Saturday, 20 September, 2014

One Step Up Champion Joe Mc Donagh passes his Leaving Cert

Joe Mc Donagh

Joe Mc Donagh from the Shannon Adult Learning Centre, who successfully passed his Leaving Cert in 2014.

Congratulations from all of us at AONTAS to adult learner Joe Mc Donagh who successfully passed his Leaving Cert this year.  Joe is one of five learners who are helping to inspire other adults to return to education by sharing their experience and stories on 

Now is the perfect time to think about taking up a learning opportunity.  From late August to September many course providers are hosting open days and exhibitions with information about what they have on offer for adults.  You can find the details by visiting the events calendar on

If you don’t know where to start, then visit the What Next section of our website, where you’ll find all sorts of useful information about funding, how to find a course and who to contact.  If you have a particular query, then contact our Freephone Helpline on 1800 303 669.  

Watch Joe and other learners tell their stories here

Five year Further Education and Training Strategy launched

Fiona Hartley Presentation

Fiona Hartley from SOLAS talks to AONTAS members about the Further Education and Training Strategy at our AGM in May 2014

The first ever Further Education and Training Strategy was launched in May 2014.  The strategy sets out a vision for the development of a high quality further education and training service over the next five years, and outlines five high level goals to be achieved within that period.  SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority, will be responsible for leading out on the strategy and assessing its progress.  

AONTAS welcomes the committment to engage with adult learners as the strategy is realised.  Feedback from our Information Referral Service in May 2014 gives us valuable insights into the needs of adult learners and the challenges they encounter.  Read our blog entry summarising the key findings, or read the full report.  

To read a press release and presentation which summarise the key points of the Further Education and Training Strategy click here.  Read the strategy document in full here

Have your say in our strategic plan

AGM 2014

AONTAS members cast their votes at this years AGM.

Over eighty people attended the AONTAS AGM last Thursday.  They included representatives from the Education and Training Boards, community groups, tutors and adult learners.  We were delighted to welcome Fiona Hartley Executive Director of SOLAS to talk to us about the new five year Further Education and Training Strategy.   

We also started a discussion about our new strategic plan and our priorities for the coming years.  If you missed the AGM you can still take part in the consultation for our new strategic plan. To read more about how you can participate click here.

We launched our Advocacy Toolkit which provides information and advocacy tips in the lead up to, and after this years Local Elections.