Adult and Community Education in Northern Ireland: An AONTAS Collaboration

03 March 2021
Who should attend:
Adult and community education groups in Northern Ireland (practitioners/educators)
1 hour 30 minutes
Prior booking required:
This event is held as part of the AONTAS Adult Learners' Festival 2021 #BetterTogether

About this Event

  • Date: Wednesday, 3rd March 2021
  • Time: 10.30am - 12.00pm
  • Venue: Zoom
  • Who should attend: Adult and community education groups in Northern Ireland

Adult and community education groups are invited to network, learn and collaborate as part of the Adult Learners Festival 2021. This event will provide a space for practitioners to share their experiences during COVID-19, outline barriers faced in the adult learning sector, build new relationships and learn from peers.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to find out more about AONTAS the National Adult Learning Organisation. Identify supports and opportunities available to them and outline their needs as part of potential future cooperation going forward. A focus group will be held as part of this event and will inform an upcoming report led by Colin Neilands on behalf of AONTAS on the current situation of adult learning in Northern Ireland. This reports aims to support the advocacy needs of groups involved and the wider NI sector.

This event is free and open to adult and community education groups in Northern Ireland. It is aimed at practitioners and providers.

AONTAS will also host an event on Friday, March 5th aimed at policy makers, policy influencers and management with representatives from across Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England as part of the Network for Adult Learning Across Borders (NALAB). If you are interested in attending this event, please click here for more information.



10.30    Welcome & Agenda
             Niamh O’Reilly, AONTAS CEO

10.35    Introductions

10.45    Collaboration in Northern Ireland
             Colin Neilands, FALNI

10.50    Overview of AONTAS
             Dearbháil Lawless, AONTAS Head of Advocacy

11.00    Membership with AONTAS
             Mike Lyons, Cork ETB

11.10    Community Education Network
             Suzanne Kyle

11.20    Questions and Answers

11.25    Group Discussion

11.45    Feedback

12.00    Next Steps and Close of Meeting
             Dearbháil Lawless, AONTAS Head of Advocacy


About the Adult Learners' Festival 2021

The 15th annual AONTAS Adult Learners’ Festival will take place from 1st – 5th March 2021. While we usually encourage adult learning providers throughout Ireland to open their centre doors for free open days, events and workshops, this year will look a little different as we adapt to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions in place. In 2021 we will run our first ever virtual Adult Learners’ Festival online.

By building partnerships and working together at local and national levels, we will send a strong message of hope to Ireland’s Adult Learning sector and promote the importance of Educational Equality and Mitigating Educational Disadvantage in a time of COVID-19.

The theme of this year's festival is "Building Back Better Together - #BetterTogether". Click here for more information and to find out how you can get involved.


AONTAS is Ireland’s National Adult Learning Organisation. We are a non-governmental membership organisation established in 1969. AONTAS has a vibrant growing membership of 400 organisations and individuals committed to lifelong learning. Our membership includes adult learners, tutors, statutory, nongovernmental, community and voluntary organisations from across the island of Ireland. AONTAS effectively collaborates with members to create conditions in which the learner can succeed.

Register for this event

Contact details:
Email: Dearbháil Lawless: