Friday, 03 July, 2015

The National Adult Learner Forum 2016

Solas 23AONTAS has many years’ experience of organising and facilitating learner events and giving people a platform to voice their issues. Examples of this include our Lobby for Learning Days in which policy makers were given the opportunity to engage in dialogue with learners, and the SOLAS Learner Consultation in which learners were given an opportunity to help influence the Further Education and Training (FET) Strategy. As a result of this work AONTAS has been named as the main lead organisation in the FET Strategy to establish a National Adult Learner Forum.

The 1st National Adult Learner Forum meeting will take place on Wednesday 24th February 2016 during our Adult Learners’ Festival. Our goal is to create a National Adult Learner Forum that facilitates meaningful engagement of learners across FET programmes so that learners can effectively influence national FET policy. In order to build a solid foundation for this yearly event, 2015 will serve as an exploratory year so that AONTAS can learn from stakeholders and practitioners in order to identify what learner voice mechanisms exist at local level and how they can link to the National Adult Learner Forum.

To read more about the work of the National Adult Learner Forum click here.

Award Ceremony recognises the importance of adult learning projects in combating a range of issues

Boxing CleverAt the ninth STAR Awards ceremony, (Monday 23rd) seven outstanding adult learning projects received an award in recognition of their work. The winning projects deal with a range of issues such as homelessness, drug use, disability, unemployment, upskilling and the isolation of older people. Dr. Tom Collins presented the winners with their awards at the ceremony in the Ballsbridge Hotel. Over 300 people representing 38 adult education groups were in attendance. To see the list of winners click here. To read a press release about the event click here.

Castlerea learners help launch the AONTAS Adult Learners’ Festival with a ‘Performance in Progress’

Castlerea launchOn Thursday 19th February, learners from Castlerea Adult Education & VTOS Centre in Co. Roscommon, helped launch the programme of events for the 9th AONTAS Adult Learners' Festival. The launch event saw local artist, Steve McCahill, work with first & second year learners to create a piece of multimedia artwork that is dynamic, vibrant and which captures the festival theme of 'Learning: A Lifetime's Work". This will be put on display in the centre for the duration of the festival. This year's Festival takes place from 23rd - 28th February with over two hundred free events already listed on

We would like to say a big thank you to Kathleen McNulty, VTOs Coordinator and all the students for their time and participation in the event. It was a wonderful morning of art, stories and celebration. To read a press release about the event click here.