As part of the National Adult Learners' Festival, AONTAS holds an annual policy day in Dublin.
The event is being held at the Richmond Education and Event Centre in Dublin and is open to AONTAS members and invited guests. If you would like to join AONTAS as a member, please click here.
Aim: The Policy Day will mark the 20 year Anniversary of the publication of Learning for Life: White Paper on Adult Education (2000).
Focus of the Day: To bring policy makers, community education learners, educators and academics together to listen first-hand to the impact of community education and chart its evolution since 2000. A specific focus will centre on factors which have helped or impeded the ability of community to respond to the needs of local communities and learners. The ultimate aim is to re-visit the potential of community education to meet current national policy priorities (specifically within the remit of the Department of Education and Skills) so that it is empowered to widen participation in adult education.
Outline of the day: As with all AONTAS events, we want to create a space for learning. Our intention is to set out the current community education context from a practice perspective by:
- Rooting the day in the learner experience with an initial learner discussion panel on community education - Seeing community education in action by showing videos of examples of organisations from across Ireland (where it happens, who is involved, the impact)
With this backdrop, we will explore the impediments to the growth and development of community education (funding mechanism).
The White Paper on Adult Education will be discussed by one of the key actors responsible for its development, Prof Tom Collins.
Participants will engage in facilitated table discussions regarding the current position of community education in national policy. Key points will be identified by facilitator.
What we hope to achieve: Last year the Policy Day proposed a new National Strategy for Community Education as community education meets national policy objectives across a range of government departments. This year we want to discuss where community education is in national policy, specifically under the remit of the Department of Education and Skills, as it has moved from being central aspect of the White Paper in 2000 to an arguably narrower space in the FET Strategy (2014-2019).
Further details and a comprehensive agenda will be made available soon.
Confirmed speakers include William Beausang (Assistant Secretary General at the Department of Education and Skills), Professor Tom Collins, Andrew Brownlee (Chief Executive Officer, SOLAS), Mary Maher (Director of Dublin Adult Learning Centre), Niamh O'Reilly (CEO, AONTAS) and Tara Farrell (AONTAS Chairperson).
The Richmond Education and Event Centre
1 Brunswick Street North
D07 TH76 Dublin