Board and Subcommittee

What is the NALA Student Subcommittee about?

NALA's Board gives responsibility to the NALA Student Subcommittee to gather and discuss adult literacy student issues and to feedback issues to NALA's Board. The Subcommittee is made up of fourteen students. At least one student is from NALA's Board, and is appointed by the Board.


We are now looking for new Student Subcommittee members 8 March 2018

Please read on and phone Margaret Murray, NALA's Student and Membership Officer on 01 412 7928 or email if you are interested.

Be ready to leave your name and number and Margaret will get back to you.


Who can go onto NALA's Student Subcommitte?

Students on the Student Subcommittee must be individual members of NALA (free or have paid €25) and:

  • Be a current adult literacy student - an adult who has gone back to education and is currently improving their literacy and or numeracy: in a centre, on a programme, through distance education, or as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) student; or a
  • Or a former adult literacy student who has an ongoing interest in promoting adult literacy issues.

We are looking for a good mix of students, male and female from urban and rural areas and different types of learners. For example we would like to have a person using the distance learning service and an ESOL learner.


Is the Student Subcommittee for me?

The Student Subcommittee will suit you if you are prepared to:

o   Attend seven meetings a year in NALA's Office in Ranelagh, Dublin 6.

o   Identify and talk about adult literacy student issues from your experience and from talking to students locally or regionally.

o   Reach agreement with others about student issues to be brought to NALA's Board.

Members of the Subcommittee also help organise student days and other events. They have represented literacy issues on for example the National Consumer Agency panel, a focus groups run by An Post and as a Ministerial appointee to a Quality and Qualifications Ireland committee.

See Terms of Reference for the Student Subcommittee and Frequently Asked Questions document below.


The following people are on NALA's Student Subcommittee in March 2018

Student or representative                      From                       Involved with or previously linked to this centre

1. Michael Duffy (Chairperson)              Killeshandra             Cavan

2. Tanya Byrne (Vice Chairperson)         Loughlinstown          Bray 

3. Michelle Johnston                              Cavan                       Cavan

4. Jude Holt                                           Tullamore                 Tullamore

5. Thomas Campbell                             Tullamore                 Tullamore

6. Sandra Hendrick                                Drogheda                 Drogheda

7. Catherine Devlin                                Buncrana                  Buncrana, Donegal

8. Joe McDonagh                                   Shannon                   Shannon

9. Mary Ward                                         Dublin                      KLEAR   

10. Noel Phelan                                     Kilkenny                   Wordaid

NALA's Student and Membership Officer, Margaret Murray, writes minutes and attends meetings. A representative from the Adult Literacy Organiser's Association (ALOA), Maria Morgan from Drogheda, attends to advise and feeds back agreed issues to the ALOA.


Key achievements of the Subcommittee are:

  • Raising awareness at the NALA stand at the Ploughing Championships amongst the 200,000+ attendees.
  • Consulting with the SOLAS implementation group on the importance of considering adults with literacy difficulties who use their service.
  • Involvement in project that created a manifesto of literacy learners' rights ‘Voice of writing and reading learners in Europe’. This was presented to members of the European Parliament in September 2013.
  • Sucessfully lobbying with NALA for learner representatives on Education and Training Boards in 2014.