Learner Supports

Adult LiteracyLOETB Adult GuidanceLOETB Information HubsInclusion Support



Adult Literacy Service

The Adult Literacy Service provides a range of supports to learners, who are contacting us for the first time to learn to read or write or learners who are experiencing difficulty with their course.

These supports include:

  • English classes for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • English and communication
  • Everyday numeracy/maths
  • Basic computers/digital skills
  • One to One tuition
  • Small Group Literacy Class
  • Literacy, numeracy and digital supports
  • Reading Circle
  • Family Learning including Story Sacks and Maths/Irish for parents.
  • Driver Theory

Please click the link for further information: Adult Literacy Service

Adult Guidance Service

The LOETB Adult Educational Guidance Service offers free, impartial and confidential guidance and information to students and or anyone who may be considering doing a course. The supports provided by the Adult Guidance Service include:

  • Advice and information on all aspects of returning to learning as an adult
  • Educational and career guidance sessions with students in the Further Education centres, schemes and programmes
  • Group and one-to-one appointments and educational guidance sessions
  • Assistance with completing CAO, UCAS, SUSI and other applications
  • Access to the internet for career and educational research purposes


Please click on the link for further information: Adult Guidance Service


Information Hubs

The Information Hubs are designed to be a one stop shop for learner information and supports.  In the Information Hubs, you can

  • Make an appointment to meet an Adult Guidance Officer
  • Access information on education and training options as well as funding supports.
  • Learn about progression options available to you through LOETB courses as well as links to third level colleges
  • Research course options independently or with support
  • Reserve a space to study, research or attend online courses.

Please click the link for further information: Information Hubs

Inclusion Supports

There are many supports available for LOETB learners who are attending full or part time courses.  Please find an overview of the types of supports that may be applied for.  Supports include:

  • Reasonable Accommodation refers to modifications in how a test is administered while not compromising the integrity of the examination system. Accommodations may include changes to presentation format, response format, test setting or test timing. In general terms, the provision aims to remove the impact of a disability so that candidates can demonstrate their full level of attainment, while not being given any advantage.   

    Please click here for further information on  Reasonable Accommodation
  • Assistive Technology is the name of the IT supports that can help learners with literacy difficulties or learners with disabilities.  These include  ‘BrowseAloud’, ‘Text Help Read Write Gold’, ‘Touch Type Read and Spell’, ‘Inspiration’ and ‘Clicker 6’. 

    For further information, contact the Adult Literacy Service
  • Specialist Training Providers: The National Learning Network in Tullamore and Portlaoise provides programmes for learners with disabilities and additional support needs. 
    Please click the link for further information:  National Learning Network.
  • Dyslexia Screening can be provided to support learners experiencing difficulty with their course.  Contact your Centre Manager or alternatively, contact the Adult Literacy Service.
  • Early School Leavers: If you left school early and you would like to complete a programme that would offer you a range of courses at levels 3 and 4 on the National Framework of Qualifications, the Tullamore Community Training Centre or the LOETB Youthreach programme which is offered in many of our Further Educaiton and Training Centres may be the next step for you.  For further support in identifying the right course for you, please contact the Adult Guidance Service.
  • Extension Applications.  It may become necessary for you to apply for additional time to complete an assessment.  Extension applications will be considered under certain circumstances.  For further information, please visit our Learner Extension Applications section.
  • Exemptions: If you have a QQI component certificates or qualifications from other awarding bodies, you may be able to apply for an exemption to use these in order to achieve a major award on the completion of your current programme.  Click here for further information, on exemptions.
  • Laptop Loan Scheme.  This scheme has been made available to the LOETB Further Education and Training Centres to support learners who require a laptop to complete their studies but do not have access to one at home.  Please contact your class tutor or Centre Manager to apply for access to a laptop through this scheme.
  • Individual Learner Fund (Reach Fund) provides learners with the opportunity to apply for funding up to €300 (for first time applicants) to purchase a device to enable them to complete their studies.  There are certain eligibility criteria for learners who wish to apply for this fund which must be approved in advance of making a purchase.  Please find Individual Learner Fund (Reach Fund) form here.

LOETB Further Education and Training Centre Supports

In addition to all of the supports outlined above which are available to our learners at all of our Further Education and training Centres, the following is also available to you as an LOETB Learner.

  • Learner Support Workers have been appointed in the LOETB Further Education and Training Centres.  The Learner Support Workers can help with study skills, exam preparation, research and referencing or assignment writing.  If you are experiencing difficulty with your course and you wish to discuss any of the supports outlined here, please contact your Learner Support Worker or Centre Manager.
  • There are many courses available to you at the LOETB Further Education and Training Centres.  These are available at all levels and are available on a full time basis and part time basis.  For further support in identifying the right course for you, please contact the Adult Guidance Service.  Further details available here.
  • Individual Learner Booths are available in many of our Centres.  You can book a booth to conduct your studies.
  • Learner Wifi is available in all of our Centres.

Community Outreach

  • Community Education: LOETB provide many non-accredited courses in communities across Laois and Offaly, not just in our Further Education and Training Centres.  Community Education is about creating opportunities for people to identify their learning needs and learn in their own community.  Please click on the link for further information:  Community Education
  • Local Training Initiatives: LOETB provide certified training courses called Local Training Initiatives (LTIs), within community settings across Laois and Offaly.  This gives the learner an opportunity to reengage with education and learn in an informal setting such as in the local Traveller Movement or local Youth Service.  Please click the link for further information:  Local Training Initiative.
  • Reach Fund for Community Groups:

Reach Fund
(Formerly Mitigating against Educational Disadvantage Fund (MAEDF))

The Mitigating against Educational Disadvantage Fund (MAEDF) was announced on the 13th October 2020 by Minister Simon Harris with a budget of €8 million.

This was reviewed and renamed the Reach Fund in 2022 and is designed to increase the capacity of ETBs and community education providers to address the decline in participation of disadvantaged learners particularly those on literacy and basic skills programmes at levels 1-3.

This fund places a strong focus on community education and support as a tool to continue to help and engage with these learners.

There is also a continued focus on enabling the investment in building the digital infrastructure of providers and their capability to ensure that online learning and continued engagement can be delivered in a way that meets the complex needs of all learners.

LOETB has administered this initiative very successfully over the last four years, providing funding to more than 20 Community Groups.

  • Reach Fund: Community Group whereby Community Groups can apply for funding to support their local community and service users that are experiencing educational disadvantage. 
    Closing date: 5pm 28 March 2024

    Download the Reach Fund Application Form 2024



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