Each year AONTAS get many calls through its One Step Up Freephone Helpline (1800 303 669) from adults looking to do their Leaving Certificate. Often these adults want to do the Leaving Certificate as they never had the chance first time round, as they left school early to start their working life. As an adult it can be difficult to take that first step back into education, but there are plenty of opportunities and supports available if you wish to choose this route.
Every year many adults begin their journey back to education, for some they may have had a long break from formal education and others may be looking to update their skills. VTOS is just one of the many options open available. Having successfully completed their Leaving Certificate, learners from VTOS in Navan share their top 10 benefits of returning to education. Many VTOS participants in the Louth and Meath Education and Training Board progress each year to third level education or employment.
In 2016, Alan Hand made the big decision to return to education and complete his Leaving Certificate after becoming unemployed in 2013 due to the recession. Alan completed his Leaving Cert through the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS) run by Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB) in summer 2016. Since then he has become a strong advocate for adult learning. One year on we talked to Alan about why he made the decision to return to education, how his life has changed and what advice he would give to others thinking of doing the same.
Returning to education to sit the Leaving Cert as an adult can provide a vital second chance for those that left school early. It can be difficult to take that first step back into education but there are plenty of opportunities and supports available if you wish to choose this route.