Your Child & Life After Sudbury

Frequently Asked Questions

Students at TNSS can sit the Leaving Cert exams if they choose to do so, however the Leaving Cert is only one of many pathways to college, further education, and future careers. Students who have attended Sudbury Schools in Ireland have found completing QQI courses an effective way to access their chosen college. These can be completed online while attending TNSS or later in a PLC (post leaving cert college).
If students decide that they do wish to sit the Leaving Cert, staff at TNSS will assist them with organising the arrangements needed.
The Leaving Cert can be sat at any school by registering with that school in the January prior to exams being taken.
More information can be found at
Another option for students is to take A-levels, which can be done through the National Extension College in the UK (exams can be sat in Northern Ireland). Like the Leaving Cert, A-levels can be converted into CAO points as an additional pathway into college.


Yes, today’s higher education landscape is rapidly changing and there is now a wide array of options available. We encourage students to research and pursue the option that works best for them in reaching their goals. Children aged 16 years may opt to do a QQI course over one or two years which they can obtain a max 390 points and then apply to college through CAO. Alternatively, students may decide to do A levels online in Ireland where they can get a maximum of 585 points.

Furthermore, students in Ireland do not need CAO points to apply as a mature student which can be done at aged 23 in Ireland and at age 21 for UK colleges.

Whatever pathway students decide to take to college TNSS staff will be there supporting and assisting them to reach their goal.

In the words of William Butler Yeats “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”. It is our aim at TNSS that every child will find their fire and with it their passion and drive. Currently the drop out figures in Irish colleges are as high as 25% and research shows that up to 60% of these dropouts are due to students choosing the wrong course ( One of the advantages of self- directed education is that it affords students the time for exploration and self-discovery. Finding out what they enjoy and what they are good at helps students set future goals.

Furthermore being a self -directed learner may prepare students for success as it fosters skills such as problem solving, self-assessment, persistence, self-discipline, and develops independence and leadership skills (

A recent Irish study found that as few as 13% of Irish employers believe that graduates are very well equipped to meet the future needs of the workforce. This study found that challenges started in secondary school education with a disconnect between the skills students needed and what they are taught.  Employers say “soft” skills such as communication, work ethic, teamwork and problem-solving will be most needed for the workforce of the future over the coming years. (

Lastly in the words of Tallgrass Sudbury School;

In the long term, self-directed education creates the kind of outcomes we really care about: adults who are kind and empathetic, who can handle conflict, take charge of their own decisions, and advocate for themselves.

Read here stories and experiences from pass pupils of Fairhaven Sudbury School