Dáil debates

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 [Seanad]: Committee and Remaining Stages


8:00 pm

Photo of Mary Mitchell O'ConnorMary Mitchell O'Connor (Dún Laoghaire, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

QQI will deal with these colleges and providers. It will be able to see into their accounts. They have to prove they are pro bono, they have to be able to show bank accounts, they have to be able to show they are able to pay their teachers and they have to be able to prove they have not had another school outside this jurisdiction where they have failed to meet their financial commitments. QQI will know, whether it is a big college or a small college, how dangerous that college would be if it was to go to the wall. It will know when it needs to step in and in some instances, it will know not to give them the IEM. That is all in this legislation. I am confident the legislation will greatly improve what is going on at the moment. This is the best legislation we can enact. It is important that we protect the learners. On numerous occasions I hear about teachers, and as I said, a new measure the colleges have brought in since Christmas is insuring their teachers. I ask them to continue to do that but I have drafted strong legislation to bring certainty around what teachers will be paid in the future and I want the colleges to step up to that mark.

QQI will use corporate fitness to make sure it excludes bad providers. It will be able to look at the books and will be able to decide what is acceptable and what is not. That is the reason I am confident that robust and good colleges will not go to the wall.


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