26 Nov 2018

FET Learners from KCFE have Their Voices Heard at Kerry Regional Forum

Learners from the Kerry College of Further Education under the auspices of Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB) convened at the regional meeting of the National Further Education and Training (FET) Learner Forum which took place in Tralee at the Grand Hotel.

Ireland is leading the way in making a commitment to learner representation with the establishment of a national Forum. As a learner-centred form of provision, SOLAS is striving to make Further Education and Training (FET) a first choice for prospective learners, as a means to gain qualifications and secure employment. This Forum acts as a way for learners to directly influence FET provision, their suggestions for improvement will be sought and a clear outline of recommendations communicated to policy makers.

This Forum is a collaborative effort between AONTAS, the National Adult Learning Organisation, and KETB. It is one of a series of regional meetings taking place across the county this year. Almost 60 learners from the Kerry attended the event.

Speaking about the Forum, Niamh O’Reilly, CEO of AONTAS, said: “This event provides FET learners from Kerry with the opportunity to have their voices heard, and to influence policy at regional and national level. AONTAS believes that learners are experts of their own learning and we look forward to using the deliberations from today’s Forum in supporting SOLAS and ETBs in creating a world-class FET system that is learner-centred.”

“The establishment of the Forum recognised the importance that must be placed on those at the centre of adult education - the learners themselves, and we look forwarding to consulting with them.”

“KCFE are delighted to be involved in this initiative. This forum provides a wonderful opportunity for the college to receive meaningful feedback from our learners. Contributions made by students at this forum will inform future practice at the college and by Kerry ETB” said Mary Murphy, an Assistant Principal at the college.     

The learners in attendance today were selected to join the forum firstly from the Student Council membership at KCFE and also included a number of other learners representing age, gender, nationality etc with various educational backgrounds and experiences in education to date. 

If you are thinking of going back to education further information on AONTAS can be found here: or you can call AONTAS on 1800 303 669 or check out the range of programmes available at