AONTAS Adult Learners’ Festival 2021#BetterTogether
5th February 2021 – Newsletter        

The 15th annual AONTAS Adult Learners’ Festival will take place from 1st – 5th March 2021. This celebration of adult learning is an opportunity for you to promote your organisation, showcase your learners and connect with your community.

Here are three great ways you can get involved this year:

  1. Attend an AONTAS led Event
  2. Host an Event
  3. Join the conversation online #BetterTogether

Adult Learners’ Festival 2021 Theme – #BetterTogether 

The theme of this year’s Festival is collaboration and “Building Back Better Together – #BetterTogether”. While we can’t come together for our usual in-person events, we are excited to collaborate with our members and organisations in the sector to deliver an exciting calendar of virtual events and opportunities to engage online. We hope you will join us to promote and acknowledge the incredible work you, our members, have done in adapting to the challenges of the past year.

You can also keep up to date with our Adult Learners’ Festival page and social media on how you can get involved in the Festival.
If you would like more information on how you can get involved in the Festival please get in touch with Katie O’Rourke, AONTAS Head of Communications at: [email protected].

Visit Festival Webpage

How Can You Get Involved?

You can be part of the Adult Learners’ Festival in a number of ways. The free resources and online supports below offer opportunities to engage with the Festival online and to organise an event as part of the Festival calendar. We encourage adult learning providers to use the Festival week as an opportunity to open up online classes, information sessions or coffee-catch ups to the public. While these events are usually open to your local public, virtual events offer a good opportunity to reach learners nationally. Additional supports and information around this is available below. AONTAS will promote all Festival events through our communication channels which had a reach of over 5.2 million in 2020. 

1. Attend an AONTAS Event

AONTAS is organising a series of online events from Monday, 1st – Friday, 5th March. We encourage you to check this schedule on our events page here and register for any that are of interest to you.

Key National Events taking place include the AONTAS STAR Awards 2021 Celebration and the annual Policy Day event – A Shared Vision for Educational Equality which will bring the members of the Network for Adult Learning Across Borders (NALAB) together to discuss a shared vision for educational equality.

For more information about the 21 adult learning projects shortlisted for the STAR Awards 2021, please click here.

The Policy Day event will take place on Friday, 5th March 2021 on Zoom from 11.00am to 1.00pm and will be the closing event of the Festival.

Register for the AONTAS Annual Policy Day

2. Host an Event

We encourage you to host an event during the Festival too. Maybe you would like to organise a “taster session” or “open day” event that showcases your organisation’s work or the courses available. Alternatively, you may like to invite your learners to attend a virtual coffee/tea morning.
Ideas for organising an event during the Festival are available in our Communications Toolkit. Download the communications toolkit by visiting the AONTAS website here or clicking the image below.

Please submit your events to the One Step Up calendar (events must be free of charge) which will be visible to a national audience.

AONTAS Membership Webinars

To support members to take part in this year’s Festival we will be hosting two interactive membership webinars. We would encourage you to join us for these events where you will have an opportunity to ask questions and get ideas and support from the AONTAS team.

  • AONTAS Membership Update and Engagement WebinarAdult Learners’ Festival 2021 Information Session, Wednesday, 10th February from 2pm-3pm. Click here for more information
  • AONTAS Membership Update and Engagement Webinar – Adult Learners’ Festival 2021 – Organising Your Virtual Event, Wednesday, 17th February from 2pm-3pm. Click here for more information 

Submit your event to the One Step Up Calendar

3. Join the Conversation Online

Here are some quick tips to help spread the word online about your event in the Adult Learners’ Festival:

  • Follow @AONTAS on Twitter, @aontasireland on Instagram, and ‘like’ us on Facebook
  • Use the #BetterTogether hashtag to share details of your own online events or events in your local community
  • Tag AONTAS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so that we can share and promote your posts across our social media platforms
  • If you don’t have the resources to hold an event but would still like to be a part of the Festival, help us to spread the word about the Adult Learners’ Festival by sharing online events, information about learning opportunities in your area and everyday learning on your social media platforms, tagging us and using the #BetterTogether hashtag!





Social Media Photo Challenge – Connect with the Adult Learning Community

Help us to share the message of the Adult Learners’ Festival online and spread a little positivity and connect with a whole community of adult learners online! We ask adult learners and providers nationwide to share an image that represents your learning during COVID-19. Maybe you’ve taken up a musical instrument, become a talented cook or baker, painter, reader, gardener, or maybe you’ve organised a way to stay in touch while learning, teaching or working remotely.

  • Step 1: Snap a picture of something that shows what or how you are learning during the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Step 2: Post the picture on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, tag AONTAS and use the hashtag #BetterTogether
  • Step 3: Look out for others sharing their pictures and support them with a ‘like’ or a ‘share’!

While we are learning and working remotely, we can share our learning together.
We are #BetterTogether!

Want to take over AONTAS’ Social Media?

We are inviting AONTAS members to take part in a social media “takeover”! In 2020, AONTAS’ social media content reached over 3 million Facebook and Twitter users. By being part of this member “takeover”, you have the opportunity to share the fantastic work of your organisation and raise the voice of your learners to AONTAS’ followers. If you are interested to learn more or to take part, please email AONTAS Social Media Officer, Emma O’Kane: [email protected] for more information.

For more details on how to get involved in the 2021 Festival, please contact AONTAS Head of Communications, Katie O’Rourke: [email protected].

Don’t forget to follow us on social media for all the latest updates!