The Assembly website notification of today’s meeting of the Education Committee warns that “Please note these timings are indicative”. However the Education minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitríona Ruane, took the 10.00am-11.00am scheduling literally and, when the alloted hour was up, abruptly left the meeting announcing that she had “another engagement to attend” – that hour included an opening statement by the minister which lasted more than 20mins. The Committee members might have wanted to ask more questions about some of those contentious proposals.. or, indeed, those “cost-neutral” ones, but the minister had left the building.. As the BBC report states
In December, Ms Ruane was criticised for a lack of detail in how the new transfer process would operate, but she said at the time her statement was merely an “early briefing”.
The minister promised to bring more detailed proposals to the assembly in the new year, but education correspondent Maggie Taggart said “there was little light shed on the future for post-primary pupils” during Thursday’s meeting.
And as Mark Devenport notes in his blog
Safe to say, after this somewhat confrontational performance, relations between the Minister and the Committee cannot be said to have improved.
Adds Additional quotes here