St Declan's College

Career & College Information Pack

Career & College Information Pack

Letter to 6th year parent(s)/guardian(s) from Ms Tierney (Guidance Counsellor)

12 January 2021

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of 6th Year Students,

I hope this finds you safe and well in these challenging and uncertain times we find ourselves in again. I have put together a career/college information pack for you to help you support & guide your son with his choices for this year. I would really appreciate it if you took the time to go through this with your son so he knows we are working together to support him.

I sent out a more detailed version of this at the end of October, you can still find it on the iClass app.

Career Appointments

The students can still make one to one career appointments with me. This can be arranged by sending me an e mail on SchoolWise to request a Teams meeting. I will be delighted to help and guide them.

College Open Days

Colleges are still holding career events, usually open evenings. I will send the students an e mail with any open evenings I am made aware of. For you as a parent, like I said in October, this year is a great opportunity to get involved in the career research process and engage with the virtual open evenings at home with your son.


The closing date for application to CAO is February 1st . Applications received on or before 20th of January (next Tuesday) will be charged at the reduced rate of €30.

All information on applying is in his CAO booklet. Students do not have to decide on all courses or the final order of preference now. They can use the change of mind facility between May 5th and July 1st once the course is not labelled ‘restricted application’.

Students can apply for levels 6, 7 & 8 through the CAO system. I have sent them an information sheet on Schoolwise too. Please take the time to make sure your son has applied to CAO and filled in the relevant sections.

Apprenticeships/SOLAS courses

SOLAS (formerly FAS) run a variety of courses. Students can register for these courses once they have completed their Leaving Cert.

SOLAS are also the body who are in charge of apprenticeships. As you may know apprenticeships can be difficult to obtain so students are being encouraged to actively seek a potential employer during their 6th year. He may need a CV and letter of application to apply for some apprenticeships. Your son will need your assistance with all of this as it might be difficult for him as a 17/18 year old to approach an employer without your guidance. Please help him with the skills to make these connections/approaches.

Apprenticeships provide a great opportunity to engage with an "earn and learn" model of further education and are gaining in popularity every year. Traditional companies like the ESB, Defence forces, Irish Rail etc will begin their recruitment campaigns in the next couple of months.

However, many companies in the financial services, insurance and biopharma are now offering competitive apprenticeship programmes. Further information can be found through the following link.

PLC Courses

Application to FETAC/QQI/ Post Leaving Cert courses are to individual colleges. These courses are at level 5. The closing dates vary but are usually around Jan/Feb. Students are normally interviewed for these courses before their Leaving Certificate but a lot of the colleges are not doing interviews this year. They may need a school reference. They should apply in writing to Mr Avery for this reference.

Early application to these courses is advised as many are on a first come first served basis.

I cannot overemphasise the importance of applying for a PLC course even just to have as an "insurance policy" should they not get the college course they desire. It is also a great route for a student who may have the points for their desired area of study but may not be fully sure of what he specifically wants to study. A post leaving certificate course is an introduction to a field of study which he can progress to in college or university should he wish to.

Colaiste Íde’s, our nearest PLC College, open day is on January 26th.


I am aware that finance for college is a major concern for many parents. Information on financial support for further and higher education is available on www.susi ie. Your son may be eligible for a maintenance grant. You and your son can fill in the ‘eligibility reckoner’ to establish if he will be able to apply.

Applications for this grant should open in April. Students apply on line and they will need your assistance.

HEAR Scheme

The HEAR (Higher Education Access Scheme) is available to school leavers from socio-economic disadvantaged backgrounds. HEAR applicants must meet a range of financial, social and cultural indicators to be considered for a reduced points place and extra college support.

Students apply for the HEAR scheme on their CAO form.

Please check dates and documentation he will need to be aware of.

Further information is available on

DARE Scheme

If your son has a disability (physical/mental health/ongoing illness/learning) he may wish to apply for the DARE scheme (Disability Access Route to Education). This is a supplementary admissions scheme which offers college places on reduced points and extra college support. Students apply for the DARE on their CAO form.

There are 3 sections: Section A: filled in by your son (with your assistance), Section B: Filled in by Mr Mc Glue and/or Ms Tierney with your son and Section C: proof of disability. The school form(B) will now have to be done via a teams meeting.

It is so important we are made aware if your son is applying to DARE ASAP.

Further advice

It is in the students’ interests to keep their options open by applying to a variety of courses in different colleges/ look at different apprenticeships, employers. I always encourage the students to have Plan A, B & C.

The following websites provide useful information on courses and careers: (course information/Open day events calendar)

Careers and Education (students have been asked to sign up with their e mail)

Exit/Entry app

I will be scheduling a weekly teams meeting for your son during his career class time. Please e mail me via School Wise if I can help your son in anyway.

We are all here to support him through this very difficult time.

Karen Tierney

02 Aug 2021
August Bank holiday
18 Aug 2021
Book collection dates provisional
26 Aug 2021
Induction day 1st year (provisional)
Make a Payment
St Declan's College,
Nephin Road,

01 838 0357

Edmund Rice
© 2021 St Declan's College