A new report from the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) has confirmed the quality of provision offered by Northern Regional College and Northern Ireland’s five other Further Education Colleges.
The biennial Chief Inspector’s Report 2012-2014, published last week, found that provision was good, very good or outstanding across 90% of the further education professional and technical courses inspected. This compares very favourably to 63% in the post primary and 84% in the primary sectors.
The ETI observed more than 11,000 lessons and training sessions in Northern Ireland over the two-year period.
The report acknowledges the high quality provision across the FE sector in terms of leadership and management, economic engagement, curriculum planning, innovation and discrete provision for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
Gerry Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of Colleges Northern Ireland said: “I welcome the report – especially in light of the role of the FE colleges, targeting the most disadvantaged learners. Forty-three per cent of our 90,000 learners are from the most deprived areas of Northern Ireland – yet nine in every 10 of our learners complete and achieve their full qualification.
“FE Colleges contribution and engagement with schools has led to increased outcomes and successes for many 14-16 year old students. Now more than ever it remains important that we continue to protect and value vocational pathways alongside traditional academic routes.
“The vocational pathways will fulfil hopes and aspirations of our young people and will underpin the development of a dynamic and vibrant economy.”