Details of agencies under the remit of my Department can be downloaded from the Department's website, this information is updated when any relevant changes occur. www.education.ie
The Deputy should note that no agency under the aegis of my Department has been abolished since March, 2011. With regard to the rationalisation of State agencies the Deputy may wish to note the following: -
- On 7th November, 2012 the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), replaced the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI), the Further Education and Training Awards Council of Ireland (FETAC), and the Higher Education Training and Awards Council (HETAC).
- The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology and Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences were merged into one entity - the Irish Research Council (IRC).
- In June 2011, the functions of the National Educational Welfare Board transferred to the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
- Since September 2011, the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE) is within the remit of Dublin West Education Centre alongside the Department's largest support service, the Professional Development Service for Teachers, PDST
The Deputy will also be aware that there are a number of major structural reform projects and other initiatives being progressed in the Education sector (of which some are included in the Public Sector Reform Plan published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform last November). These include:-
- The amalgamation of the 33 Vocational Education Committees (VECs)/establishment of 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs). The ETBs will take over the work of VECs and will have an expanded role in the delivery of further education and training across the country.
- A single awarding authority for student grants. City of Dublin VEC will operate as the new single student grant awarding authority to replace the existing 66 grant awarding bodies. Implementation of the new arrangements are being phased in from 2012/13 academic year.
- The consolidation of Higher Education provision under the Strategy for Higher Education to 2030.
- Following the enactment of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012, the necessary steps are being taken to establish the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board. This body will be funded from the contributions of the religious congregations offered in response to the request for additional contributions, following the publication of the Ryan Report. The legislation also provides for the dissolution of the Education Finance Board, which has almost exhausted the €12.7 million available to it, and the transfer of any remaining functions of the Education Finance Board to the new Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board.