Department of Education (Northern Ireland)


Department of Education (Northern Ireland)

Coordinates: 54°38′24″N 5°40′34″W / 54.640°N 5.676°W / 54.640; -5.676

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The Department of Education (DENI) (Irish: An Roinn Oideachais, Ulster Scots: Männystrie o Lear/Depairtment o Leir[1]) is a devolved Northern Ireland government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. The minister with overall responsibility for the department is the Minister of Education.

Contents

Aim

The department’s overall vision is "to ensure that every learner fulfils her or his potential at each stage of development". Its key stated priorities are: raising Standards for all; closing the performance gap, increasing access and equality; developing the education workforce; improving the "learning environment"; and transforming education management. [2]

The incumbent Minister is John O'Dowd (Sinn Féin).[3]

Responsibilities

The department is responsible for the following levels of education: [4]

  • pre-school
  • primary
  • post-primary
  • special

The Department for Employment and Learning is responsible for further and higher education policy in Northern Ireland [5].

The Department of Education also covers:

  • youth policy
  • community relations within and between schools
  • teacher education and salaries

As an organisation, its key functions include advising the minister on the determination of education policy, framing legislation, accounting for the effectiveness of the education system, allocating, and monitoring and accounting for resources.

Through the Education and Training Inspectorate, it evaluates and reports on the quality of teaching and learning and teacher education.

Administration of the education system is delegated to five sub-regional education and library boards, funded by the department:

Its main counterpart in the United Kingdom Government is the Department for Education [6]. The main counterpart in the Irish Government is the Department of Education and Skills [7].

History

Following a referendum on the Belfast Agreement on 23 May 1998 and the granting of Royal Assent to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 on 19 November 1998, a Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive were established by the United Kingdom government under Prime Minister Tony Blair. The process was known as devolution and was set up to return devolved legislative powers to Northern Ireland. DE (which is usually known by its full title) is one of 11 devolved Northern Ireland departments created in December 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and The Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999.

A devolved minister first took office on 2 December 1999. Devolution was suspended for four periods, during which the department came under the responsibility of direct rule ministers from the Northern Ireland Office:

  • between 12 February 2000 [8] and 30 May 2000[9];
  • on 11 August 2001 [10][11];
  • on 22 September 2001 [12][13];
  • between 15 October 2002[14] and 8 May 2007[15].

Since 8 May 2007, devolution has operated without interruption.

Ministers of Education

Minister Party Took office Left office
    Martin McGuinness Sinn Féin 2 December 1999 11 February 2000
Office suspended
    Martin McGuinness Sinn Féin 30 May 2000 14 October 2002[16]
Office suspended
    Caitríona Ruane Sinn Féin 8 May 2007 5 May 2011
    John O'Dowd Sinn Féin 16 May 2011

Direct rule ministers

During the periods of suspension, the following ministers of the Northern Ireland Office were responsible for the department:

See also

References

  1. ^ North-South Ministerial Council: 2010 Annual Report in Ulster Scots
  2. ^ Northern Ireland Budget 2011-15, page 48
  3. ^ http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/index/work-of-the-executive/ministers-and-their-departments.htm Northern Ireland Executive
  4. ^ About the Department of Education
  5. ^ DEL: About the Department
  6. ^ Department for Education: About the Department
  7. ^ Department of Education and Skills: Functions]
  8. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Commencement) Order 2000
  9. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2000
  10. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  11. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  12. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  13. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  14. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2002
  15. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2007
  16. ^ Office suspended for 24 hours on 11 August 2001 and 22 September 2001

External links


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