All of GRETB’s education and training provision has access to the guidance service, in the form of guidance information officers and guidance counsellors. The guidance information officer provides information to prospective and current learners on the courses available and other information that may be required. The guidance counsellor support learners who seek support throughout their time on a programme.
Prior information in relation to our learners and their learning needs enables a service to meet required needs. Applicants are encouraged to disclose special needs or disabilities on admission so that resources or accommodations can be put in place. However, this information is not always available and is generally information which emerges as a learner develops on a course. Prior information on learning needs at the selection stage of admission is a crucial link to learners’ success.
- Base line data
The following diagram represents the flow of events for learner admission, Stage 1 (Referral) and Stage 2 (Selection) Stage 3 (Supports).
Learner Admission Cycle
Literacy and Numeracy
GRETB has six Literacy centres to support walk-in learners who require the service or to support learners already engaged in a further education or training programme. GRETB’s Literacy and Numeracy Strategy (2014-2019) lays out our commitment to improving awareness, availability and participation of literacy and numeracy programmes throughout the region. We aim to maintain and widen provision to cater for the differing needs through innovative and inclusive courses, incorporating Technology Enhanced Learning, and have developed a programme to integrate literacy and numeracy across FET. We are active both in the workplace and schools with our Skills for Work and Family Learning programmes, and run intensive courses as a means of improving outcomes for learners. We also support learners who do not have English as their first language through our ESOL programme.
GRETB’s literacy service uses the handbook for Initial and Ongoing Assessment of Adult Literacy and Numeracy at NFQ levels 1-3. Methods and procedures are set out in this handbook which support managers, tutors and learners in all adult literacy centres and in any centre that offers QQI courses at levels 1-3. Detailed information on how to assess learners at these levels are given in this practical handbook, which also includes a toolkit of resources and sample assessment materials. These guidelines contribute to the flexible and responsive provision of literacy and numeracy across the region, supporting learners to achieve their learning goals, to maintain and further develop these skills and to increase in confidence.
GRETB are implementing the ESOL recommendations (2018), and support Professional Development related to literacy and numeracy among all FET staff. We also aim to develop and enhance availability of RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning).
An example of a recent intervention is highlighted in our innovative literacy and numeracy provision. GRETB Adult Literacy Service was recently shortlisted for the best Education Outreach award at The Education Awards on integrating literacy and numeracy supports for apprentices. The work has already been recognised by the European Commission as part of 2017 European Vocational Skills week in the category of ‘Innovation VET provider’.
The programme consists of tailored Maths assessment, maths support classes and study skills using a dedicated Study and Learning Handbook for Apprentices, as well as one-to-one support in reading, comprehension and language. Technology enhanced learning is also used in the programme and new literacy friendly materials and resources have been developed. An ‘Ideas for Integrating Literacy’ book for craft instructors and tutors has also been produced which includes a section on Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) and dyslexia.
This innovative approach intervenes at Phase 1 of the apprenticeship cycle to support apprentices on their journey to successfully completing all phases of their apprenticeship as well as providing an integrated literacy and numeracy service which will be imbedded in our FET provision.
The range of other supports available to leaners varies. Contact individual centres/schools to find out what resources and supports are available for you.