BTEI (Back to Education Initiative )

What is BTEI?

The Back to Education Initiative (BTEI) is one of the most exciting developments in adult and continuing education and has emerged from the government’s White Paper on Adult Education. Its focus is to combine learning with living so that the learner can combine work and family responsibilities with part-time learning opportunities. In addition it provides a re-entry route for those in the workplace who wish to upgrade their skills and who may have left school early.

Who can attend a BTEI course?

The focus of the BTEI Programme is primarily to combat educational disadvantage by targeting those who left school early without a Leaving Certificate. But the courses are open to others also. However, as a provider we must try and ensure that the majority (approx. 70%) are from the target groups, whose needs the Programme set out to address.

Fees for BTEI Courses

BTEI courses are heavily subsidised by the DES.  From September 2007 all those with less than upper second level education are entitled to free tuition.   Those who have obtained upper second level education and are in receipt of unemployment payments and means tested social welfare benefits, and holders of medical cards and their dependants are also entitled to free tuition.   If either of these categories do not apply fees will be charged.  Fees are very competitive, given the costs associated with the provision of certified training.

  • Level 3 & 4 modules (40 hours tuition)                   €75
  • Level 5 modules (80 hours tuition                           €150

Class Size

Class size can be from 10 number to 16 approx. The smaller class size is reserved for a group where none of the participants have senior cycle secondary education. It would be rare to have a group where all or none do not have a Leaving Certificate so it would be reasonable to expect that class size would average at around 10 to 12.

Progressing to another Kerry ETB Course

Courses delivered under the BTEI Programme are designed to prepare learners for the next level of progression (e.g. Level 4 courses prepare students for courses at Level 5).

Courses delivered under the BTEI Programme provide learners with the opportunity to go forward for a QQI Component Award. Achievement of a component award has relevance and value in its own right. In addition learners can link Component Awards (e.g. combine modules) over a period of time and go forward for a full QQI Certificate which is known as a Major Award.

Social Welfare and BTEI

Generally it is accepted nationally between the Department of Education & Skills and the Dept of Social Protection that recipients of Social Welfare retain their entitlements while attending BTEI courses.

Kerry Education and Training Board is required to confirm the details supplied by all those participating on a course delivered under the Back To Education Initiative with the Department of Social Protection.

The O’Connell Centre provides a wide range of BTEI Courses including:

  • Computer Skills
  • Healthcare
  • Childcare
  • Special Needs
  • First Aid
  • Book-keeping