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AONTAS Community Education Network


Title: AONTAS The National Adult Learning Organisation Author: user Last modified by: Niamh OReilly Created Date: 8/16/2006 12:00:00 AM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: AONTAS Community Education Network

AONTAS Community Education Network
  • Community Education Network Meeting
  • Date Tuesday 24th March 2015
  • Time 10.00am 3.00pm

  • Aim To reconvene the CEN and explore current
  • Objectives 
  • Overview of the lobbying and advocacy work for
    community education
  • QQI reengagement for community education legacy
    providers (previously FETAC providers)
  • Issues facing community education as voiced by
    CEN members
  • Community Education in a Digital Era
  • Reflection on community education practice
  • Outcomes
  • Detailed list of demands for QQI
  • Highlight any other areas for advocacy work
  • Explore new methods to engage CEN members
  • Information about an online learning model
  • Collective solidarity and support

  • 10am Registration
  • 10.15am Meeting starts
  • 10.30am Overview of the work of the CEN to date
  • 11.00am QQI reengagement - group discussions
  • 11.30am Tea/coffee
  • 11.45am Current issues facing community
    education practitioners - group discussions
  • 12.15am Strengthening the CEN to address issues
    at regional and national level
  • New structures at local level (Nora Fahy,
    Roscommon Womens Network)
  • Mapping out networks within the CEN how can we
    strengthen these?
  • - Discussions
  • 12.45pm Lunch
  • 1.30pm Community Education in a Digital Era
  • Strengthening the CEN and local community
    education groups through online networking
    (Michael Hallissy, H2 Learning and Chairperson
  • How to support community education groups to
    engage in online learning provision (An Cosan
    example) Liz Waters and AONTAS President
  • 2.45 pm Reflection on practice Reflections on
    Community Education Research
  • Update and dialogue on research Camilla
    Fitzsimons (Community Education Practitioner,
    CEN member, PhD student and Lecturer at Maynooth
  • 3.00pm Meeting Close

  • Speed networking
  • Name
  • Organisation
  • Expectation for the meeting

What does the AONTAS Community Education Network
CEN Collective Levels of Work
  • Organisational
  • Classroom

Influencing Policy Regarding Community Education
(National and European Level)
Teaching Council
Community Education
Adult Learners
Influencing Policy Regarding Community Education
(National and European Level)
Community Education
Adult Learners
Policy Work at European Level
  • How? Through the European Association for the
    Education of Adults (EAEA) - Membership
    organisation for non-formal adult education
    advocacy/policy influence
  • Why? Influence European and International adult
    learning and education policy
  • Who? Mainly European Commission and European
  • European Commission
  • European Social Fund co-funding e.g. BTEI and
  • New policy alignment/cohesion Country Specific
    Reports (e.g. participation in lifelong learning
    lower EU average (7,3, as compared with 10,7 in
  • EAEA Civil Society Response including Ireland
  • European Agenda on Adult Learning (EAAL)
  • European Parliament
  • Create an interest group on lifelong learning
    amongst MEPs
  • Also international influence OECD, UNESCO
  • In collaboration with International Council of
    Adult Education (ICAE)

European CommissionPresident of the European
Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker
  • A new boost for jobs, growth and investment
  • A connected digital single market
  • A resilient Energy Union with a forward looking
    climate change policy
  • A deeper and fairer internal market with a
    strengthened industrial base
  • A deeper and fairer Economic and Monetary Union
  • A reasonable and balanced free trade agreement
    with the United States
  • An area of Justice and Fundamental Rights based
    on mutual trust
  • Towards a new policy on migration
  • Europe as a stronger global actor
  • A Union of democratic change
  • Reference http//

Policy Work at European Level
  • What about Community Education?
  • Ensure the wider benefits of community education
    are recognised
  • Ensure European Commission policy includes
    non-formal adult education
  • Ensure European funding is targeted to non-formal
    adult education e.g. ERASMUS
  • Ensure policy is influenced by the social action
    model of adult learning
  • Ensure projects are developed to support evidence
    base for non-formal adult education
  • Ensure proposed funding models will support the
    need of community education e.g. funding
  • Strengthening the capacity to be a recognised,
    valuable for of education provision

Influencing Policy Regarding Community Education
(National Level)
  • Berni Brady on SOLAS Board
  • National Adult Learner Forum
  • Specific working groups
  • Higher Education Authority
  • Representation on the Access Advisory Group
  • Part-time fees issue
  • Provision of higher education by community
    education organisations
  • Widening participation

Adult Learners
Community Education and QQI
Community Education
Adult Learners
CEN QQI Engagement Work
  • Update on the no fees for re-engagement campaign
  • Outline of what groups need in order to prepare
    for reengagement
  • Discussion groups
  • - What specific information do you need from QQI

Maintaining ability to provide accredited
AONTAS CEN Lobbying Work Summary
  • Since 2013, over 20 submissions for Green and
    White Papers have been made to QQI
  • May QQI fee issues emerging from the CEN
  • 28th May - CEN focus group meeting on QQI issues
  • June - Campaign started
  • June - Position Paper developed very detailed
    paper on the issue used as lobbying tool with
    template letter. CEN members distributed it to
    their local representatives
  • July Huge momentum building, high degree of PQs
    on the issue (mainly Sinn Fein)
  • 23rd September Letter from Jan OSullivan to
    meet with DES to look at issue
  • September Research undertaken and detailed
    Paper on scenarios for re-engagement of legacy
    FETAC providers produced in advance of DES
  • October 8th Meeting with Department of
    Education (Brian Power, Principal Officer,
    Qualifications and Equity of Access to Higher
    Education at DES, Huge Geoghegan (HEO), Wendy
  • 20th October Meeting with David Treasy,
    Education Officer at CDETB
  • Meeting 9th December 2014 with DES and QQI (Niamh
    OReilly and Tara Farrell)

CEN QQI Lobbying Campaign Outcomes
  • Community education is on the political agenda
    local TDs, policy makers in DES, QQI
  • Greater awareness about community education
  • Greater voice for influencing QQI decisions that
    impact on the community education sector
  • Open engagement with key civil servants in DES
    and the QQI about accreditation policies that
    impact on community education
  • A hold to the fees issue until there is an
    appropriate roadmap for community education
    groups to re-engage
  • We are at the table to get full information about
    what is involved in the re-engagement process so
    that groups can make an informed decision on
    their best course of action
  • We are working towards engaging in a meaningful
    dialogue with QQI in order to ensure groups can

CEN QQI Lobbying Campaign Outcomes
  • Effectiveness of the advocacy work of the CEN and
    community education organisations
  • Prompted groups at local level to come together
    and perhaps develop local networks, which is a
    great development that we will support.
  • The benefits for groups are important for QQI
    work if re-engaging independently, they have a
    source of support and expertise at local level
    if going to go under the ETBs QA, they can come
    together to negotiate as a collective with their
    ETB regarding this process (easier for groups and
    the ETB, they can look at coming together as a
    consortium to apply for their own QA. But also,
    it supports greater strength of community groups
    at local level, a greater advocacy voice which is
    important for community education groups in the
  • Leverage for supporting legacy providers with QQI
    engagement seek funding for groups dedicated to
    QA support

Policy Work Regarding QQI in 2015
  • QQI reengagement of voluntary legacy providers
    will now take place in 2016 we will be
    supporting the CEN in the preparatory process.
  • Outcomes from the meeting with the Department of
    Education and Skills from 9th December
  • QQI Community and Voluntary Working Group on
  • QQI reengagement for community education groups
  • Broader context issues relating to QQI
  • Sharing experience of Tara Farrell and Suzanne
    Kyle at the QQI C/V working group, meeting 3rd

QQI Response to Scenarios Paper
  • 175 providers self-identified as community and
  • QQI is examining this list and seek assistance of
    Working Group
  • Concept of Capacity was described
  • Fees are still on the table
  • That Quality Assurance is context dependent and
    not dependent on size or ability
  • Concern about the level of activity by community
    and voluntary group (programme certification/valid
    ation - question for QQI about QA systems.
  • No direct provision of support from QQI to
    providers about reengagement but will work with
    stakeholder and providers especially around

QQI Response to Scenarios Paper
  • The Joint Working group is mentioned throughout
    the paper, especially regarding supporting the
    development of QA Guidelines, models of
    reengagement including consortia.
  • Do we want to be part of the ETB QQI Forum to
    discuss the crossovers between community
    education QA/going under the ETB etc.
  • They are interested in the potential of regional
    networks to support QA
  • Reengagement will not happen until 2016 at the
  • Scenarios-
  • QQI developed documentation which will be
    discussed at the Joint Working Group in April
  • Draft QA guidelines for FET are already available
  • Draft QA Guidelines for the ETBs area available
    and they are discussing reengagement with ETBs
    at ETB QQI Forum
  • Joint Working group will example this - For a
    consortium, one must be a legal entity
  • Joint Working Group could help inform decisions
    (their recommendation)

Concept of Capacity
  • The concept of capacity requires the providers to
    show, amongst other things, that, they
  •  established legal entity, with education and
    training as a principal function
  • have appropriate and up-to-date governance
    systems in operation
  • can evidence structural and internal quality
    assurance systems, to ensure that sustainable
    provision of education and training programmes,
    that meet the criteria as outlined in the QA
  • can design, develop, provide, monitor and review
  • can assess learners, ensuring the achievement of
    learning outcomes consistent with QQI
  • can continuously self-evaluate towards service
  • can engage with the formal external review
    process of QQI (as a provider entity in its
    totality). This cyclical formal review is the
    agreed legal requirement of all providers with
    QQI. Current legislation also requires that the
    findings and outcomes of all of these reviews
    must be published.

Discussion Session
  • QQI reengagement
  • Views/comments on the QQI Response Paper
  • What issues do you face regarding this process?
  • What do you need to know from QQI?
  • What can AONTAS do?
  • What can you do?


Community Education in a Digital Era
  • Strengthening the CEN and local community
    education groups through online Networking
  • Dr. Michael Hallissy (H2 Learning and
    Chairperson of D8CEC)
  • How to support community education groups to
    engage in online learning provision
  • Liz Waters (An Cosan and President of AONTAS)


Reflections on Community Education Research
Update and dialogue on research
  • Camilla Fitzsimons (Community Education
    Practitioner, CEN member, PhD student and
    Lecturer at Maynooth university)