Local guidance counsellors issue advice ahead of Leaving Cert results
The North East Branch of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, which covers Dundalk and its surrounding areas, have released a statement ahead of Wednesday’s Leaving Cert results.
The statement from PRO Gerard Malone offers advice for students on what to do when they get their results.
It reads: “This coming Wednesday sees the publication of the Leaving Certificate results for 2015. The North East branch of the Institute of Guidance counsellors will have their members on hand in local schools to give advice and support to our young people at this critical time. For students the coming few weeks will be pressurising. It’s vital that students and parents realise that the support and advice that they need will be available on hand locally in their local schools.
“Thus the advice is to make use of this important asset.
“While the Leaving Cert results are out this coming Wednesday, the CAO offers are out from 6am on Monday 17th August. They will be available on the student’s CAO account from 6 am on that day. They will also be available by post the same day. If a student wishes to accept the offer they may do so online. They may also do so by post. Online is the most advised way of accepting a course.
“Should a student not want to accept an offer they just ignore it. They do not have to accept it. It is vital that students think long and hard about the offer they receive. If they have applied for a level 7 and level 8 course they may get two offers. They can only accept one. Students will always be offered the highest course that matches their points. Thus should a student turn down their first preference CAO offer for level 8 and level 7 then they are out of the system.
“Should they get a third preference offer they can accept it and should the points come down in the coming weeks for their second or first preference course they can accept this new course. This is why the help of a guidance counsellor is so important in helping young people over the coming weeks. For many it is a confusing and difficult system.
“Seperately students applying for Post Leaving cert courses should contact the college or colleges they got their offer from. PLC college courses have nothing to do with the CAO system.
“Guidance counsellors have the training and experience in helping our young people with their important decisions in the coming weeks.
“Around the country as a result of the Government cuts over 200 of the 730 schools around the country have no counsellor. Many other schools have been forced to put their counsellors back in to the classroom leaving them little or no time to give our young people the vital help they need for both individual counselling and group counselling they need. Counsellors play a key role in the protection of the mental health of our young people.
“A school’s liaison officer from one of the leading third level colleges in the country told me in recent weeks that the guidance cut of 2012 was the most unnecessary of them all.
“An invitation has gone out to all local Senators and Tds for the area to attend a public meeting to take place at the end of September at a venue to be decided to discuss the guidance cuts and to call for the full restoration of the service in the forthcoming year. For a mere cost of €33 million a year this can be done.
“All Government Senators and TD’s voted for these cuts, However I have met many of them over the summer and they have agreed that Guidance is a vital service in schools. Those remaining politicians who have yet to say whether we have their support I will be looking for in the coming weeks.
“Parents and students will also be most welcome at the public meeting.”
NB. A national helpline manned by Guidance counsellors will be available from this coming Wednesday at 7am to help students and parents as another support for young people. The number is 1800 265 165.