Leaving Cert helpline an 'invaluable' source of support
THOUSANDS of pupils are expected to call the Leaving Certificate helpline when it opens tomorrow morning.
A team of guidance counsellors will staff the phones from 8am to 7pm -- fielding calls from worried pupils and their parents and offering advice on third level courses, the points system and CAO procedures.
For those who are disappointed with their results, the helpline team can offer advice on how to go about seeking re-checks or repeating the exams.
The helpline is run by the National Parents Council Post Primary (NPCpp) and is staffed by qualified guidance counsellors. It is sponsored by the Irish Independent and Eircom, with the support of the Department of Education and Skills.
Rose Tully, co-ordinator of the helpline, said: "We encourage students and indeed their parents to call the helpline to obtain support from the fully qualified members of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC)."
Meanwhile, Katherine Donnelly Education Correspondent of the Irish Independent, said: "With jobs so tight, it's necessary that students follow the right career path.
"The helpline will provide invaluable information and reassurance to assist them in making up their minds about which way to go."
President of the Teachers' Union of Ireland Bernie Ruane said the economic climate meant it was needed more than ever before.
"The pastoral care and guidance that students would previously have received in the run-up to the state examinations would have been greatly diminished in many cases," she added.
Students, parents and teachers can contact the helpline on 1800 265 165 from 8am to 7pm tomorrow and Thursday.
The helpline will be open from 10am to 3pm on Friday and after CAO offers are made, from 8am to 7pm next Monday and Tuesday.