The Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Ms. Mary Coughlan, T.D., today announced that the Government had agreed a restructuring of the Vocational Education Committee system, involving a reduction in the number of VECs from 33 to 16 through the merger of existing VECs.
Announcing the decision, the Tánaiste said: “This decision is part of the overall Government agenda to transform how our public services are delivered. This consolidation ensures that each of the 16 VECs will be organisations of sufficient scale to support the evolution of local education service delivery and to meet future challenges.
“VECs have traditionally demonstrated a flexibility and responsiveness to changing and emerging needs. I see these changes as strengthening the sector for the undoubted challenges that lie ahead and positioning our VECs as key providers of education services locally.”
As a result of these changes, VECs will be stronger and better placed to provide support services to schools, and not just to schools within the VEC sector but to other schools in their areas who wish to avail of them. In particular the VECs can engage in the aggregated procurement of supplies and services to the potential benefit of all schools in their areas.
The Tánaiste also highlighted the additional future role of VECs locally in the provision of primary education through Community National Schools, legislation providing for which she is introducing in the Dáil tomorrow.
Further legislation will now be brought forward to provide for the changes and the Department of Education and Skills will be consulting with the relevant stakeholders in relation to their detailed implementation.
Details of the sixteen revised VEC areas are as follows:
City of Cork
Co. Dublin and Dun Laoghaire
City of Dublin
City of Galway and Co. Galway
City of Limerick, Co. Limerick and Co. Kerry
City of Waterford, Co. Waterford and Tipperary South
Wexford and Wicklow
Carlow, Kilkenny and Kildare
Laois, Offaly and Westmeath
Louth and Meath
Cavan and Monaghan
Mayo and Sligo
Leitrim, Roscommon and Longford
Clare and Tipperary North