Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Thomas Byrne TD is to seek an urgent update from Minister Richard Bruton following a damning report about employee, management and operational structures at Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).
A review relating to QQI’s internal operations, which was commissioned by the Department of Education and Skills, found the state agency’s structure was not fit for purpose.
“The report should be put into the public domain and published immediately. Minister Bruton’s department has said it is committed to working with QQI to progress the recommendations contained in the report. I want to know what this means in practice. What is the Minister doing, what is being changed and who is taking charge of implementing the recommendations made in this audit of QQI?,” said Deputy Byrne, Fianna Fáil TD for Meath East.
“I will be writing to QQI separately to request a meeting to discuss the claims made in the report, and advise how the organisation can be developed in the future. It is astonishing that a body that expects rigorous standards of excellence among education and training providers is itself under scrutiny. The findings in the report will come as a surprise to many, especially those in higher education institutions that have worked with QQI, tirelessly striving to ensure their programmes were suitable for validation and continuous review by the national awards body.
“QQI cannot continue to suffer reputational damage, and outstanding issues relating to leadership, management and human resources have to be addressed now, given QQI’s central quality assurance role in the Irish education and training sector.
“Minister Bruton needs to state how he will act on the recommendations on how to improve the satellite agency attached to his department. Learners, lecturers and educational professionals in this country and elsewhere are dependent on a fully functioning educational qualifications organisation that has the confidence of its own staff and that of employers, state bodies and external stakeholders,” concluded Deputy Byrne.