The Mitigating against Educational Disadvantage Fund, which aims to provide funding to support educationally disadvantaged learners in accessing and participating in community education. The fund aims to address the decline in participation of disadvantaged learners, particularly those on literacy and basic skills programmes at NFQ levels 1 to 3. The fund places a strong focus on community education as a mechanism to continue to support and engage with disadvantaged learners. In addition, there is a focus on enabling the investment in building the digital infrastructure of providers and their capability to ensure that online learning can be delivered in a way that meets the complex needs of all learners.
Applications to the fund must be returned to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than close of business on 17th Sept. Applications to the fund will be reviewed by an internal ETB Review Panel before being recommended for approval and returned to SOLAS as part of an overall funding request submission from Tipperary ETB. Late applications cannot be considered.
Applicants must be confident the funding applied for can be expended in 2021 and should note that all usual governance and procurement responsibilities apply to this scheme. It is important that potential applicants are confident they can follow all appropriate financial and procurement procedures in the timeframe.
It should be noted that the application process is open to community organisations who have a direct provision arrangement with Tipperary ETB but is also open to community based groups who do not have a direct arrangement with Tipperary ETB, although the focus must be on initiatives that help to mitigate educational disadvantage.
In summary, please note the following:
- Spending must be completed in full by the end of the year and there will be no carry over of funding into 2022
- General governance and procurement procedures must apply
- Applications must ensure there is a focus on mitigating educational disadvantage and must ensure an impact at community level
- Ideally proposals/applications will target learners at levels 1-3 but may target learners at level 4, 5 and 6 where the fund is used to target learners who are likely to experience educational disadvantage that impacts their participation in a learning programme
- Reporting requirements will be significant and will require financial, quantitative and qualitative information (in the form of a project narrative) and applicants must maintain all appropriate records required to report on spending under the fund
- There is a separate form for internal ETB projects and applications from external Community Organisations
- Grants directly to learners are not being considered under this scheme currently as the appropriate governance structures and payment mechanisms are not in place
- The fund cannot be used for pay costs or for recurring costs
- External organisations will need to submit the attached Paypath Bank Mandate Form to facilitate the payment of the grant at the earliest opportunity. The details provided will only be used for the purpose of facilitating the administration of the grant. The data provided will be stored and managed in line with Tipperary ETB Data Protection Policy and in line with GDPR. Please note that a Hard copy of the attached Bank Mandate Form, completed in full together with a signed copy of the company/organisation bank statement will need to be returned to Tipperary ETB before payment can be made. The statement only needs to provide confirmation of the Company Name, Address and Bank Account details, these are generally found on the top of the statement. Payments cannot be made to personal accounts.
Some of the potential ideas that could be considered by applicants include (but are not limited to):
- Spending on practical supports such as IT that can include assistive technologies, laptops, tablets etc. once there is a clear rationale in terms of how these supports will benefit mitigation of educational disadvantage and can be delivered in the timeframe
- Outreach efforts in communities to reengage learners who were impacted during lockdown or who are disproportionately impacted by socio-economic factors and are not engaging in education and training
- Virtual conferences targeted and supporting communities in the area
- Practical initiatives aimed at removing barriers to education participation
- Setting up and running of virtual platforms to enhance engagement opportunities in the online space
- Advertising promotion on local media, buses and billboards etc. specifically promoting Community Education and initiatives
- Projects with specialist organisations such as Dyslexia Ireland aimed at the integration of supports into provision or into engagement activities
- Programmes focused on the green agenda or key industry sectors such as the hospitality sector where the target group are those experiencing educational disadvantage
- Mental health Virtual conference with relevant agencies or support bodies
- Setting up digital hubs/study hubs in community settings – designed to provide an access location in areas of poor broadband or limited educational supports
Please note the following:
- Partnership companies (LCDC and Local Development Companies) can only apply to the scheme where they are applying for funding on behalf a specific community partner and must report on the funding and its use for the community organisations that benefitted
- Currently the scheme is not open to Specialist Training Providers e.g. NLN where they have access to similar funding. Applications will be considered only in cases where the provider can demonstrate the application does not overlap with funding from a core funder or similar scheme.
Please read the guidelines below before submitting your application form.
If you have queries on the application process or the terms or conditions of the fund, please feel free to contact Susan O’Reilly at email@example.com and she will revert back to you as soon as possible.
Director of Further Education and Training