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Resignation of Education Minister Quinn

On behalf of Education and Training Boards Ireland, ETBI General Secretary Michael Moriarty today expressed regret at the announcement by Minister Quinn of his intention to resign from his Ministry.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr Moriarty stated:

Minister Quinn has proven to be one of the most dynamic and innovative Education Ministers in recent decades. While he consulted widely and listened carefully before make significant decisions, he proved to be a fearless innovator, determined to make long-lasting changes to the educational sector and to educational structures.

Perhaps the Further Education and Training (FET) sector has been the subject of the most profound reform programme ever undertaken by any Minister in this state. Minister Quinn acted with zeal and commitment to follow through on his intention to establish 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) from the previous smaller VEC entities. In addition, the separation of the FÁS training function and its integration into ETBs signify the most extensive structural reform undertaken in the Education sector in recent years. The Minister is well underway in his stated 2011 objective to set up a wold-class FET system in Ireland. The Education and Training Boards Act and Further Education and Training Act of 2013 will stand in testament to his capacity to act on his vision for a more effective, efficient and focussed education and training system.

At Second level also, he managed as far as possible to limit the worst effects of the economic collapse in recent years, keeping the school system broadly intact. He fought hard at Cabinet level to prioritise the Education budget and his success in this regard must be acknowledged. His initiative to reform the Junior Cycle programme is meeting with resistance, but nevertheless such reform is absolutely necessary if our education system is to keep pace with the rest of the world.

History will likely show that Minister Quinn’s years in office were epitomised by very significant reform programmes which will prove to be a solid foundation for the Irish education system for many years.

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