Leitrim want new ETB to control student grants

A member of Leitrim VEC is proposing that the new amalgamated Educational Training Boards should take back control of the college grant system, following the huge delays in payments from the centralised SUSI system this year.

A member of Leitrim VEC is proposing that the new amalgamated Educational Training Boards should take back control of the college grant system, following the huge delays in payments from the centralised SUSI system this year.

Acting CEO Martin Fallon informed the members that Dublin City Council say they are now operating a “48 hour turn around” system with college grant applications. They said there are still 461 applications to be appealed. The SUSI system is to undergo an independent review shortly.

Cllr Martin Kenny said it was a ridiculous “waste of money” reviewing a system that everyone knows failed, he said it should not be continued in the same form. Cllr Mary Bohan said the grant system should be handed back to the Educational Training Boards when they amalgamate.

Chairperson of Leitrim VEC Damien Brennan said to hear that there are still appeals in March is “incredible.” He added the SUSI system was unrivalled - except for the medical card application procedure which is also causing headaches.

Cllr Siobhan McGloin stated that she understood many students had to drop out of college because of SUSI, Senator Paschal Mooney said he knows a family where two daughters will need to be pulled out of education because of the systems failure. Cllr Enda Stenson said he would like to hear stories from local parents and students who had to drop out due to the delay in the system.