Leaving 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 decided largely 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.

If you are interested in a career in catering or tourism, Fáilte Ireland offers courses at national certificate and national diploma level, ranging from hospitality skills to business studies.

State agencies such as Coillte, Teagasc and Bord Iascaigh Mhara all run training courses in their respective areas, as does the Crafts Council of Ireland. Youthreach also runs paid training courses for school-leavers.

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 Citizens Information Board has published Information for school leavers (pdf), which is available in Citizens Information Centres. 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: 27 November 2019