Summary of DE Board Meeting - 11 October 2018


Thursday 11 October 2018

New Building Conference Room, Rathgael House


  • Derek Baker (Chair)
  • Noelle Buick
  • Fiona Hepper
  • John Smith
  • Gary Fair
  • Sarah Wilson – NICS HR
  • Joan McEwan
  • Fiona Keenan

In attendance:

  • James Hutchinson – Item 3
  • Karina Todd and Philip Galbraith - Observers
  • Barbara Swales – acting Board Secretary

Update on the DE Transformation Programme

James Hutchinson spoke to his paper and provided members with an update on the DE Transformation Programme, which covered:

Vision for Transformation;

Programme Design;

  • Funding Position;
  • Risk Management;
  • Stakeholder Management;
  • Strategic Partner;
  • Challenges;
  • Priorities and Next Steps.

DE 2018/19 Corporate Risk Register & Risk Management

Fiona Hepper spoke to her paper and provided an update on risk management. The status of each risk was discussed, and there was agreement that a separate risk should be prepared to cover the two ICT projects being led by the Education Authority (EA), given the importance of these to the wider system.

Mid-Year report on 2018/19 Business Plan

Fiona Hepper presented the mid-year report on the DE Business Plan.

The Board discussed and noted the red and amber flagged actions.

It was noted that work on the mid-year position for NDPBs was underway; any issues that come to light will be included in the next paper to the Board on progress with Business Plans.

HR Report

Sarah Wilson presented the HR Report; the following key points were discussed.

  • In November 2018, DE will be asked to forecast recruitment and trawl/interest circular competitions for 2019/ 20, and in early 2019 a new process to support workforce planning and forecasting will be introduced.
  • DE sickness absence is on the upward trend. The following new NICS initiatives are being introduced to try to address the increasing level of sickness absence: improved accessibility of resources relating to Mental Health illness; enhancing early intervention measures; prioritisation of cases referred to OHS.
  • Work is underway in NICS HR to standardise Employee Relations policies and procedures.

Director of Finance Report

Gary Fair spoke to his paper and provided members with an update on key financial issues, which included:

The current NI Affairs Committee inquiry into education funding in Northern Ireland;

  • 2018/19 Resource Budget;
  • EA Block Grant Pressures;
  • Earmarked Allocations;
  • 2018/19 October Monitoring;
  • 2018/19 Capital Budget;
  • Fresh Start Programme 2018/19;
  • 2019/21 Budget Information Gathering Exercise;
  • Update on Annual Accounts;
  • DE Contracts;
  • DE Direct Award Contracts;
  • High Risk EA IT Projects

Report from the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC) Meeting on 26 September 2018

Joan McEwan updated members on the key areas discussed at the ARAC meeting on 26 September 2018.

Impact of the UK leaving the EU on Education in NI

The Board noted the update paper.

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