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Getting the Leaving Cert balance right

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It has been a difficult couple of weeks for Leaving Cert and Leaving Cert Applied students as you grappled with making decisions about accredited grades and exams. Regardless of what choices you have made, the important thing now is to plan out your time between this and the written exams so that you can pace yourself properly. Make sure you are clear on all the deadlines and key dates and try to stay as focused as you can on the end goal – to get through the Leaving Cert and beyond it to brighter times for everyone.

 

This past week brought announcements on further changes to be made to written exam papers to give more choice to candidates. The full document can be found on www.examinations.ie. Make sure you take time over the Easter holidays to check the detail of the changes for your particular subjects so that you can use your time more effectively and efficiently in the run up to the exams. Many of you are taking oral exams and music practicals over the Easter holidays, and while they are being conducted under different circumstances this year give them your very best shot as they are a great way of picking up marks that will boost your grade when added to the written paper. Orals for Leaving Cert Applied students will take place from May 3 to 12, the practical performance test will take place from May 17 to 21, and interviews for LCA practical coursework will begin on June 8.

Use a three step approach

To help you to plan out your use of time and to make sure you can pace yourself over the coming months I recommend a three stage plan as follows:

1) Put together a calendar for yourself between here and the end of the exams and mark in all the important dates that are relevant to you and the subjects you are doing. This will help you to feel organised and stay focused on the priorities on a weekly basis. A list of revised completion dates for coursework (including projects) has been issued by the State Exams Commission and is available on www.examinations.ie, as well as the timetable for the written exams which will run from June 9 to 29. Leaving Cert Vocational Programme (LCVP) Link Modules final exam will take place on Saturday May 8 and the Computer Science exam will take place on Saturday May 22.

2) Do out a weekly timetable at the beginning of each week including the important dates and deadlines for you that week, list your tasks that are a priority including written assignments and/or revision and don’t forget to include well-being activities such as fresh air and exercise as well as a productivity reward for yourself at the end of the week!

3) For the Easter holidays and weekends up to the exams do out a daily revision plan including your time slots for study, tasks you need to complete, topics you need to cover, and don’t forget your well-being breaks and activity!

It has been a stressful year so far, so use the time over the Easter holidays to recharge the batteries. It is also a great time to do further research into the course and career options you are considering for after the Leaving Cert. There is still plenty of time to look at college courses, post-Leaving Cert courses, apprenticeships and traineeships. Try to strike a balance between rest, relaxation and revision so that you can pace yourself in the final term to work well up to and including assessments for accredited grades and the written papers. All your effort will be worth it in the end!

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Killarney allocated over €600,000 for public outdoor dining

By Sean Moriarty The plan to place council operated outdoor dining on Kenmare Place took a step closer to reality this week. On Wednesday Fáilte Ireland revealed that 38 Municipal Districts were successful in their funding applications. Killarney is set to receive €604,505 under the scheme which is managed by the national tourism promotion body. […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The plan to place council operated outdoor dining on Kenmare Place took a step closer to reality this week.

On Wednesday Fáilte Ireland revealed that 38 Municipal Districts were successful in their funding applications.

Killarney is set to receive €604,505 under the scheme which is managed by the national tourism promotion body.

“The aim of this Scheme is to support tourism and hospitality jobs and help businesses develop new ways of catering for domestic and international tourists outdoors. Access to outdoor dining facilities will continue to be a key part of industry recovery as we look forward to 2022 and beyond,” said Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin at Wednesday’s announcement.

Elected members of Killarney Municipal District are scheduled to meet in the coming weeks and more details of the project will be revealed after this meeting.

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Student grants and renting

Supports Available It’s that time of year where parents and their school leaving children are preparing for college for the first time. The main financial support for students or their parents is the Student Grant from SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland). SUSI typically accepts late applications up until November. This is a means tested grant […]

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Supports Available

It’s that time of year where parents and their school leaving children are preparing for college for the first time. The main financial support for students or their parents is the Student Grant from SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland). SUSI typically accepts late applications up until November. This is a means tested grant which may cover the fees (student contribution) and provide maintenance.

The limits that apply to the grant vary, but if the student was coming from a family with less than four dependent children, in order to qualify for the maximum rate of grant the total net income in the previous tax year would have to have been €39,875 or less. That refers to both the parent’s income and the student’s income, however €4,500 of the student’s income which they earn outside term time e.g. during the summer will be disregarded.

PUP

If the student was getting the PUP payment because they lost their part-time job due to the pandemic, this is taken into account. Currently there are no disregards allowed for PUP payments. If there is more than one student attending college from the same household, the limit may be increased by €4,830.

Maximum Student Grant

There are actually two different maximum rates of grant. There are referred to as the adjacent and non-adjacent rate. The adjacent rate is for students living within 45km of the college and the non-adjacent rate is for students living more than 45km from the college. The adjacent rate is €3,025. The non-adjacent rate is €1,125. There has always been a special higher rate of grant for disadvantaged students.

Student Assistance Fund

Yes, separate from the Student Grant from SUSI the colleges have access to the Student Assistance Fund. Students can apply directly through their college for assistance with expenses such as books or laptops. Typically, this involves completing an application form and going for a short interview in the college. There are no set amounts of funding under this scheme. The college will assess each application on its own merits.

Renting for the First Time

Don’t be tempted to pay a deposit or sign a tenancy agreement until you have seen the property. If you are signing a tenancy agreement check if you want to live in the property for the time period stated on the agreement, check for early break clauses. Make sure you have correct contact details for the landlord. If you chose to leave the property early you may lose your deposit.

Deposits

The landlord should only retain the deposit or part of it to cover any damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear. The tenant should take pictures of the property before they move out as evidence of the condition they left the property in.

Rents

There are different rules depending on whether the property is in a Rent Pressure Zone or not. A Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ)  is an area where rents cannot be increased by more than general inflation. At the beginning of a new tenancy in a RPZ, a landlord is required to provide the tenant, in writing, with the amount of rent that was last set. For a tenancy not located in a Rent Pressure Zones a landlord may increase the rent in line with market value once every two years.

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0761 07 7860. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm, email tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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