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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 National Support Service for EPALE aims to inform the adult education community about EPALE’s purpose and functionality. We also aim to engage wide participation in EPALE among adult education practitioners in Ireland.  Among our priorities 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.  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. 


Upcoming activities:

  • Drama for adult language learning - workshop in Dublin, Tuesday 26/03/19

More information and booking here


  • Drama for adult language learning - workshop in Cork, Saturday 30/03/19

More information and booking here


We’re always looking for new ways to support adult educators/trainers in Ireland. If there are trainings or events which you feel would benefit the adult education community we would be delighted to consider them and can be contacted at


Irish Content

  • It’s been great to see a significant increase in Irish content shared on EPALE during 2018! If you'd like help with sharing content on EPALE – or have any general EPALE questions – please get in touch with us at  


More Information:

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



Laura Austen-Gray is the Coordinator for EPALE in Ireland.

Laura has been coordinating EPALE in Ireland since 2017. Prior to that she managed student programmes with a large homeless organisation. She also has experience 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). She is currently undertaking a Professional Certificate in Governance.  ​

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



Caoilte Bashford is the Administrator for EPALE in Ireland. 

Caoilte has been a part of the team since January 2019. He's proficient in Irish and German, holds a BA in Political Science and Geography, and has previous experience teaching children and young adults English as a foreign language in Germany. 

Contact him by email on or by phone: +353 (0) 1 8871257

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


EPALE Ambassadors play an important role in the life of the EPALE through:

  • Communicating the existence of EPALE to colleagues and others in the adult learning sector
  • Being an advocate for EPALE and the concept of European cooperation
  • Identifying good quality content that can be uploaded to EPALE
  • Working with the EPALE National Support Service (Léargas) to provide feedback on the site and events

If you feel you would make a good Ambassador, please contact