091 567 660 gabes.info@gretb.ie

Galway Adult Basic Education

Tutor Training

We run two training sessions per year as the need for volunteer tutors is progressively growing. There is one evening courses consisting of 10 sessions of two hours duration. These courses usually start at the beginning of October. Additionally,  there is one intensive course of 5 mornings which takes place either in November or March, depending on demand in the centres.


Sessions include an introduction to adult basic education, reading, writing, spelling, maths, lesson-planning, assessment and boundaries (with an adult guidance counsellor). We keep in constant contact with our volunteers, offering mentoring support and occasional in-house training. Tutors are matched with students towards the end of the course and we do ask for a commitment of one year.


Please let us know on the application form which of the two courses you prefer, the evening course or the intensive day-time course.


If you would like to become a Volunteer Tutor, please click on the Volunteer link on the homepage and complete the online application form. Please note that all voluntary tutors are subject to Garda vetting.




Phone: 091567660 or 0868134711

Tutor Training Course

Voluntary Tutor Training Courses 2018

The next daytime course will start in Febraury 2018, with dates to be confirmed. The next evening course will start in September 2018. Please email alison.jones@gretb.ie if you are interested in taking part in either of these courses.

For further information, email us on gabes.info@gretb.ie

Rosaleen: you can read the inspiring story of one of our students who started in one to one classes here with a voluntary tutor. It was featured in the Connacht Tribune on June 15th, 2015: connachttribune.ie/tag/rosaleen-rice/


The ultimate resource website! This contains material from 16 of NALA's workbooks and their various TV series: resources.writeon.ie/

For iPad ideas in one to one classes, click here.

For Numeracy resources, click here.

For Tips and Tricks, click here.

For details of new books and resources, click here.

Policy for Volunteer Tutoring

Definition of volunteering

Voluntary work may be defined as unpaid work that is chosen freely by a person and is carried out for the benefit of individuals and the community. Voluntary work does not mean that the work is free of standards and regular commitment. Volunteers working for Galway Adult Basic Education Service, a section of the Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board are expected to pursue excellence in their work. They are supported in this objective by regular seminars on language, literacy, maths, and I.T.  The degree of commitment is agreed with the coordinator of volunteer tutoring and times are adhered to in a professional manner.

Definition of adult

The programme generally defines as adults people who are over 18 years of age and have left full-time schooling.

Definition of literacy

Galway Adult Basic Education Service approaches literacy within the framework of the social practice approach.  Literacy is viewed as an integral part of our daily social practices and life. We approach learning and teaching with respect for informal, everyday, vernacular language and discourage a deficit view of literacy. We gradually forge a link between informal and formal literacy and language. Our mission statement is as follows:
Galway Adult Basic Education Service offers programmes that provide basic learning opportunities for adults in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and numeracy, and new computer-based technologies that have become part of everyday life and work.


Applying to be a volunteer tutor

Any person wishing to register their interest in becoming a volunteer tutor can do so on-line at www.gabes.ie without fear of discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, ethnic origin, disability, religion or race.  The applicant is also welcome to meet with the Adult Literacy Officer or with the coordinator of volunteer tutoring to discuss the process and the work involved once selected. Applicants are put on a waiting list and when a place becomes available they are invited to join the 20 hour course in volunteer tutoring in the area of language, literacy, mathematics and I.T.  Due to the limited range of work and the specific type of work to be undertaken and the specific needs of adult learners, not all applicants may be assigned a student. 

Tutor training

There are usually four tutor training sessions per annum. Two of these take place two hours per week (of an evening) over ten weeks. The other two are intensive courses undertaken in a particular week, 9am to 1pm on five mornings. The volunteer has the right to leave the course at any time.

Role of the tutor

The role of the tutor is restricted to the area of language, literacy, numeracy and IT and must not therefore extend into the fields of counselling or social work. In our volunteer tutor training course, which has been validated by Waterford Institute of Technology and carries 10 Credits toward the Higher Certificate in Literacy and BA in Adult Education, the session on Boundaries covers the issue of the role of the tutor. 


One of the principle cornerstones of work in adult literacy provision is confidentiality. Under no circumstances should information about any student be discussed or released outside the centre. The volunteer tutor is advised never to refer to a particular student at any time, including interviews for prospective paid work in the centre.



Volunteers will be provided with the necessary resources and materials (within budget) essential for the performance of tutoring

The coordinator of volunteer tutors will provide mentoring sessions for all volunteer tutors. Advice on resources and materials and specific students will also be given. The coordinator will also contact the student to gauge if the match and the teaching/learning situation have been successful. If the student is not comfortable with the situation or the tutor, Galway Adult Basic Education Service reserves the right to either cease the session or change the tutor. The coordinator will also provide the tutor with initial lesson plans for the specific student and will design an initial short term learning plan. All students have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) which is regularly checked by the coordinator. There will be a short term review after a period of 8 to 12 weeks, which will be recorded in the ILP.


GABES will refund any out of pocket expenses incurred by the volunteer tutor in acquiring materials and resources – but this must be previously agreed by the Adult Literacy Officer. Unfortunately, GABES cannot reimburse general out-of-pocket expenses such as travel or parking. Classes will always be held in the main centre or at a centre that the volunteer tutor or the student may request that geographically suits both parties. Communication via telephone between a volunteer tutor and a student should be done through the administrative staff of GABES.
All volunteer tutors are covered by the City of Galway VEC insurance scheme
Class Venue
While most classes are held in Seville house, we do offer 1:1 service in resource centres and libraries if appropriate and sanctioned by either the Adult Literacy officer or the Coordinator of volunteer tutoring. In no circumstances should a 1:1 session be held in a private home.


Rights of the volunteer tutor
* The volunteer has the right to decline the offer of being matched with a particular student.
* The volunteer needs to be fully aware of the commitment expected.
* The volunteer should be offered appropriate training
* The volunteer should receive mentoring and support
* The volunteer should have access to resources and materials
* To volunteer should be informed about the organization as a whole
* The volunteer should have safe working conditions, including insurance cover
* The volunteer should be able to get something out of the work for themselves

Volunteers’ responsibilities
* To respect the ethos of the organization
* To be committed
* To be reliable and give the organization and student sufficient warning  of absence
* To be punctual
* To attend workshops and seminars
* To undertake work to a high standard
* To respect confidentiality
* To leave when asked or when no longer enjoying the experience

Rights of the Organization
* To look for certain skills and qualities in the prospective volunteer
* To select volunteers who are suitable
* To request commitment
* To request punctuality and due warning of absence
* To ask volunteers to leave if their involvement hinders the organization’s goals
* To request that tasks be done in a specific way

Responsibilities of the Organization
* To ensure the volunteering experience is a rewarding one
* To ensure equal access
* To define clear roles for the volunteers
* To have policies and procedures for volunteers
* To provide training
* To provide insurance cover
* To ensure Garda vetting is carried out promptly
* To supervise and mentor
* To make materials and resources available
* To provide a safe working environment

Click below to learn more!

Numeracy Resources
New Resources
Tips and Tricks

Basic literacy and numeracy classes for adults Free of charge and confidential

© Galway Adult Basic Education Service
Seville House, 2nd Floor, New Dock St, Galway
091 567660