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O’Brien calls for closer examination of cuts and impact on CAO choices

11 March, 2015 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

Following news that 6,000 applicants have registered with the CAO but not indicated preferences for a course, Sinn Féin TD and Education Spokesperson Jonathan O’Brien said that there was a clear effect of the cuts to guidance counsellors in schools in recent years.

 Deputy O’Brien said:

 “There is an increase from 6.8% to 8.1% of the 74,424 students who have not indicated course preferences yet.”

 “There have been no major changes in the Leaving Cert or at third level that you could attribute to being the cause of this increase.”

 “However, there have been major cuts to guidance counselling services in school which have not only affected children’s wellbeing in schools but it is now possibly having an impact on their decision making process for going to on to third level.”

 “Students from schools in poorer areas with fewer resources have lost out on guidance counsellors and it is these students who need increased assistance when it comes to making decisions about what course to undertake.”

 “The Minister needs to look at this in a holistic manner and examine the connections between cuts to schools and the risk this has for students making decisions about college courses.” 

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