Attention: Minister for Further Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris

July 5, 2023

A Statement from David Russell, PCN Chairman

Progressive College Network (PCN) supports the introduction of the IEM; the long overdue quality mark.
However, if and when it sees light it must be fit for purpose. From the point of view of ELE providers: transparency and fairness has to underpin all aspects of the IEM – from application process to appeals and ongoing management of the scheme.
One major area of concern is that of Learner Protection and the fund provided for in the Act. The proposed fund is simply not good enough.

At present PCN has a bespoke insurance product which combines LP and Medical insurance. This policy is individually provided to each and every student. This means that in the unlikely event that a PCN school was to close, each and every student would be looked after. In addition the PCN insurance protects the wages of teachers.

• There is a serious lack of information regarding the administration and management
of the proposed LP fund
• An insurance policy held by each student offers far superior protection than the
proposed LP fund
• The proposed LP fund offers no protection whatsoever to teachers and staff
• In the case company bankruptcy; monies owed to banks and/or Revenue would be
drawn from the proposed LP fund, as this would be seen as an asset of the company
• The proposed LP fund makes the Irish Tax payer ultimately liable.

For further information please feel free to contact:
David Russell, Chairman, Progressive College Network,

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