The Learner Experience

KWETB FET services are provided to young people under the age of eighteen years as well as to adults over the age of eighteen. Particular care and attention is paid to ensuring that the learner experience of young people under the age of eighteen is positive, appropriate and compliant with the Children First Guidelines. KWETB also provides FET to learners who are vulnerable adults and again it is important that their learning experience is positive, appropriate and compliant with relevant legislation and policy. As a learner-centred service, KWETB is committed to ensuring that all learners are welcomed, supported and facilitated in a professional, responsive and relevant manner.

In addition to ensuring that programme planning and delivery is responsive to learners’ diverse needs, KWETB FET Service provides a range of support services and facilities to ensure the positivity of the learner experience including:

  • Adult Education Guidance Service
  • Advocate
  • Course Recruitment Service
  • Apprenticeship Services
  • Counselling and referral
  • Youth Services
  • Compassionate consideration in relation to assessment
  • Reasonable accommodation in relation to assessment
  • Study skills and support
  • Life skills and well-being
  • Childcare
  • Literacy and numeracy educational support

These services provide information, guidance and support to both prospective, existing and past learners and there is a strong focus on identifying and supporting progression for learners.

Learners are often referred or self-refer to the Adult Education Guidance Service and Advocate to assist them to identify their options and support their choices; learners are also referred or self-refer directly to programmes and courses. Referral also comes from a wide range of statutory, community and voluntary groups and services. A formal referral agreement is in place with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). In the case of young people who have left school early, referral protocols are in place with local post-primary schools, including ETB schools, School Completion Programmes and youth services; this is especially important as the longer a young person is out of education, the more difficult it is for them to re-engage. Learners may also be referred or self-refer through which is linked to the Programme and Learner Support System.

Following referral, the learner is placed on the course that is most appropriate to their needs and gives them the best possible chance of positive outcomes; consideration is given to full- or part-time provision; long or short duration; level of course; field of learning; location; and the availability of financial and other support.

Once learners are referred and appropriately placed, a common enrolment form is in place in KWETB. The FET Learner Enrolment Form may be completed in hard copy or online. The FET Learner Enrolment Form includes personal data and a data protection statement is included which is compliant with the GDPR regulations.

Learners are supported through the provision of a variety of support and wrap-around services in addition to the programme delivery. Such supports include the learning environment including the built environment, learning facilities including study spaces, libraries, ICT and TEL supports, break and relaxation areas, and facilities for physical exercise.

The provision of training services in contracted training provision is addressed in the Contracted Training procedures, with clear requirements regarding the standard of the learning environment and facilities. This is carefully monitored by Contracted Training Officers. KWETB work closely with private training providers in that regard.

FET learners are well-supported in the provision of study skills and support and life skills and well-being and further development in the provision of learning and language support is in development. From the assessment perspective, compassionate consideration and reasonable accommodation policies are well-developed and implemented across FET.

Learner achievement is recognised through centre, service and school awards ceremonies. These are attended by learners, staff, local and national stakeholders. Learners are presented with QQI Certificates and certificates from other awarding bodies at these ceremonies. In addition, achievements are recognised through features published in the KWETB online newsletter and in the local press.

Learner evaluation is conducted for all training courses and is an integral element of the quality process. In Further Education, evaluation is conducted on a course-by-course basis.