First and foremost, congratulations and well done to all. No matter how often this day may come to a family, the Leaving Certificate results are a landmark day for each son or daughter, indeed for the entire family. So, again, well done.
Time to reflect
While the CAO offers — out next Monday, August 17 — is the next big step for many students, the days in between now and then are an equally important time of reflection and, hopefully, celebration. And for students who may be a little disappointed or upset, try not to panic. Regardless of results, there are always solutions and options. Take the time to ask around.
Also remember, no one can tell you the points ahead of their publication next Monday, so do not listen to rumours.
And, for students whose career choices are outside the CAO system, such as apprenticeships and post-Leaving Certificate courses, you can now happily move ahead.
CAO offers 2015
CAO offers will be available online from 6am on Monday. Points for all courses and colleges in the CAO system will also be available online on Monday at www.cao.ie
Students will receive their offers by post, e-mail, and by SMS. Points are also published in many newspapers on the same day. Where possible, it is good for a parent to share this moment with the student, as nothing is certain until that actual offer is received. Students who do not receive an offer will receive a Statement of Application Record. So all students who applied to the CAO 2015 do get a detailed response on this day.
Accepting CAO offers
Monday August 24 is the closing date for first round CAO offers. Students may either accept or reject their offers. Follow all instructions to the letter. If uncertain as to course or location a student may receive, the student and his/her parents should visit and discuss course details with the individual institutions. Try not to jump to hasty decisions, either to accept or reject. Costs may also now come into play.
While second round CAO offers will be made on Thursday August 26, with Wednesday September 2 the closing date for round two offers, all students must look on their first round CAO offers as the only offers that they may receive. Do not attempt to 'wait and see’ what you may be offered come round two.
For those students who may choose to defer their course, all details are set out on page 5 of the CAO Handbook 2015. Follow all instructions carefully.
Viewing exam scripts
Students have until Tuesday August 18 to return their request forms, to their schools, to view their exam scripts. Viewing days will be Friday August 28 and Saturday August 29. All students have until Tuesday September 1 to submit a subject appeal application.
See www.examinations.ie for full details and instructions.
CAO available or vacant places are updated daily on the CAO website, www.cao.ie, where details are also given as to method of application. While such re-advertised courses may bring hope and opportunity to students, great care in selection must also be taken.
Post-Leaving Certificate courses
While many post-Leaving Certificate courses may already be filled, it is always worth enquiring as to their availability. Many colleges will hold second round interviews each August. Google post-Leaving Certificate courses for the city or county you wish to consider.
Helplines and websites
The Leaving Certificate Helpline is 1800 265 165 is available this week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and next week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
SUSI representatives will also answer queries on student grants.
Useful websites include www.cao.ie, www.examinations.ie, www.qualifax.ie, and www.careersportal.ie.
These coming weeks are important. If you are upset or worried ask questions, seek help. There are always solutions and answers. Try not to solve your worries alone. And, where possible, do celebrate together in a quiet family way.
Marie Barrett is founder and a director of MBCS, Marie Barrett Career Services, Loughrea. She is author of The Education Guide and contributes to national and local radio education programmes. MBCS works individually with second-level students and parents in individual student career, study, and education planning. Contact 091 841424/086 2359751/[email protected]