I have had the decision in this case reviewed and the position is as follows:
To qualify for back to education allowance a person must have been in receipt of jobseekers benefit for at least 9 months prior to the commencement of the first year of their course. The person concerned was in receipt of jobseeker’s benefit from 08th March 2011 to 31st August 2011 and from 22nd May 2012 to 21st November 2012. The payment period immediately prior to the commencement of the course was not of sufficient duration for the person concerned to meet the qualifying criteria for back to education allowance. In addition, as there was a gap of more than 26 weeks between both payment periods they cannot be treated as continuous, and as such cannot be aggregated to meet the qualifying criteria.