Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (551)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

551. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the payments a person (details supplied) qualifies for; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26563/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The back to education allowance (BTEA) provides income support for jobseekers and others in receipt of certain social welfare payments who pursue courses of education at second or third level. The main focus of the BTEA is to assist qualifying applicants to improve their educational qualifications and improve their prospects of gaining employment.

The BTEA is not intended to provide a basis for a long-duration participation in extended education.  

In limited cases post-graduate courses can be supported via the BTEA.  For example, the BTEA can be approved where the applicant intends to undertake studies leading to a Higher Diploma (H.Dip) in any discipline, the Professional Masters in Education or a Masters degree based solely on life experience where the applicant holds no other third level qualification.  The Professional Masters in Education is included as it is required for persons wishing to pursue employment as a post-primary school teacher.

The BTEA was never intended to be an alternative form of funding for people pursuing third level education.  The student universal support Ireland (SUSI) grant payable by the Department of Education and Skills represents the primary support for persons pursuing education. 

I trust this clarifies the position for the Deputy.                          

Question No. 552 answered with Question No. 527.
Question No. 553 answered with Question No. 523.