'Leaving' is just the beginning of education, as higher qualifications mean higher salaries
The timing is awful: just as the Euros are about to get under way and the sunshine promises to return. But it's one of those rites of passage that has to be gone through. The Leaving Cert is probably a bit of a misnomer anyway - the vast majority of those beginning their exams this morning won't be leaving the education system for good, as they will be back in the autumn, or even later in life.
Everybody knows that it's an important milestone on a young person's educational journey, but it's not the only one they will pass. More than half will use the results to go directly into college, a sizeable number will enrol on further education courses, others will avail of the expanding apprenticeship opportunities, some will repeat the Leaving and a minority will emigrate or go directly into the labour market.
Unfortunately, not all of the latter group will make the successful transition into jobs and some will end up unemployed.