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July 22, 2013

1st Meeting of Kildare/Wicklow Education and Training Board

michael-lawlor-sean-ashe-mark-wall.jpg The inaugural meeting for the newly formed Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board was held at Killashee House Hotel, Naas on Tuesday the 16th of July.  This was the first official meeting of the newly formed Education and Training Board and follows the enactment of the Education and Boards Act 2013 on the 1st of July.  The establishment of the Act has meant that the former Vocational Education Committees have now been replaced by Education and Training Boards (ETBs). The ETBs will also undertake all of the training that was carried out by Fás when the Act establishing SOLAS is commenced.

Sean Ashe, The First Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board welcomed the Board members to the meeting which he described as ‘an historic occasion’, he went to say, “VECs can look back with pride and the vision which we had as separate VECs will now be enhanced by the joining together of the two VECs in the new single Statutory Board.  We have challenges ahead but also great opportunities.”

Cllr. Mark Wall, was unanimously elected as Chairperson and Mr. Michael Lawlor was unanimously elected Deputy Chairperson. The Chairperson thanked all for attending and wished the CEO well in his new role and added, “The window of opportunity is great and our system of education will continue to spread with the expansion of our magnificent schools and centres and the addition of new schools and centres of education and training.”

Mr Ashe presented the members with an overview of the key metrics for the new ETB and outlined his proposals for restructuring the administrative systems to enable the new ETB operate in an effective and efficient manner.

AEOs Catherine Byrne and Des Murtagh made a presentation to the board welcoming the new challenges and stated that an area of great change will be the further education sector as ETBs take on the responsibility for both education and training, formerly the remit of the VECs and Fás.  Funding for further education and training will be accessed through the new statutory body called SOLAS when the Further Education and Training Act is commenced.