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Home » Education » Supportive and inclusive courses that celebrate student individuality

Lucianne Bird

Director of Learning, National Learning Network

Find certified courses in over 80 locations across Ireland for students aged 16+ who need supportive, flexible education.

When students enter the doors of National Learning Network (NLN) to begin a supportive training course, they are welcomed into a holistic learning environment — an experience focused on inclusion, understanding and wellbeing.

Many of these students have had a difficult experience of education. Some have left school early or dropped out of mainstream college. Some have felt unanchored and unprepared for the next stages of life.

Comprehensive courses for students of all abilities

We offer certified training courses (QQI, City and Guilds, ICDL) for people who need extra support and flexibility in their education, including people with disabilities, mental health issues, social anxiety, students with autism and those recovering from an illness or accident.

We are based in over 80 locations across Ireland, offering courses ranging from business, digital skills, horticulture, sports and leisure and general employability skills. All courses are funded by the local Education and Training Board or the HSE. Services are designed using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, ensuring accessibility and celebrating diversity.

Technology-enabled, inclusive learning

Our commitment to a first-class student experience is reinforced by our ‘Tech Wheel.’ All centres now feature various digital tools. Professional development has built staff confidence and competencies in technology-enhanced learning.

Inclusive practices are also supported by the use of assistive technology, including low-tech solutions — such as coloured page overlays favoured by some students with dyslexia — to higher tech solutions such as Looky Book Pro, a portable video magnifier for students with low vision. We also offer an accessible e-learning system with thousands of support resources, including training videos, online quizzes and discussion forms.

By tapping into their talents, they can
achieve a qualification that will lead
to a career suited to their strengths.

Connecting students to future careers

Empowering students to make choices about further education, higher education and employment is an integral part of the curriculum. Students complete work experience to get a better understanding of jobs and industries and make informed decisions about life after NLN. We have strong and established local and national partnerships with over 500 employers, connecting with students and bridging the gap to work.

Education fostering individual strengths

Each student has unique capabilities. By tapping into their talents, they can achieve a qualification that will lead to a career suited to their strengths.

At NLN, students gain more than a certification and pathway for progression to higher or further education or employment. Their mental health and wellbeing can soar, as they gain friendships, life skills and enhanced confidence.

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