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Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe


National Support Services - Ireland


Kings Inn House

Parnell Street 

Dublin 1

  • The organisation
  • Work programme
  • The team
  • Adult Learning in the country
  • National Stakeholders
  • Ambassadors


Léargas manages a wide range of national and international exchange and cooperation activities. The majority of our programmes are aimed at organisations active in education, training, and youth and community work.

Léargas is the National Agency appointed by the Department of Education and Skills to manage the Erasmus+ in Ireland, jointly with the Higher Education Authority manages Erasmus+ in the fields of adult education, school education, VET and youth. 

Léargas is a not-for-profit organisation that operates under the aegis of the Department of Education and Skills. It has a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills and is Ireland’s National Agency for the management of transnational exchange and cooperation programmes in the field of lifelong learning and youth, community and voluntary work. 

The EPALE National Support Service in Ireland is managed by Léargas and placed in the Strategic Initatives Team, alongside eTwinning, IAESTE, ECVET, Eurodesk and Language Initatives. 

For more information on EPALE and Léargas' other work you can sign up to Léargas' newsletters

The Irish NSS seek to inform the adult education community about EPALE in terms of its purpose and functionality and engage wide participation in EPALE among adult education practitioners in Ireland.  Among the priorities of the work programme are:

  • Implementing the communication strategy to reach the identified target groups
  • Sourcing and providing quality content for EPALE and actively encourage contributions from stakeholders
  • Developing synergies with Erasmus + and the National Coordinator for the European Agenda for Adult Learning


Target Groups

The target groups are practitioners, researchers and policy makers in the adult education field.  A number of organisations in the fields of vocational education and training, youth and schools will also be targeted in so far as they focus on adult education activities. 


2018's main activities:

  • Promoting the EPALE platform to all stakeholders to maximise the number of users and to ensure that new organisations and individuals are reached. If you or your organisation would like more information on EPALE please contact 
  • Eliciting content contributions to the EPALE platform. 
  • Expanding our national network of EPALE Ambassadors. Ambassadors promote and provide training on EPALE in their regions and assist the NSS in identifying new target groups and experts who could contribute to the platform. 
  • Holding a series of free confrences and regional information and training sessions on EPALE and attending relevant seminars. We've already held workshops in Limerick, Cork and Monaghan during 2018. Our upcoming events include: 

Social Media for Educators workshop in Dublin,19/09/18

Cultural Heritage: The Challenges of Diversity in Newry, in collaboration with EPALE UK and AONTAS, 27/09/18

Assessment in Further Education event in Dublin, in association with the Further Education Network and ECVET, 10/10/18 

Annual EPALE Confrence: Self Care for Educators in Dublin, in association with AONTAS, 21/11/18 



  • Number of Irish adult learning practitioners registered as users on EPALE - we're growing at the steady rate, if you haven't registered yet now's your chance to join a +40,000 strong community of adult educators  
  • Number of potential users attending EPALE events and/or actively engaging online
  • Quality content published on EPALE by Irish users - Its been great to see an increase in Irish content in 2018! If you'd like help uploading content please get in touch with us at 
  • EPALE Ambassadors network expanded - we were delighted to welcome David Pollard to our Ambassador network. If you'd like more information on becoming an Ambassador please get in touch at 

For more information on EPALE Ireland's ongoing work you can sign up to newsletter



Laura Austen-Gray is the Irish EPALE Officer.

Laura has experience in managing student programmes, as well as teaching and working with learners with special educational needs. She holds a Masters in Psychology of Education (University of Bristol) and a BA in Sociology and Social Policy (Trinity College Dublin). ​

Contact Laura by email: or by phone: 00353 (0) 18871257. 



National Policy Context for the field of Further and Adult Education 

The term "Further Education" embraces education and training which occurs after second level schooling but which is not part of the third level system.  A distinctive feature of further and adult education is its diversity and breadth of provision, and its linkages with other services such as employment, training, area partnership, welfare, youth, school, juvenile liaison, justice, community and voluntary sector interests.  A wide range of Government Departments, statutory agencies and voluntary and community organisations provide services in this area. 

The White Paper on Adult Education: Learning for Life, published in 2000, defined adult education as any "systematic learning undertaken by adults who return to learning having concluded initial education or training". 

The concept includes:
•    re-entry by adults to further education
•    re-entry by adults to third level education
•    continuing education and training and professional development of people in or re-entering the workforce, regardless of the level
•    community education
•    other systematic learning undertaken by adults in a variety of settings and contexts, both formal and informal.

An extensive consultation process informed the White Paper Learning for Life and marked the adoption of Lifelong Learning as the governing principle of educational policy in Ireland. 

In Ireland, SOLAS  is responsible for funding, planning and co-ordinating training and further education programmes. In 2014, SOLAS published the Further Education and Training Strategy, which places increased emphasis on training for employment.

Another useful place to visit to get country specific information on the topic of Adult Learning is within Eurydice


We currently have four Irish Ambassadors, who help to spread the word about EPALE across Ireland. 


Bríd Connolly, Jane O'Kelly, Ivanna D'Arcy and David Pollard


If you would like information about becoming an Irish EPALE Ambassador please contact