Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (193)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh


193. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Education and Skills the proposal regarding a college for further education (details supplied) when SOLAS is in charge of further education colleges in view of the fact that they uniquely offer many courses of study which do not seem to fit into the parameters of SOLAS, such as BCFE's media and animation degree courses, which have gained international recognition; if there will be a special case made for this college in view of the fact that recent cutbacks this year will mean less teachers and courses at the start of this year's academic year. [11043/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The College referred to by the Deputy is operated as an approved Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) centre by City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee (CDVEC). Resources are allocated by my Department under the PLC programme to CDVEC and further distribution of these resources to colleges under its remit, including this college, is a matter for CDVEC.

In order to minimise the impact of the recent reduction in the Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) all providers, including City of Dublin VEC, will be required to review their PLC provision. In doing so it is expected that they will have regard to the full range of factors relevant to PLC provision while minimising impact on learners. This would include consideration of factors such as the relevance of courses to the labour market, numbers undertaking courses, completion rates, certification rates and progression rates as well as the capacity for amalgamation of courses or modular delivery, etc. The function of SOLAS, upon its establishment, will be to manage, co-ordinate and support the delivery of integrated Further Education and Training by Education and Training Boards, to monitor delivery and provide funding based on good data and positive outcomes and to promote Further Education and Training provision that is relevant to individual learner needs and national skills needs. This includes the needs of business and future skills needs.