Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Dr Jan Steiner from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Dr Jan Steiner

Anaesthetist

Health Service Executive

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  Dr Jan Steiner
Try and get as much practical experience before entering the job as possible.
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Naturalist?
Naturalist 
Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Disability - Other 2nd Level Options
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Other 2nd Level Options

FLEXIBLE LEARNING

NCCA developmental work on the use of 'flexible learning profiles' is
being undertaken with a small number of schools. Flexible learning profile schools offer access to a range of qualifications.

Mainstream post-primary schools now follow courses leading to Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) awards. In some schools, Fifth year LCA students can access a choice of FETAC awards such as “Customer Services”. Pupils with special educational needs in mainstream and in some special schools, can also follow these courses.

To expand the curriculum at senior cycle, the following FETAC modules have been introduced as options to all fifth year students (both established LC and LCA)

  • Information technology skills Level 4
  • Computer applications Level 4
  • Health and fitness Level 4
  • Cultural studies Level 4

FETAC has responsibility for setting the standards for named awards at levels 1 to 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Since 2006, FETAC has set standards for named awards at Levels 1 and 2 and has recently introduced three new certificates at these levels. This may provide an opportunity for students, who have significant learning disabilities and who are unable to access the Junior or Leaving Certificate programmes, to achieve certification.

ASDAN (Award Scheme Development And Accreditation Network) is a UK based approved awarding body which creates opportunities for learners to achieve personal and social development through the achievement of a wide range of ASDAN Awards and Qualifications.  ASDAN qualifications and awards provide opportunities for students 14-19 to develop personal, social and active citizenship skills, work-related skills, key skills and wider key skills. ASDAN are used mainly by those with special needs.

A number of the awards have been developed for learners with moderate, severe, complex, profound or multiple learning difficulties. These awards are available in a small number of special schools in Ireland. For example, St Raphael’s Special School in Celbridge Co. Kildare is a registered centre for delivering ASDAN programmes.

The principal can advise you if the above options are available in your child's school.

HOME EDUCATION

It is useful for parents to know that there is no legal requirement for students to sit either the Junior or the Leaving Certificate Examinations.

The legislation governing school attendance in Ireland is the Education (Welfare) Act 2000. Under the Act the minimum school leaving age is raised to 16 years (was 15), or the completion of three years of post-primary education, whichever is the later.

Parents are required to ensure that their children from the age of 6 to the age of 16 attend a recognised school or receive a certain minimum education. There is no absolute legal obligation on children to attend school nor on their parents to send them to school. 

Parents have a constitutional right to educate their children at home. If you choose to home-school your child, you do not need a formal teaching qualification or curriculum but you must ensure that your child receives a certain minimum education. You can adopt the approach you feel best suits the learning needs of your child to make sure that he or she is learning successfully and making reasonable progress, given his or her age, ability, aptitude and learning needs.


Useful Links:
Disability Access Route to Education
Higher Education Access Route
Student Finance