Donegal ETB’s Further Education and Training Centre in Milford won the Excellence in Further Education and Training Award for its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) initiative, at the recent inaugural ETBI Excellence Awards.
The ceremony was held on Thursday 2 March by Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) as part of its celebrations to mark ten years of Education and Training Boards (ETBs) in Ireland, which occurs later this year.
RPL provides a supportive process that opens up learning and employment pathways for everyone. It promotes integration and diversity by reaching out to those in employment that have missed out on academic opportunities, to ensure they can receive qualifications in line with their experience.
RPL Coordinator Siobhán Murray and Adult Education Officer Aidan Mc Closkey collected the award which was presented by SOLAS CEO Andrew Brownlee who later tweeted that it was a “great honour to present this award to Donegal ETB – they really have been the trailblazers for delivering RPL at scale within FET – fitting reward for their innovation and excellence and for setting a path the rest of the sector is now following.”
The awards were presented at a special ceremony in Croke Park which also marked ‘ETB Day’. Hosted by RTÉ newsreader Ray Kennedy, a former ETB student himself, the event was attended by representatives from all sixteen ETBs from across the country.
Donegal ETB was also shortlisted for two other awards – the ETB Hero award (Errigal College teacher Evan Gorrell) and the Excellence in Irish Education award (Gairmscoil Chú Uladh).
Congratulating the awardees, Paddy Lavelle, Chief Executive of ETBI said: “It gives me great pride to congratulate all the winners, and indeed runners-up on their success in the inaugural ETB Excellence Awards. We received over 500 entries from ETBs across the country to the Awards detailing the great people and initiatives that are ongoing in all corners of Ireland.
“The standard across all categories was extremely competitive, meaning we had a very difficult job in narrowing the entries down and select our winners. The work of all ETBs – not those just officially recognised at the awards – deserves to be commended. Their commitment and passion for education, for learning and for their communities play a vital role in ensuring that there are broad and varied options for people to engage with education and training across the country, no matter what stage of their learning journey they are at.
“This year is a milestone year for ETBs as we celebrate ten years since their formation in Ireland. Over the past decade, ETBs have delivered learning and education opportunities for everyone – including primary and post-primary schools, further education and training and youth services. ETBs have revolutionised Ireland’s education system, and I hope that we can continue to deliver innovative, diverse and flexible learning pathways over the next ten years, and beyond.”
For more information on RPL visit https://www.donegaletb.ie/further-education-training/employers/upskilling-employees/recognition-of-prior-learning-rpl/.