Today, Thursday 14th May 2015, marked both an important end and beginning in the history of education in Dunboyne and for Co. Meath.
It marked the end of Dunboyne College of Further Education time as part of St. Peter’s College and the beginning of what is hoped will be a long and successful era as a provider of Post Leaving Certificate courses as a stand-alone PLC centre in its own right.
The launch of the new educational entity took place in Dunboyne Castle Hotel and was attended by myself as Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English T.D. & Tánaiste Joan Burton T.D. who is a T.D. for neighbouring Dublin West constituency.
Stand-alone status for Dunboyne College of Further Education is something that I have worked on as a T.D. for Meath since 2002, and in the last year as a local Minister based in the Department of Education.
I thank my Dáil colleagues in Meath East Regina Doherty, Helen McEntee and Dominic Hannigan for their continuous representations on the matter.
We live in changing times and none more so than in the Further Education and Training Sector. Recent reforms such as the establishment of SOLAS and the 16 Education and Training Boards, and now a new standalone Dunboyne College of Further Education will lead to real long term change in Meath and nationally.
I would like to pay tribute to Peter Kierans, Chief Executive of Louth and Meath ETB and all the ETB staff who support the provision of further education and training across the ETB area. I congratulate Denis Leonard, Principal, and the staff of Dunboyne College of Further Education and everyone involved with today’s events.
Dunboyne College of Further Education has for many years, as part of St. Peter’s College, provided Post Leaving Certificate courses to students in the Meath, west Dublin and north Kildare region. Post Leaving Certificate courses are aimed at preparing learners both for employment and for progression into other areas of education and training.
It has grown on an annual basis and now over 400 students are participating in a diverse range of courses including Arts, and Business, Social Care, Sports and Science, Nursing and Healthcare, Multimedia, Sound and Music, Childcare and Journalism. The range of these courses was very in evident in the graduation ceremony earlier today.