The following agreed communication is issued on behalf of the FET Stakeholders following an engagement yesterday, Thursday 27th May:
The FET Stakeholders group met yesterday May 27th, 2021, to discuss ongoing phased return for learners in FET settings.
Planning for FET provision going forward
Discussions have commenced regarding further reopening our FET services and planning for significant on-site activity for September. During the summer period, FET provision shall continue to follow current guidelines with emergency remote delivery augmented by on-site delivery as appropriate, for practical elements only. Onsite presence should be restricted to those engaged in practical elements and is a subject to maintaining the minimum number of learners required onsite at any given time. To support this level of activity, ETBs must ensure that the appropriate infrastructure and cleaning protocols provided in the original guidelines issued to the sector are in place and adhered to. (Please refer to Appendix 9 of the FET COVID-19 Procedures Guidelines document Page 33).
All existing and new provision will be co-ordinated and delivered in a controlled and measured manner and in-line with all public health guidance.
The next stage of time-critical return for craft apprenticeship has been agreed. SOLAS will engage with ETBs who have craft apprenticeship classes starting remotely during June.
Extension to QQI Award Modifications and COVID 19 Provisions relating to Programme delivery, Assessment and authentication was secured.
There was no update in relation to proposed antigen testing in FET institutions. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.
The FET overarching guidelines continue to apply. The planned return of FET provision will continue in this phased approach and in accordance with current Governmental COVID-19 Resilience & Recovery 2021 – The Path Ahead framework and based on full adherence to the current national guidelines and health and safety regulations. As you are aware the interim arrangements for over 60s ended on April 12th, 2021, and circular letter 0021/2021 remains in place in respect of teachers and SNAs.