Statement from Chief Executive George O’Callaghan
Dia dhíobh. Is tréimhse deacair an t-am atá ann anois.
In line with Government and HSE advice regarding COVID-19, our Head Office, Schools, Further Education and Training Centres and Colleges are closed. However, our business continuity planning ensures that we are providing services to our communities in Limerick and Clare, as our staff remotely work to provide this service during the current public health emergency. The ICT systems and processes we have in place to ensure business and learning continuity are facilitating in the adjustment to this new working environment.
During this time of uncertainty, we will communicate with you through our social media channels and through this website. We endeavour to continuously monitor our e-mails.
I urge you to adhere to the enhanced measures introduced to contain the spread of Covid-19. I join with the Minister for Education and Skills in urging parents and guardians in particular to support our young people and children to comply with these measures. As a parent of two school-going children myself, I know that this is not an easy time for families. So children, please be patient with your parents.
Déan cinnte de do shláinte agus sabháilteacht a chinntiú.
I wish you and your family continued health and wellbeing during this challenging time. Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board is here to support our students, our learners, our parents and guardians, and our staff through this crisis.
Stay safe. Stay well.
COVID-19 Communications Plan
During the current crisis, you may need to contact us or have a question on how we will contact you. Set out below is the communications plan during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
How to Get in Touch
- if you have a general enquiry, firstname.lastname@example.org is monitored by staff
- the Contact page on this site provides a comprehensive list of email addresses for the core sections in the organisation like Human Resources, Payroll, Procurement and more. During the current emergency, note that these email addresses may not be monitored daily. If your enquiry is urgent, you should use email@example.com.
- this site is a communications portal for staff and our Board members, the Staff page provides links to key resources like StaffMail, StaffCONNECT, Office 365, Core ESS Portal, Technical Support and Employee Assistance.
How we Communicate
- Organisation Support and Development updates as appropriate are provided to staff through the organisation email (staff members should check their lcetb.ie email regularly)
- where appropriate, updates will be provided on this page (so, check back regularly or bookmark the page)
- updates as appropriate are being provided to students/learners and the community of Limerick and Clare through our social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (we encourage you to follow us on these channels by clicking on the social avatars on the left)
How we are Responding
Our business continuity plan, led by the Organisation Support and Development directorate, is supporting the organisation to maintain the delivery of core functions through remote working. Our teachers, tutors and instructors are ensuring that teaching and learning have continued apace since the COVID-19 emergency began through the use of a range of technologies and remote engagement with students and learners. Set out below are the ways in which staff working remotely in our Organisation Support and Development, Schools Division and Further Education and Training Division are responding in this crisis.
Organisation Support and Development
Our business continuity planning is ensuring we continue to provide services to the community we serve through remote working; including Head Office functions (Finance, Human Resources, Corporate Services, ICT, Capital and Procurement), Schools and Further Education and Training. The ICT systems and processes we have in place to ensure business and learning continuity are facilitating in the adjustment to this new working environment. Our Head Office is continuing to deliver services; including payroll and learner payments. Arrangements are in place to ensure that all staff members and learners are paid on the usual pay dates. We are also actively recruiting teachers for our Schools and will continue to advertise when and if new posts arise in our Schools and FET Centres/Colleges. Our social media channels including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook provide updates when these posts are advertised.
All our Schools remain closed to students until further notice, as announced by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, and the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD, on 10th April 2020. The announcement also included the postponement of State Examinations. Full details here.
Staff, including teachers, were up to the additional measures introduced on the 27th March still accessing our schools to organise work for students and collaborate with fellow teachers while adhering to HSE advice on practising social distancing. They are now working from home.
Our schools are maintaining regular contact with parents/guardians regarding work for students via the normal communication channels that the school uses with its school community (Aladdin, VSWare, ePortal, Way2Pay, email and regular updates and links to online learning platforms via their respective school websites, Facebook and Twitter).
In the case of all our community colleges, each school organises learning, teaching and assessment for students via their online learning platforms (Microsoft Office 365, Apple iCloud and Google for Education).
You can use the links below to access the learning platform unique to each school (details available from your local school);
Please note that Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board Schools only permit students to engage with their teachers through these approved platforms only.
Staff members in our community colleges have been provided with training and on-going support in the use of ‘Distance Learning’ methodologies, in sustaining learning, teaching and assessment during the school closure period.
If you would like more information on ‘Distance Learning’ and how it works, the Department of Education and Skills has a dedicated technology in education portal, a website which supports schools. Click here for more information on the portal.
Our schools continue enrolment plans as normal for the 20/21 academic year.
Further Education and Training
All our FET Centres and Colleges continue with enrolment planning as normal for the 20/21 academic year. You can apply through our FET website. Larger centres like LCFE will be proceeding with a revised interview process in May to offer places on its courses for September 2020.
Full-time and Part-time Course Delivery
Since 13th March, Further Education and Training staff members have been working remotely and engaging with learners through technology-enhanced learning tools like Moodle and Microsoft Teams. The teaching staff has also prepared and posted material to learner homes to help support them in their learning.
- Many Further Education and Training courses have been converted to Online Course delivery. Our FET website has extensive information on these FREE online courses.
- Our staff members in Community Education are using creative ways at this time of reaching those in communities we work with. Interactive relevant resources are currently in development to stay in touch with all of our learners on the Communities page of our FET website.
Information, Recruitment and Guidance Support Service
Our IRGSS team continues to work remotely providing information and guidance support via our FREEPHONE 1800 70 70 77 number, as well as through the firstname.lastname@example.org email.
- An integrated public information campaign is currently running on local media, digital and social promoting the service freephone number and email, online courses and the range of career up-skilling and re-training options available through the ETB.
- The team is also assisting those who are applying for positions in healthcare services across the region (including the HSE) to care for people affected by COVID-19. Those who qualified on a FET healthcare course are being supported with the application process through advice and online resources in CV and interview preparation.
Enterprise Engagement Support Service
Our EESS team continues its work with our Enterprise partners through on-going dialogue with employers, employees and skills fora (such as the Mid-West Regional Skills Forum) to respond to the identified and emerging skills and re-training needs in the region.
- A suite of new Online Courses are focused on career up-skilling and re-training options and are funded through Skills to Advance. The Enterprise page on our FET has more info about the service and the Skills to Advance initiative.
Research and Development Support Service
In response to the significant increase in online engagement during the current crisis, the team is providing, developing and delivering support and effective engagement to our FET Division staff. These key supports include:
- Online Drop-in TEL Support Workshops – covering Microsoft Teams, Moodle and other digital tools
- TEL Learning Zone in MS Teams – a one-stop-shop of online resources for FET staff
- Supported remote learning through our partners Wriggle Learning
- Moodle online course development through SOLAS eCollege
The Professional Development Calendar on StaffCONNECT is being continuously updated with additional online training activities to support FET staff members in their work.
The FET Division QA team is actively engaged with our FET Centres and Colleges. Each class group will implement contingency arrangements for the support of our learners, particularly in relation to assessments. Based on the outcome of a survey of provision, the QA team has built a contingency framework and this has been communicated to all FET Centres and Colleges for further communication to staff and learners. Our FET Centres and Colleges are actively communicating with learners on these contingency arrangments through the normal communication channels in that centre/college, such as VLE/Moodle, email and/or text.