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Going to College 2020 podcast: What to expect from the Leaving Cert results 2020

Episode one of our four-part podcast series on Leaving Cert results, CAO, and college


Going to College is a four-part podcast series, presented by Sinead Ryan, that will help you prepare for some nerve-wracking - and exciting - weeks ahead.

From the Leaving Cert results to CAO offers and then going to college in a time of Covid, it’s stressful and life-changing, but this series will help with practical advice, tips and insights from experts in the area.

For the first episode, the focus is on the Leaving Cert results that are out on Monday and Sinead was joined by Katherine Donnelly, Education Editor of the Irish Independent, Dr. Padraig Walsh, CEO of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and Reuban Murray, a Leaving Cert student and President of the Irish Second Level Schools Union.

The panel discussed the issue around the calculated grades system, welcoming the government’s late decision to drop the controversial use of schools' past performance in the Leaving Cert as a key measure in the process for calculating grades for 2020.

Reuban described it as a particularly surreal and unusual year for him and the thousands of other Leaving Cert students around Ireland admitting that there are definitely more nerves this time around.

“It’s all been moving very fast, it’s been a very stressful time,” he said. “But we’re now in the home stretch and we can start to see the end. People can start to move on to the next stage of their lives which is a positive.”

Katherine Donnelly cautioned that results day is only the start of the process over the next few weeks but admitted that some students will be unhappy come Monday.

“Unfortunately, some students will be disappointed, but that happens every year,” she said.

Meanwhile, QQI’s Padraig Walsh welcomed the additional 1,250 places on certain high-demand courses that were announced by the Minister for Higher Education, Simon Harris.

“Points go up and down every year, it depends on supply and demand,” he said. “And if everyone’s score goes up it will still be difficult to get in to the high demand courses.”

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Don’t forget to listen and subscribe to the entire series on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Independent.ie.

The Going to College series is in association with QQI.

Parents & Students Helpline

As the Leaving Cert results are released on Monday, the annual National Parents Council Helpline 1800 265 165 will be open to offer advice and support to students and parents.

It will be staffed by members of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, who will provide a one-to-one service to callers.

The helpline, which will run until Wednesday 16th September, is sponsored by the Department of Education and the Irish Independent/Independent.ie and is supported by Susi and the GAA.

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