Covid guidelines impact Cavan Institute student numbers

Cavan Institute has just 705 full-time students on its roll-books for September 2020, despite unprecedented demand for Post Leaving Cert (PLC) places at the local educational facility.

COVID-19 regulations have forced college management to reduce the numbers on the institute’s books to ensure adequate social distancing in classrooms.

The issue was highlighted at the September meeting of the Cavan Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) last week.

Board member Michelle Flynn expressed a concern that the reduction in numbers may impact on staffing levels at the FE college next year.

“I hope that it [reduced numbers] is only going to be an exception for this year and that staffing levels for next year will not be depleted because they are based on 750 students this year. Maybe this is an issue that can be brought up at a future meeting,” she said.

Prior to COVID-19, Cavan Institute had a cap on student numbers of 1,265.

Ms Flynn explained that the numbers of tutors in the college in any given academic year are based on student numbers from the previous October.

Chief Executive John Kearney said: “We are mindful of it here in Cavan Monaghan ETB and it is also a national issue. It is an issue that is being impressed with SOLAS, given the exceptional circumstances that prevail in relation to the provision for this year.”