Donegal ETB provides full-time educational services in 15 post-primary schools in the county. Second level education aims to provide a holistic, quality learning environment which prepares individual students for higher/ further education or immediate entry into the workplace, and equips them with the some of the skills necessary to become active citizens in a democratic society.
Second level education consists of a 3 year Junior Cycle followed by a 2 or 3 year Senior Cycle depending on whether the optional Transition Year is taken. It is usual for students to commence the Junior Cycle at 12 years, a state examination (the Junior Certificate) is taken after 3 years. The principal objective of Junior Cycle is for students to complete broad, balanced and coherent courses of study in a variety of subject areas and to allow them to achieve levels of competence that will enable them to proceed to Senior Cycle education.
The Senior Cycle caters for students in the 15-18 year age group. Immediately following the junior cycle, students have the option of undertaking Transition Year. Following Transition year, (in the final 2 years of the senior cycle), students take one of three programmes each leading to a state examination – the traditional Leaving Certificate, the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP), or the Leaving Certificate Applied Programme (LCAP).