Press Release: Closure of the Leaving Certificate Helpline 2020

17th September 2020

Press Release 17 September 2020 – The NPCPP Leaving Certificate Helpline Closure


The National Parents Council Post Primary (NPCPP) Leaving Cert Helpline closed yesterday afternoon, 16th September, following nine exceptionally busy days of operation. The Helpline operated from Leaving Certificate Results day to provide professional and confidential one to one support, advice and guidance to students, parents and guardians.

Approximately 60,000 students received Calculated Grades on 7th September 2020. In this undoubtedly exceptional year, Guidance Counsellors from the Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC) were available to provide accurate information and counselling for the duration of the Helpline, which was extended by three days owing to the unique circumstances. Over 1,400 callers received individualised guidance and information on issues such as the Calculated Grades appeals process, examinations in 2020, CAO applications and offers, non-CAO options and SUSI grant applications.

Reflecting on the Helpline this year, Mai Fanning, President of the NPCPP, voiced her thanks to the sponsors and supporters of the Helpline, making the following remarks “Congratulations to all 2020 Leaving Certificate students, and to their parents and teachers, for the way that you have managed to navigate this extraordinary year. The 2020 NPCPP Leaving Certificate Helpline was extended to offer additional support in the circumstances. I want to thank all of those who took part in the organisation and running of this vital source of support for students and parents.

As our 2020 LC students take the next steps in their education or career always remember that there are many pathways to achieve your goals. Difficulties experienced are transient and can be overcome. The NPCPP and many others remain at hand to support you on your journey. Let your dreams always be bigger than your fears. I wish you all success and happiness in the adventures that your future lives bring.”

Beatrice Dooley, President of the IGC, had this to note on the closure of the 2020 Helpline, “Congratulations to the Leaving Certificate class of 2020 for the resilience and maturity you have demonstrated since the onset of COVID-19 turned your lives upside down. It has been the privilege of IGC members nationwide to listen to you, support you and walk the lonely Calculated Grades and CAO walk with you through the NPCPP Helpline and our work in schools. We hope that all your dreams come true and remember if you are disappointed with how things look right now, with self-belief, determination and some guidance, you can still progress towards your dream career by pursuing different avenues.”

Commenting on the Irish Second–Level Students’ Union’s (ISSU) collaboration with the NPCPP for the Helpline, Reuban Murray, President of the ISSU, said “The leaving certificate is a worrying and confusing time any year for students and parents, but this year held far more stress and uncertainty than ever before and this year we needed the Leaving Certificate Helpline more than ever. It has been an invaluable resource for students and parents where they feel they can really get the support they need. The use of social media and FAQs we found to be a very beneficial way to be proactive in getting the answers out to students in a simple and accessible way.”

The Leaving Certificate Helpline is sponsored by the Department of Education, Independent Newspapers and, and supported by the GAA, the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, the ISSU and SUSI.

The NPCPP is carrying out a follow-up survey on the Helpline, which can be accessed here. Responses will be accepted until 9am Monday, 21st September.


Note to Editors

The National Parents Council Post Primary (NPCPP) is the voice of, and advocate for, all parents and guardians of students in post-primary education.

The NPCPP aims to provide a forum that actively supports parents and guardians in their parenting role and to interact effectively with schools and other education partners on issues that impact on the education, development, and general well-being of students within the post primary education system.

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