Back to Education Initiative

       Kilkenny Carlow Education and Training Board Back to Education Initiative is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020


What is the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI)?

The BTEI provides FREE part-time accredited Further Education programmes for young people and adults.  The aim is to give participants an opportunity to combine a return to learning with family, work and other responsibilities.


When and where are BTEI Programmes available?

Programmes are offered in partnership with a number of agencies throughout Kilkenny and Carlow on a flexible part-time basis.  On average each module (class) will run for two or three sessions per week.  Classes are offered throughout the year in the morning, afternoons, evenings or weekends.


What will a BTEI Course Cost?

Classes are free to all applicants:

  • with less than upper second level standard of education i.e. QQI Level 4 or 5.
  • in receipt of a Social Welfare Payment
  • who are the dependant of a Social Welfare recipient
  • who holds a current medical card, signing for credits, employed on a Community Employment / TUS scheme


Who can take part in BTEI programmes?

Anyone who has left full-time education can take part in a course being offered, however priority will be given to those who did not get the opportunity to complete second level education (or equivalent).

NB:  Due to the high demand for BTEI places on all programmes you are asked to note that fee paying places can only be offered in exceptional circumstances i.e. existing learners who have lost their BTEI eligibility since enrolling.


Will taking part affect my social welfare entitlement?

In general, you are allowed to take part in BTEI funded programmes for up to 17 hours per week without it affecting your Social Welfare payments.  However, thoes in receipt of JSA/JSB must remain eligible for work.  You must furnish your social welfare / Intreo office with details of the course you are attending.  It is best to discuss individual circumstances with your local social welfare/INTREO office prior to accepting a place on a BTEI course.


 Will I obtain certification for a BTEI course?

All courses offer access to certification at QQI Level 3 to 6 through the National Framework of Qualifications.  The flexible/part-time options available will support you to build up credits over time and achieve recognised qualifications.


What will I get from taking part in a BTEI programme?

Participation on BTEI part-time programmes can provide opportunities to:

  • continue your learning
  • obtain nationally recognised certification
  • develop new skills
  • pursue new employment opportunities
  • develop transferrable skills that have value across a range of settings.


What modules/programmes are on offer during the coming year?

The following are some of the QQI Level 3, 4 and 5 component certificates / programmes that are offered directly through this service:



. Basic Education Childcare,
. Healthcare,-Support
. Information,-Technology Skills,
. Office Skills,
. Horticulture,
. Other modules may be offered subject to demand.


Which course(s) will suit me?

If you are unsure of which course to begin with you can contact either of the BTEI Offices (details below) or make an appointment for a free consultation with one of our Adult Guidance Counsellors in Kilkenny or Carlow. In general, an Information/Registration Session is held before the start of each course.


Garda Vetting

A range of programmes on offer through the BTEI have a Work Experience element included.

NB: Those wishing to undertake their Work Experience placement in a setting with children and/or vulnerable adults will be required to undertake Garda Vetting.   As this process can take some time you will only be assigned to modules with a Work Experience element once you have achieved your Garda Vetting.


Is (QQI certification offered through the BTEI?

YES, all BTEI courses on offer through Kilkenny and Carlow ETB offer certification as provided through QQI (Quality and Qualifications Ireland).  This is the qualification sought by employers and is recognised at National and European Level.   For further information on QQI, visit their website


Which QQI level should I enrol for?

QQI Level 3 (Junior Certificate equivalence on the NFQ*) is suitable for those who have left school prior to completing the Junior Certificate (or equivalent) and wish to return to education.

QQI Level 4 (Ordinary Level Leaving Certificate equivalence on the NFQ) is suitable for those who have completed the Junior Certificate (or equivalent) but left school before completing the Leaving Certificate.

QQI Level 5 (Higher Level Leaving Certificate equivalent on the NFQ) is suitable for those who have completed Introductory Programmes at FETAC Level 4 and/or the Leaving Certificate.
*NFQ – National Framework of Qualifications –


When do classes commence?

Classes commence throughout the year subject to sufficient interest.  However, in general Childcare and Healthcare Support at Level 5 commence in September.

N.B: Classes offered in partnership with other agencies are offered subject to local demand.


When should I enrol for BTEI funded classes?

Applications for BTEI classes are accepted on an ongoing basis. See individual centre websites for further information


How will I know if I have obtained a BTEI place?

Once the BTEI office has received your <Full Application and Social Welfare Form (if applicable), your name will  be placed on a waiting list for the course(s) applied for.  You will then be invited to an Information/Registration Session for the course you have expressed an interest in.  In general, your place will be confirmed within two week of attending this session.

N.B.:  Based on our current allocation of funding, there is currently a waiting list in place until January 2017 for all eligible applicants with Leaving Certificate standard of education (QQI Level 5) or higher.


 Opportunities for Community Groups

The BTEI has built up a number of very close links with a number of partnership agencies throughout the County.  If your local community and/or voluntary group would like to offer courses leading to qualifications in your own community you are invited to contact us to discuss same.

The BTEI provide the tutors, deliver the programmes, and manage all matters relating to Quality Assurance and QQI accreditation.



Contact Information
Kilkenny Co-ordinator:

Claire Jackman
7 Danville Business Park, Ring Road, Kilkenny

Carlow Co-ordinator:

Sarah Deacon
1b Meadow Court,  Burrin Street, Carlow

Tel:  056-7701020
Tel:  059 9139532


       Kilkenny Carlow Education and Training Board Back to Education Initiative is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020