Further Education Means Success
The further education strategy has been published entitled Further Education Means Success.
Applying for courses and support
If you want to see what courses are available, apply for a course, or find out about what support is available, all the information is on the further education pages at nidirect.
Read more on further education training opportunities for employers on nibusinessinfo.co.uk website.
The Department is also responsible for curriculum and qualifications below degree level, with a key focus on the development of adult literacy.
Statutory further education sector
The strategic objectives of the further education sector are:
- to support regional economic development and, in particular, to provide the skills necessary for the knowledge-based economy
- to increase participation and widen access to those previously under-represented in the sector
- to improve the quality of provision and enhance standards of performance
The Department of Education's Education and Training Inspectorate provides for inspections of FE colleges in relation to the quality of teaching and learning.
Further education colleges are non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs). Management responsibility lies with each individual college’s governing body.
The range of courses provided by colleges span essential skills, a wide range of vocational and academic programmes at levels 2 and 3 and higher education programmes.
Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities
Under the Special Educational Needs and Disability (NI) Order 2005 (SENDO), Further Education (FE) colleges are required to make reasonable adjustments for students with learning difficulties and / or disabilities (SLDD) to enable access to FE provision.
The Department facilitates the FE colleges to fulfil this obligation through the Funding for students with a learning difficulty and/or disability.
- Special Educational Needs and Disability (Northern Ireland) Order 2005
- Explanatory Memorandum to Special Educational Needs and Disability (Northern Ireland) Order 2005
- Disability support at college - nidirect
The Special Educational Needs and Disability (Educational Institutions) (Alteration of Leasehold Premises) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005
Under the Special Educational Needs and Disability (Northern Ireland) Order 2005, regulations were made governing the relationship between educational institutions and landlords when, under provisions contained in the Order, adjustments have to be made to leased premises.
Disability Discrimination Code of Practice for Further and Higher Education
The Disability Discrimination Code of Practice for Further and Higher Education was issued by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland under section 54A of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
The Code provides practical guidance for further and higher education institutions on how to avoid committing acts which are unlawful under, and other matters relating to, the operation of Part III Chapter II, Further and Higher Education, of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (Northern Ireland) Order 2005. There is also a Disability Discrimination Code of Practice for Schools.
More useful FE publications
- Management Statement and Financial Memorandum between the DfE and FE colleges and appendices
- Guide for Governors of Northern Ireland further education colleges – this document describes the main powers and responsibilities of governing bodies. It offers advice and provides background information on the further education sector which governors may find helpful.
Copies of circulars issued to further education colleges by the department can be found in our publications section.
Statistics and research
Statistics and research on further education in Northern Ireland is available at: