On 1st July 2013, the 33 Vocational Education Committees (VECs) were dissolved and replaced by 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs). The Education and Training Boards are established under and governed according to the Education and Training Boards Act 2013. Each Education and Training Board is a statutory body with its own corporate status.
What is an Education and Training Board?
Education and Training Boards are statutory education authorities with responsibility for education and training, youth work and a range of other statutory functions. Education and Training Boards manage and operate Community National Schools, Post-Primary Schools, Further Education (FE) colleges, and a range of adult and further education centres delivering education and training programmes.
Education and Training Boards are the driving force of education and training in the local community, with pathways for every learner across Early Education, Community National Schools, Post primary Education, Further Education and Training, Apprenticeships and Traineeships, Youth Services, Outdoor Education Services and Community Education Services.
No matter where you are in your lifelong learning cycle, Education and Training Boards will have a pathway of education for you.
The general functions of an Education and Training Board, stated under the Education and Training Boards Act 2013, are to:
a) establish and maintain recognised schools, centres for education and education or training facilities in its functional area,
b) when directed to do so by the Minister:
- establish and maintain recognised schools in its functional area,
- establish and maintain centres for education in its functional area,
- maintain centres for education or recognised schools in its functional area, and
- establish, maintain or resource education or training facilities in its functional area,
c) plan, provide, coordinate and review the provision of education and training, including education and training for the purpose of employment, and services ancillary thereto in its functional area in:
- recognised schools or centres for education maintained by it,
- education or training facilities maintained or resourced by it,
- children detention schools,
- prisons, and
- facilities maintained by other public service bodies.
d) enter into arrangements with, and provide support services to, education or training providers,
e) establish scholarships,
f) adopt a strategy statement,
g) adopt an annual service plan,
h) cooperate with anybody nominated to carry out internal audit functions,
i) provide education and training at the request of, and on behalf of, anybody which funds training out of money provided to that body by the Oireachtas,
j) support the provision, coordination, administration and assessment of youth work services in its functional area and provide such information as may be requested by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in relation to such support, and
k) assess whether the manner in which it performs its functions is economical, efficient and effective.
ETBs are active in local communities through the direct provision of training and education programmes delivered in training centres, colleges and other training and educational settings. In this way, ETBs seek to make a real difference to the lives of the people they serve. Such responsiveness continues to be the hallmark of the education and training boards sector, looking outward nationally and internationally, while servicing education and training locally and individually.