The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D., has sent her congratulations to the 56,990 Leaving Certificate students who will be collecting their results at their schools, or by phone or online today.

“Completing secondary school and the Leaving Certificate is a milestone in many people’s lives. Every student should be proud of their achievement. Today is the culmination of much hard work and sacrifice and I hope that the effort students made is reflected in their results,” Minister O’Sullivan said.

This year saw an overall increase of 1,413 students sitting the exams, from 55,577 in 2013 to 56,990 in 2014. Subjects which saw notable increases in the number of students sitting papers were physics (11%) and Spanish (9%). The continuing increase in the number of students taking higher level maths in the Leaving Certificate is particularly welcome – the proportion of students taking the higher level option has increased from 16% in 2011 to 27% this year.

While many young people will be awaiting the CAO announcements next week, the Minister is encouraging those who may be disappointed with their results to consider the other options available to them. “There will be some students who have not received the grades they had hoped for. It is important for all students to consider all options in the coming weeks. There are many excellent opportunities available, including many level 5 and level 6 programmes in the further education sector. They provide high quality training for specific careers or can be an alternative route to higher education for those who wish to go to college or university. Take your time and ensure that you’ve information on all the options available to you,” Minister O’Sullivan said.