Monday, 29 October 2012

#AskDE Twitter Q&A - Transcript of questions and answers

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 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: #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 #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.

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

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