Thursday 14 December 2017

Hundreds of worried students contact helpline

Fiona Ellis

HUNDREDS of distressed students and their parents called the National Parents Council Leaving Cert helpline after results were released yesterday.

The service is sponsored by the Irish Independent and Eircom and supported by the Department of Education and Skills.

The helpline -- 1800 265 165 -- was set up to deal with queries from parents and students. It received almost 100 calls in the first hour alone yesterday and more throughout the day.

The majority of the calls (60pc) came in from parents and 40pc from students themselves.

Many asked about re-checks while others called to get information on repeating the full Leaving or certain subjects.

"This year we have also seen many students concerned about having failed Maths or higher-level English and they wanted to know what their options are. Many students also wanted to know if they 'fail' English, Irish or maths, do they 'fail' the Leaving Cert?" helpline director Rose Tully said.

Members of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors who handled the calls received a number of specific queries about nursing and primary school teaching courses and many worried students questioned their options after not achieving the necessary grades.

Later in the day, the helpline saw an increase in the number of students ringing and asking for predictions in course points.

"On Monday, when the CAO offers come out, we will see queries become much more focused. Students will need advice on their options if they don't get the course they want or don't get any offers at all," said Ms Tully.

"Some of the calls were long with students and parents getting upset, but the calls compare favourably with last year," she added.

Irish Independent

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