St Louis Community School

Skills to progress both in Further Education and the Workplace

St Louis Community School in East Mayo has been offering PLC courses for over a decade now and continue to respond to learner and employer need.

A fantastic illustration of this commitment is the introduction of the QQI Level 5 Award in Education & Training. This new course will provide the opportunity for vocational specialists to get the skills and qualifications needed to deliver training in their area of vocational expertise.

According to FE Coordinator Suzi Ottewell. “The perception of PLC courses has changed dramatically over recent years with many people – including recent school leavers and adults returning to education after a time away – choosing to use them as an alternative route into higher and further education.”

Today’s PLC courses are very much focused on delivering the skills and knowledge needed to progress both in further education and the workplace. Great emphasis is put on honing practical skills, applying theories, encouraging self-motivation, developing personal skills such as communications, and gaining real insights from work experience.

“It’s important to remember that 8 distinctions in a level 5 or level 6 QQI course is equivalent to 384 points in the leaving cert, too” adds Suzi.

Over the last decade this change in perception about PLCs has led to a great increase in what St Louis CS offers. Today there are courses in sport, childcare, business/IT, nursing, community care, hairdressing and beauty therapy. The facilities on offer have expanded, too, and now include dedicated beauty and hairdressing salons, exercise and cardio vascular rooms, IT rooms, and internet access with networked printing for research and project work. Off-site access to course resources and information is also available.

“Another area of expansion is that St Louis CS is now an approved centre for three awarding bodies: QQI, City & Guilds and ITEC. This means that industry leading qualifications in hairdressing, beauty therapy and fitness instructing are all available at one location in East Mayo. St Louis CS is the only approved ITEC centre for Sports & City & Guilds centre for hairdressing in Mayo ,” added Suzi.

All the further education courses at St Louis are open to people with a leaving cert or equivalent qualification, although it’s important to check individual course entry requirements.

Applications are open for courses that will start in September 2018. Forms are available from the school 094 9381228 or by online application through Places are limited so early application is very much recommended. There is a short, informal interview for all course applicants which also provides the chance to see the plc facilities on offer.

“Today the PLC route is as important a route into the third level system as any other and the skills they bring with them are very much sought after by colleges, universities and employers alike,” added Suzi.

Find out more:

Further information about all the courses and application forms are available from:, or from Suzi on 094 9381228

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