The National Adult Learning Organisation
2nd Floor, 83-87 Main Street
Ranelagh, Dublin 6, Ireland
AONTAS is the Irish National Adult Learning Organisation which was established in 1969. It is a voluntary membership organisation and a registered charity whose primary mission is to advocate for the right of all adults in Ireland to quality learning throughout their lives, and to promote the value and benefits of lifelong learning. AONTAS has over 500 members that comprise of organisations and individuals involved in adult learning from the voluntary and statutory sectors. The organisation has 10 staff members and is governed by an Executive Committee Board of 16 members.
Guided by a Strategic Plan AONTAS focuses on the promotion and advocacy of adult learning, particularly from a learner perspective, key projects includes hosting the yearly Adult Learners’ Festival, and co-ordinating the AONTAS Community Education Network. SOLAS, the Further Education and Training Authority, has tasked AONTAS with a key action in the SOLAS FET Strategy under Goal 3.1 Respond to the needs of learners. As such, AONTAS is in the process of establishing a National Adult Learner Forum from 2016 and yearly thereafter as a national learners’ space to directly influence national FET policy. AONTAS is also the National Co-ordinator of the European Agenda on Adult Learning (EAAL).
AONTAS has members from every county in Ireland, is a member (and represented at Board Level) of the European Association for the Education of Adults and the International Council of Adult Education (ICAE). AONTAS fosters excellent relationships with key stakeholders in the lifelong learning sector in Ireland and is represented on national Boards (SOLAS), Advisory Committees (e.g. HEA Higher Education Access), Working Groups/Consultative Fora (e.g. Quality and Qualifications Ireland). And is well positioned in its links and understanding of further education and non-formal adult education.
The AONTAS staff team has specific expertise in this area: project management, research, policy analysis, advocacy, promotion, conferences, finance and administration.
The quality of the work is monitored through reporting structures for SOLAS (our funder) and Executive Committee Board reports (5+ times yearly). AONTAS carries out from internal quality review processes a including an annual review of work and production of a detailed Annual Report.