Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 2 November 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills
Leaving Certificate Reform: Discussion (Resumed)
Today we will continue our discussion on leaving certificate reform with reference to higher and further education requirements, vocational options and career paths. I will invite the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Deputy Harris, to make an opening statement This will be followed by opening statements from Dr. John O' Connor from Quality and Qualifications Ireland, QQI, Mr. Tim Conlon from the Higher Education Authority, HEA, and Mr. Andrew Brownlee from SOLAS. Following the opening statements, each member will have an eight minute slot in which to table questions and get a response from the witnesses. The committee will publish the opening statements on its website following today's meeting.
Before we begin, I wish to remind members of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the Houses or an official either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable. Mr. Conlon is giving evidence remotely from a place outside of the parliamentary precincts and as such, he may not benefit from the same immunity from legal proceedings as a witness who is physically present and he has been advised of same. Witnesses are reminded the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not criticise or make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable or otherwise engage in speech that might be regarded as damaging to the good name of the person or entity. If their statements are potentially defamatory in relation to an identifiable person or entity, they will be directed to discontinue their remarks and it is imperative that they comply with any such direction from the Chair.
I will now call on the Minister to make his opening statement. I wish to advise everyone that the Minister must leave the meeting at 12.30 p.m.