the crown in Upper Bann, its current building is long past its best, with significant infrastructure issues that affect its ability to provide educational excellence, albeit a new-build scheme was proposed as far back as 2006, with a debate in the House in 2009, when the Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, said that it was estimated that a replacement school would be completed by 2012-13.

43:31 – Children: Return to School

T5. Mr Clarke asked the Minister of Education what he believes would be best for children in relation to returning them to school, their education and their mental health, given that many people, whether the public, politicians or teachers, have offered their opinion.