LC 2020 - **Important** update for Guidance Counsellors

The Department of Education and Skills published 'Questions and Answers' to provide updated information regarding the release on 7 September of Calculated Grades results for students who were due to sit their Leaving Certificate examinations earlier this year. This update follows decisions made by the government on 1 September when approving the finalised process for the production of Calculated Grades.

ACCESS - Leaving Certificate 2020: Your questions answered - September 2020

Below is an extract that we would like to bring specific attention to for school Guidance Counsellors and Management.


Arrangements for the release of Calculated
Grades results on 7 September

 


Supports and guidance available to students when they get
their results and in the days following

It is recognised that for the Leaving Certificate class of 2020 the tradition of coming back to
school to celebrate the results with teachers and classmates on the day that the results issue will not be the
same as in previous years.

In recognising the unique set of circumstances for those students who receive calculated grades in
2020, schools will be able to put a number of measures in place to support students on the day and in
the following number of days. These measures recognise the role that schools played in nurturing and
supporting students throughout their years in post primary.

Schools have been advised to provide support to students in an appropriate way on the day, through
enabling students to come to the school if they wish at a scheduled time, following COVID-19 and
health and safety protocols, to meet with members of the Student Support Team such as
Guidance Counsellors, Year Heads, Tutors and Chaplains.

From mid-morning on 7 September and for the remainder of that school week, school management
will have discretion to release Guidance Counsellors and other members of the support team from
lessons, using the Supervision and Substitution scheme. This is to allow support to be provided to
students in person or on the phone. These planned interactions with students are intended to support
wellbeing and to discuss future education and career options, but schools are reminded that there
should be no discussions about schools’ estimated marks submitted as part of the Calculated Grades
process. Any questions or queries in this regard should be directed to the Calculated Grades
helpline/email. Guidance Counsellors will play a crucial role in supporting these young people to
navigate the next steps in their education and career journey by providing up to date information and
reassurance in a calm and positive manner.

Former students who attend the school for a scheduled visit will also be required to respect physical
distancing requirements and to behave in a responsible way, in line with public health advice and the
school’s visitor policy. Gathering large groups of students in one venue is not recommended at this
time. However, schools should apply their COVID-19 protocols if organising appropriate gatherings of
small groups of past students. The health and safety of the entire school community must be
considered.

Schools will have the flexibility to ask some classes of current students not to attend school on that
day to ensure adequate social distancing in schools.

The wellbeing of the students who receive their Calculated Grades will be supported through a
number of additional measures:

  • the Leaving Certificate student helpline, at 1800 265 165, which is provided by the National Parents
    Council post primary (NPC-PP) will be available from 11am on 7 September for students to reach a
    guidance counsellor with any queries that they may have. This helpline will operate until after the
    CAO first round offers and is staffed by qualified guidance counsellors. Further details can be found 
    here
  • HSE/HSE-funded service providers will be available to support students through the provision of
    e-mental health services, linked 
    here
  • wellbeing resources developed by the National Educational Psychological Service are available here
  • the CGEO helpline will be available at 1800 111135 or 1800 111136 from 9am to 4pm from Monday 7 September
    to Wednesday 16 September. Outside of these hours queries may be emailed to 
    lcsupport2020@education.gov.ie
  • information available from the Central Applications Office (CAO) at www.cao.ie