Education Minister John O'Dowd has taken part in his second Twitter Q&A.
Minister O'Dowd answered 29 questions over an hour on a range of topics. The full transcript of the Q&A is available below.
Question 1 from @he4therw4t5on
#AskDE ask the minister if he would instruct DE to actually ask teachers,principals,schools what they need? #valueourprofessionalism
#AskDE ETI chief inspector highlighted leadership as an area 4 improvement in schools.why is support 4 heads so poor in NI? #keytosuccess
@he4therw4t5on Primary Teaching Principal Release Time also allows two days/week to focus on leadership, management & admin duties #AskDE
Question 2 from @Gary_NI
Why are pupils still being segregated? This is bad economics and anything but a shared future. #AskDE
@Gary_NI Parents have right to state type of ed they wish for their child, faith-based or not. Schools provision based on demand #AskDE
Question 3 from @cas_ni
nijobfinder.co.uk lists 750+ programming jobs weekly. What will the Minister do to increase Computer Science in schools #askDE
@cas_ni I’m keen for pupils to have access to computer science. Curriculum gives schools flexibility to provide it if demand exists #AskDE
Question 4 from @the_pj88
@niexecutive ca bhfuil na postanna do muinteoiri nua? Ta mo chailin ag fanacht bliain go leith ar la oibre amhain i scoil ar bith. #askde
Translation - Where are the jobs for new teachers? My girlfriend is waiting a year and a half and hasn’t had a day’s work in any school.
@the_pj88 Plean le múinteoirí nua-cháilithe a fhostú le cur le litearthacht agus uimhearthacht á phlé. Eolas ón RO gan mhoill #ASkDE
Translation - Details of plan to employ newly qualified teachers to boost literacy and numeracy being worked out. DE will advise ASAP
Question 5 from @AaronECarson
Why is the Dickson plan in Lurgan being altered what's the benefits of joining 3 good schools. Surely teachers will lose jobs #AskDE
@AaronECarson Area planning will point way forward. No decisions made yet, consultation open until tomorrow: ow.ly/eGYRa #AskDE
Question 6 from @he4ther4t5on
#askde ask the minister y there hasnt been enough progress towards"integrated"education in NI?good friday agreement #sharedorsharedoutfuture
@he4therw4t5on I support parental choice and will aim to provide integrated schools where demand is clear #AskDE
Question 7 from @EFCCG
#AskDE What role can social enterprise play in generating entrepreneurs that contribute to local economy whilst still in education?
@EFCCG Social enterprise important part of economy & pupils can learn Business Studies to encourage entrepreneurship from young age #AskDE
Question 8 from @Glenbhoy67
#AskDE-John, what steps will you take to assist newly qualified teachers in obtaining necessary teaching experience/employment?
@glenbhoy I’m keen to give new teachers as much support as poss. We have cut pay for retirees as subs & continue to explore options #AskDE
Question 9 from @AndreaGibson7
#AskDE How do you envisage funding future research in youth work? How can effective academic programmes be developed without research?
@andreagibson Youth work integral part of education. New policy open for consultation now, share your views at ow.ly/eJHbh #AskDE
Question 10 from @stephenpglenn
What does the Minister intend to do to prevent homophobic bullying in our schools? #AskDE
@stephenpglenn Homophobic bullying is wrong. ALL bullying is wrong. Every school must have a policy on tackling it. #AskDE
Question 11 from @the_pj88
#askde why haven't you regulated uniform pricing? Passing buck onto boards of governors while families suffer is not good enough. Act now.
@the_pj88 DE guidance clear: schools should consider VFM & not disadvantage pupils from poorer backgrounds by overpricing uniforms #AskDE
follow up question to 11 from @the_pj88
@niexecutive I appreciate that, but when they are flouting the guidance to the extent they are, you can't just say "we tried" #askde
@the_pj88 If guidance continues to be ignored then I will look at introducing legislation to curb uniform costs #AskDE
Question 12 from @jamesconolly16
@niexecutive #AskDe why is the bible taught in primary schools when there is no evidence to support its teachings?
@JamesConnolly16 RE teaches children about various religions, helping them respect cultural diversity and form own spiritual views #AskDE
Question 13 from @Wiseabap
#askde - why no mention of international youth work in the draft 'Priorities for Youth' policy? Huge learning comes from intl experiences
@Wiseabap I recognise value of international youth work opportunities and think these should continue #AskDE
Question 14 from @murraybarry
#AskDE a chara, an aithníonn tú go bhfuil an-obair ag dul ar aghaidh in Airneal na Gaelscoilíochta, an réiteach fad-téarma iad sruthanna?
Translation - Dear sir/madam, do you realise that there is great work going on in the Irish-medium sector, are (Irish-medium) streams the long term solution?
@murraybarry tá mé tiomanta don ghaeloideachas & pléifidh mé le moltaí forbartha do scoileanna, sruthanna no aonaid #AskDE
Translation - I am committed to delivering education through medium of Irish & will consider proposals for schools, streams or units
Question 15 from @theslabber
#AskDE Is it department policy for schools to ask parents for money for 'school funds'?
@theslabber No. Schools receive funding depending on make-up and number of pupils. Up to schools if they request more from parents #AskDE
Question 16 from @ChrisJenkins90
#AskDE The Advisory Group on Shared Education doesnt report until February. Why isnt it feeding into Area-Based Planning process?
@ChrisJenkins90 Area plans will evolve to meet local demand. I will ensure Shared Ed Advisory Group’s findings are taken account of #AskDE
Question 17 from @McGowan1912
#AskDE what is the minister planning to to do to help parents of children with special needs,especially in disadvantaged areas?
@McGowan1912 Special Education funding protected & new policy being developed. I’m committed to ensuring equality of access for ALL #AskDE
Question 18 from @ChrisJenkins90
#AskDE ESA has duty to facilitate: "the development of education provided in an Irish speaking school." Fine, but what about integrated too?
@ChrisJenkins90 The same duty applies for integrated education #AskDE
Question 19 from @AidantCampbell
#AskDE how will DE ensure a balance between cutting costs and maintaining schools in rural areas vital to sustain rural communities.
@AidantCampbell Children in rural areas will not be disadvantaged. We are working towards vision of sustainable provision for all #AskDE
Question 20 from @s7teach
#AskDE Will the minister make a siginicant investment in leadership training given chief inspector's report
@s7teach Teacher education as a whole under review, Leadership Development a key priority in this going forward #AskDE
Question 21 from @McGowan1912
#AskDE what are your plans for all grammar schools? Will the ESA bill treat all sectors equally?
@McGowan1912 All schools and sectors will be treated equally #AskDE
Question 22 from @The RowYouKnow
@niexecutive Has the Minister been able to give any further consideration to the proposed amalgamation of #SWBelfast Primary Schools #AskDE
@TheRowYouKnow Area planning will ensure right schools are in right place to meet the needs of children, including in S Belfast #AskDE
Question 23 from @mc_elhill
#AskDE How does Minister see DE contributing to cross departmental Autism Strategy out of The Autism Act 2011? #autism #Aspergers
@mc_elhill DE working with DHSSPS to progress Autism Strategy and improve services and support for children on Autistic Spectrum #AskDE
Question 24 from @TheRowYouKnow
@niexecutive No parental choice of post primary provision in #southbelfast Integrated or Grammar - is this equality? #AskDE
@TheRowYouKnow Area planning will take account of parental preference when considering need for particular school types in any area #AskDE
Question 25 from @TheRowYouKnow
@niexecutive Pls issue free travel passes to all post primary children in #southbelfast NRAs in attempt to reduce absenteeism #AskDE
@TheRowYouKnow DE has active strategy to cut absenteeism. Transport assistance available only to those who qualify #AskDE
Question 26 from @MaryTreatTicket
#AskDE Are you ever going to sort out the mess that is the Transfer system / 11+? Why haven't you made this a priority??? #AskDE
@MaryTreatTicket DE guidance on transfer to p/primary clear. Majority of schools adhere. No need for unregulated testing at 10 & 11 #AskDE
Question 27 from @dmchugh675
#askDE How will DE support schools in areas with high levels of deprivation to address the 'digital divide'? #niedchat
@dmchugh675 c2k network covers ALL schools. I’m committed to ensuring equal access to digital technologies in school for all pupils #AskDE
Question 28 from @MrMalcontent
#askDE Over 100 Teachers gathered in Stranmillis in Friday night for CPD of a different kind. Can you support us? #niedchat #tmbelfast #tmnw
@MrMalcontent Future of CPD is currently under consideration as part of review of teacher education #AskDE
Question 29 from @jeni_mcguff
#AskDE how did you get to where you are now? I'm just coming out of college and want a career in educ. (can I come work for you, please?)
@jeni_mcguff I’m an elected MLA & appointed as Minister. Ask your careers advisor about a career in education or civil service #AskDE