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Parliamentary Questions – 23rd January 2018

Bodies under Education that have been disbanded or amalgamated

Éamon Ó Cuív (Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of agencies, boards or other bodies under the aegis of his Department that have been disbanded or amalgamated or whose functions were subsumed back into his Department since 2011; the number of such bodies set up by his Department since that date; the names of the bodies in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD: For the Deputy’s information, under the Public Service Reform Plan, a number of bodies under the remit of my Department were identified for rationalization, re-configuration or merger as follows;

The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology and Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences were merged in March 2012 to form the Irish Research Council (IRC), which is a sub-board of the Higher Education Authority.

Under the provisions of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012, the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI), the Higher Education Training Awards Council (HETAC) and the Further Education Training Awards Council (FETAC) were amalgamated to form Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).

Under the provisions of the Education and Training Boards Act 2013, 16 Education and Training Boards have replaced 33 Vocational Education Committees.

The Students Grants Appeals Board was established on 7th September 2011 in line with Section 25(5) of the Student Support Act, 2011. The Student Grants Appeals Board is an independent statutory body which considers appeals against decisions made by the Appeals Officers in Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) and other awarding authorities, in accordance with the provisions of Section 21 of the Student Support Act 2011.

Following the enactment of the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012, the Education Finance Board was dissolved in March 2013 and the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board (Caranua) has been established.

The Educational Research Centre was established as an agency of the Department on 9th September 2012 under the Educational Research Centre Establishment Order, 2015. The Centre carries out independent research on many aspects of education including the conduct of national and international assessments of attainment and achievements, the evaluation of initiatives and programmes and critical analysis of issues in education.