If you left school after your Junior Cert without completing your Leaving Certificate and you think you’d like to return to education, then the Back to Education Initiative might be for you.
What is the Back to Education Initiative?
The Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) provides part-time further education courses for people over 16 who left full time education with less than an upper-second level qualification.
This means if you left school before completing your Leaving Cert, then you may be eligible for BTEI. Priority is given to those who are the most educationally disadvantaged.
What qualification can you receive with BTEI?
Most BTEI courses are level 3 and 4 on the National Qualifications Framework. You can study only part-time (up to 400 hours per year) under the BTEI. You can take part in BTEI if you are working and on a low income. The initiative is to give people an opportunity to combine their learning with family, work and other commitments.
How to qualify for BTEI
You qualify for BTEI if one of the following below to you. You:
- Have less than upper-second level education (Leaving Cert)
- Are getting a jobseeker’s payment or means tested social welfare payment
- Are getting Working Family Payment
- Have a medical card
- Have eligibility for a VTOS or Youthreach course
Do I receive payment if I take part in BTEI?
Generally, a training allowance is not paid to participants of the Back to Education Initiative. If you are getting a social welfare payment, you can keep your payment and participate in BTEI as long as you continue to satisfy the conditions attached to your payment.
If you are not entitled to a social welfare payment, but you are eligible for Youthreach, then you may be paid a proportional training allowance.
How to apply for the Back to Education Initiative
Apply through your local Education and Training Board
For more information check out the Citizens Information Website
Find out about other back to education programmes here.
Need more information?
We are here to answer your questions and talk through your options. Our online chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm. Chat to us now about your situation.
- Chat now to a trained Youth Information Officer
- Or leave us a message and we will email you back