Leaving Cert Results: A little preparation can be a big help for the next step

Katie Nagle from Douglas and Clodagh Evans from Blackrock, both students at Christ King Girls' Secondary School, Corks.

For students the period between their Leaving Certificate results and choosing a route to the next stage of their lives is exciting but for many it is an anxious time.

When the results arrive and CAO offers are made, feelings of hope and expectation are followed by relief, joy and sometimes disappointment.

  • What way will the points go this year?
  • Will my young person secure a hoped-for place in the university or college of their choice? If so, which one should they choose?
  • What will my financial commitments look like for the next few years?
  • Will my son or daughter be moving away from home? If so how do we secure the right accommodation?
  • How will I cope with that empty corner of the nest?
  • If there’s disappointment and a sense of failure, what is the best way to support my young person?

This is one of the major life transitions for any family, so a little preparation can help things move along more smoothly.

A very useful recourse to all is Ireland’s National Learners’ Database, the ‘one- stop shop’ for learners, providing the most comprehensive information on further and higher education and training courses — www.qualifax.ie

Leaving Cert Results: A little preparation can be a big help for the next step

Twins Ciara and Hannah McCarthy from Frankfield. Ciara hopes to study physiotherapy in Scotland and Hannah intends studying physical education teaching in UCC. Picture: David Keane

To explore all occupations, sectors, skills shortages, jobs, and courses, careersportal.ie provides valuable career information to all people who are considering their future careers.

There are a number of overlapping processes that may be listed mainly as follows:

1. Leaving Cert results;

2. The Appeals Process;

Choice?

3. CAO offers and acceptances;

4. Money matters: grant applications; accommodation.

5. Other options: contingency plans; repeat Leaving Cert; post Leaving Certificate courses; UCAS clearing; Gap year and study abroad options.

Several issues can arise and sometimes it may be difficult to synchronise and juggle important dates, deadlines, results, appeals, offers, and changes of plan.

Advice from parents who have been through the process is:

  • Be prepared and be very attentive to important dates, deadlines, financial outgoings and processes.
  • Ensure the atmosphere at home is low-key and upbeat.
  • Above all, reassure your child of your support and your unconditional love.

Betty McLaughlin is president of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, whose members will staff the National Parents’ Council-Post Primary helpline, from 10am to 7pm today and tomorrow, and until 1pm on Friday. It also runs next Monday and Tuesday from 8am to 7pm, and until 1pm next Wednesday: 1800 265 165

Dates for your Diary

Monday (August 17): CAO Round 1 offers (online from 6am)

Tuesday, August 18: Leaving Certificate candidates must return completed application forms to view scripts to school

Monday, August 24: 5.15pm: Deadline for accepting CAO Round 1 offers

Thursday, August 27: CAO Round 2 offers (online from 6am)

Friday and Saturday, August 28 and 29: Viewing of Leaving Certificate scripts in schools

Wednesday, September 2nd: Closing date for receipt by the SEC of Leaving Certificate appeal applications

Same date: 5:15pm: Deadline for accepting CAO Round 2 offers

Mid-October: Release of results of Leaving Certificate appeals, followed within a day or two by final CAO 2015 offers.

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