“The Executive has agreed..”

According to the official statement following the first Northern Ireland Executive meeting for 154 days.

The Executive also agreed the establishment of the Education and Skills Authority (ESA) which is a key part of the Review of Public Administration and heralds a wholesale reform and modernisation of the education system.

Except that the original target date set for the ESA to be operational was 1 April 2008 – as noted when the Chief Executive Designate was appointed in December 2006. Then, in July 2007 the Education Minister, Sinn Féin’s Caitríona Ruane, announced a new deadline – agreed by the Executive.

“The Executive has agreed that I should progress my proposal to establish the Education and Skills Authority (ESA) and have it operational by April 2009 at the latest.”

So what they appear to have actually done yesterday, was to give the Minister an extension on that deadline – to 1 January 2010. BBC report here.