City of Dublin ETB and Trinity College Dublin

New Collaboration between City of Dublin ETB and Trinity College Dublin highlights the importance of diversity and inclusion in further education and training.

graduation city of dublin education

01 Feb 2023

Today, 27 people will graduate from a new collaboration between City of Dublin ETB and Trinity College on a Level 9 Postgraduate Certificate course in Diversity and Inclusion specifically for staff working in the Further Education and Training sector in Ireland. This partnership was part of the vision of City of Dublin ETB’s Director of Further Education, Blake Hodkinson, who recognised that for FET staff to be able to fully realise the potential of the Future FET Strategy (2020-2024), they would need space and structured opportunities to build on their existing skill sets and knowledge.

The strategic pillars underpinning the strategy are building skills, fostering inclusion and facilitating pathways. The course was designed by Dr Joanne Banks and Professor Michael Shevlin from the School of Education, Trinity College in collaboration with Dr Anne Costelloe and Carrie Archer from City of Dublin ETB. The aim was to build capacity in staff across the entire organisation, and FET sector, to be more inclusive and responsive to the increasing diversity of FET learners and staff. Lecturers on the programme come from both City of Dublin ETB and from the School of Education. This combination brings together a balance of theory and practice from across both sectors that fully embraces learner diversity.

Key elements of the City of Dublin ETB’s Statement of Strategy (2021-2015) include staff development, teaching, learning and assessment in addition to learner supports. This course supports and underpins this strategy and provides employees with opportunities to engage with colleagues from across the various areas of provision.

Students graduating today come from all areas of provision in City of Dublin ETB: the Adult Education Service, Youthreach, FET Colleges, leadership teams, Quality Assurance and FET support services, Training Centres, Guidance and the Education Service to Prisons are represented.

A further 28 students are currently studying on the course and another cohort will begin in September 2023. The course will be made available to FET staff from other Education and Training Boards nationally in the future.

The more that we have considered how to best include students and meet their needs, the better we can deliver our service. For CDETB, with 28 graduates coming from this course, I am hoping that this will start conversations and actions that will transform our delivery.

Blake Hodkinson Director of Further Education & Training, City of Dublin Education & Training Board

Prison educators can often feel isolated and somewhat ‘different’ from other FE teachers because of the prison’s unique context, engagement on a course like this lessens that sense of isolation and allows for a shared understanding across a range of educational services.

Anne Costelloe Education Centre, Mountjoy Prison

This innovative and timely partnership between Further and Higher Education brings mutual benefits to Trinity and the CDETB, and will have far reaching positive consequences for young people in local and regional communities. Sharing the same values of commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, we look forward to building on the success of this joint venture and congratulate our graduates as they lead the way in fostering fully inclusive practices in Further Education.

Prof Carmel O’Sullivan, Head of the School of Education, Trinity College

Today marks an important moment in how we, as educators, respond to student diversity across different educational settings. These graduates can now embed principles of equality, diversity and inclusion into their practice giving students equal opportunities to succeed.

Dr Joanne Banks, Programme Coordinator, Trinity College