20 Sep 2018

AONTAS Strategic Plan Consultation

As the national membership organisation committed to educational equality for adults, AONTAS is seeking your engagement to develop the organisation’s strategic plan over the next four years (2019-2022). We are asking you to please:

Complete the Membership Survey


Attend one of our Regional Consultation Meetings (Galway, Cork, Louth and Dublin)

Over the course of the current AONTAS Strategic Plan (2015-2018), adult and community education has undergone far-reaching and extensive changes and challenges. With the array of National and European policy impacting on adult learning at an increasing rate, it is vital that AONTAS is positioned to advocate effectively for community education, truly learner-centred policy and access for all across the lifelong learning system. The lifelong learning participation rate is currently 8.3%, however we know the most educationally disadvantaged are least likely to participate.

Within the context of the National Skills Strategy (2025) and the Action Plan for Education (2016-2019), and as the Further Education and Training (FET) Strategy (2014-2019) enters its final year, future policy direction is in a state of change. The refocusing on FET for those in employment, the commencement of the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) re-engagement process with its array of new policies, the mid-term review of the National Access Plan for 2015-2019 (higher education), our members have voiced the need for our services now more than ever. How we deliver on our commitment to supporting adult learning educators, adult learners, and those interested in supporting educational equality is dependent on our strategic direction.

With that said AONTAS is increasing its capacity to deliver on its future Strategic Plan for members. Having undergone significant changes in recent years, with a new CEO, and the completion of both an organisational and Board review, we are striving to further develop the organisation as it reaches its 50th year in 2019. The Board and Staff team are asking you to engage in the strategic planning process, so that we can collectively promote and advocate for adult learning as a strong, vibrant, professional and authentic organisation.

Membership Survey

The purpose of this survey is to provide a confidential space for members to input their ideas. We would like to hear about the current strengths of AONTAS so we can build on them. We also want to hear about challenges and threats to the organisation and members. The survey is completely anonymous and you will not be asked to provide any identifying information.

You can complete the survey by visiting:

Regional Membership Meetings

As part of this process AONTAS is also holding regional meetings with members in October 2018 which will provide an opportunity to follow up on the issues raised during this survey. Details of the events are as follows: 

  1.  Galway Regional Meeting

Date: Monday, 1st October 2018

Time: 10am-2pm

Venue: The Galmont Hotel, Lough Atalia Rd, Galway

  1. Dundalk Regional Meeting

Date: Tuesday, 2nd October 2018

Time: 10am-2pm

Venue: Crowne Plaza Haggardstown, Dundalk, Louth

  1. Cork Regional Meeting

Date: Thursday, 4th October 2018

Time: 10am-2pm

Venue: The River Lee Hotel, Western Rd, Cork

  1. Dublin Focus Group

Date: Thursday 11th October 2018

Venue: Wynn’s Hotel

Time: 12 – 1.30pm

REGISTER for your nearest regional event at:

Community Education Network (CEN) Meeting

3rd October 2018, Dublin: In order to ensure that the voice of CEN members is represented in the new Strategic Plan, the next CEN meeting will incorporate a Strategic Plan consultation. At the meeting we will also hear from Donegal ETB and the Donegal Community Education Forum about their recently launched research report on community education in the area. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, 3rd of October in the Ashling Hotel, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8. We would strongly encourage all CEN members to attend. Register for the event at:

Extraordinary General Meeting

28th November 2018: The AONTAS Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) will take place in the Ashling Hotel, Parkgate Street, Dublin 8. Register for the event at: More details to follow.

We would very much appreciate your participation in the strategic planning consultation process, your views are vital to the future growth and development of the organisation.