Where to Repeat?

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Where to repeat?
There are a number of options for students repeating the Leaving Certificate. Students can return to their old school, transfer to another school, or attend a dedicated Repeat Leaving Certificate course. Each of these options has its pros and cons.
Returning to your old school has its advantages. It’s a familiar environment and you already know your teachers and some of the other students. Not everyone deems these as positive aspects however; some people find it disheartening to return to their old school, especially when all or most of their friends have moved on. Transferring to another secondary school in your area is another option – a new setting could help to focus your mind.

Popular alternatives are private institutions or ‘grind’ schools, which concentrate solely on the fifth and/or sixth year. Students enter a dedicated repeat class or the college’s sixth year. Many of these colleges are very focused and offer students additional services, such as flexible timetables, examination techniques and study skills seminars, to give students a good opportunity to improve their results and CAO opportunities.

It is also possible to take a dedicated Repeat Leaving Certificate course at VEC schools and further education colleges throughout the country. These courses tend to have a mixture of repeat students and mature students who might have left school early. The advantage of these dedicated courses is that everyone is at the same stage – taking a one-year course – and teachers realise that you will not have covered certain areas before. It is also possible in a VEC college to repeat a single subject that you need, commonly higher-level maths, and to spend the rest of your time productively by pursuing a further education course (please see Further Education).

There are a number of factors to consider when you are deciding where to repeat the Leaving Certificate. Cost is an issue – courses at further education institutions average at around €200, whereas private institutions can charge in excess of €5, 000. There is also the cost of spending an extra year in education to consider. Repeat students are not eligible for maintenance grant payments, although mature students may be able to receive benefits such as the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA).


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