Nervous expectation for thousands of students came to an end across the country when the Leaving Certificates results were revealed yesterday. All the students were arriving at schools across county Limerick and North Cork from early morning to pick up the pieces of paper that could well decide their futures.

The general consensus locally was one of satis-faction with the results, with some very high marks achieved and most students confident of having sec-ured the points necessary for their chosen college course. While the wait for the results is over, another wait will continue until next week when the first round of C.A.O. offers are published.

The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D., sent her congrat-ulations to the 56,990 Leaving Certificate students who collected their results on Wednesday. “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.

While many will be awaiting on 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 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 have information on all the options available to you,” Minister O’Sullivan said.

The continuing increase in the number of students taking higher level maths at Leaving Certificate is particularly welcome – the proportion of students taking the higher level option has increased from 16% in 2011 to 27% this year.