Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn said that the new boards would “strengthen locally managed education and enhance the scale of local education and training.” He estimated that the reform would save €2.1 million per annum.
This is part of a wider programme which will result in the dissolution of Fás by January 2014. A new further education body (Solas) would then be established with training functions being transferred to the ETBs. The Irish Vocational Educational Authority will change its name to Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI).
The ETBs will cover the following areas: Cavan and Monaghan; Cork; Donegal; City of Dublin; Dublin and Dun Laoghaire; Galway and Roscommon; Kerry; Kildare and Wicklow; Kilkenny and Carlow; Laois and Offaly; Limerick and Clare; Longford and Westmeath; Louth and Meath; Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim; Tipperary; and Waterford and Wexford.
Each board will have 21 members, comprising 12 local authority representatives, two staff representatives, two parents’ representatives and five members from bodies representing community and business interests. The existing VEC members will remain on the boards until next year’s local elections.
VECs were first established in 1930, on a city and county basis, and were a major achievement for then Minister John O’Sullivan, in restructuring the education system of the new State.