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Our Story

Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

The history of adult education in Ireland is a testament to the country's commitment to lifelong learning and the belief that education should be accessible to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. 

Studying in Library

Adult Education in Ireland began to emerge as a recognised sector in its own right around the 80s with the appointment of 50 Adult Education Organisers (AEOs) and Tony Downes became the first AEO in Adult Education Blanchardstown.

It was the first signal that the state had decided to recognise the necessity to provide education facilities for adults throughout the country. Unfortunately, however, the appointments coincided with a serious downturn in the economy and the resultant policies of financial stringency meant that there were Organisers who had ambitious plans but did not receive the funding to implement them.

Despite the obstacles, gradually basic needs such as adult literacy were identified as AEOs struggled to put adult literacy provision on a more secure footing than the entire voluntary provision which then was the norm. 

Bus 39, Castlenock, courtesy of Fingal Libraries
old garda station, now Adult Education S

During the recession of that time, along with the difficulties faced by those looking for suitable employment or made redundant, there were various attempts to provide education programmes to assist people in returning to the workforce. This eventually led to the establishment of VTOS (Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme). VTOS was sponsored by the Department of Education and saw the first influx of adequate funding within Adult Education. 

Adult Education Service Blanchardstown has witnessed a greater recognition of the importance of lifelong learning, an expansion of educational opportunities for adults, and a focus on meeting the changing demands of society. Over the last 30 years, Adult Education Service Blanchardstown has undergone significant developments and changes to meet the evolving needs of learners and Ireland. 

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