Leaving school

Options for school leavers

This page summarises some of the options you have after leaving school.

The Citizens Information Board has also published a booklet called Information for school leavers (pdf) that covers many of the practical questions about education and employment that you may have when you leave school.

If you intend going on to third-level education on leaving school, you can find out how to apply in our document on college application procedures. Offers of places on courses are mainly decided by Leaving Certificate results but some institutions offer outreach programmes. If you have a disability you may be eligible for the DARE access route and if you come from a disadvantaged background you may be eligible for HEAR.

Another option is a Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) course - aimed at school-leavers who want to develop vocational and technological skills.

Further Education and Training (FET) courses and apprenticeships for first-time jobseekers cover a wide range of areas.

Youthreach also runs paid training courses for school-leavers.

The Right Course is an online portal with information on further education and training places, higher education courses and information if you are on a social welfare payment and want to begin a course.

If you are taking up a job, you should familiarise yourself with your employment rights. Find out about minimum rates of pay , contracts of employment , holidays and leave, particularly if you are starting work for the first time. You may also plan to work abroad.

The National Council for Special Education has published a guide to post school education and training (pdf) which provides information on the options available to school leavers with disabilities.

Page edited: 17 May 2021