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School league tables: Country’s top schools get perfect results

January 26, 2016

When it comes to sending students on to third level, the past seven years have seen seven schools in five counties managing to deliver an extraordinary 100pc record.

Given the size of its population, it’s unsurprising that three of the country’s best-performing schools are located in Dublin. The other four members of the ‘100pc club’ are to be found in Cork, Limerick, Kerry and Tipperary.

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While all seven schools have maintained a perfect record in terms of placing their students in third-level institutions every year since 2009, further analysis of the data based on the percentage who were admitted to a course of study at a university makes it possible to rank them accordingly.

With 81pc of Leaving Certificate students securing a place at university between 2009 and 2015, Presentation Brothers College in the Mardyke in Cork emerges as the best performing school in the nation. The school, which charges annual fees of €3,500, also bears the distinction of having had the greatest throughput of students during the period (of those schools in the ‘100pc club’) with a total of 767 boys sitting the Leaving Certificate. Looking more closely at the figures, one finds the majority – or 542 of those graduating from the school – went on to study at University College Cork (UCC).

Coming in at number two is Mount Anville School in Goatstown, south county Dublin. The all-girls school, which charges yearly fees of €5,350, has placed 80pc of its Leaving Certificate students in universities between 2009 to 2015.

Some 381, or just over 52pc of the 726 students graduating from Mount Anville, went on to study at UCD while 147 (20pc) secured places at Trinity College.

Read more: ‘We focus on each individual student’s exact skill set’

Third is Glenstal Abbey in Limerick. While the all-boys boarding school, which charges yearly fees of €10,600 for day boarders, has equalled Mount Anville’s record of sending 80pc of its 260 graduates to university between 2009 and 2015, it comes in behind the south Dublin girls’ school on our list owing to its lower throughput of students. With an average of 37 students sitting the Leaving Certificate compared to the average of 103 who sat the exams each year at Mount Anville, Glenstal Abbey’s students could be seen to enjoy a relative advantage in terms of the individual attention they might receive.

Between 2009 and 2015, 60 of Glenstal’s Leaving Certificate students took up places at Trinity College Dublin, while 68 went to UCD, 32 went to UCC and 18 attended NUIG.

Read more: ‘It’s a real team effort here – everyone is involved’

The fourth-placed school on the list merits special mention by virtue of the fact that it is non fee-paying. According to our analysis, 78pc of students at the all-girls school, Colaiste Iosagain, in the south county Dublin suburb of Stillorgan, progressed to university between 2009 and 2015. The most popular destination for its students is UCD with 246 or over 44pc of the 552 girls who sat the Leaving Certificate during that time going there.

In assessing Colaiste Iosagain, it is worth noting that its students learn through Irish and benefit from the bonus marks awarded to those candidates who do their Leaving Certificate examinations through the language.

Fifth on the list is the €13,150 all-boys Cistercian College in Roscrea, with 71pc of its students placed in university between 2009 and 2015. UCD proved the most popular destination with 74 or 24pc of the Tipperary boarding school’s 303 leaving certificate students taking up places there between 2009 and 2015.

Read more: Hard-working schools show that better results can be achieved

St Mary’s College in Rathmines, which charges fees of €5,250 a year, came in sixth place. Some 59pc of students from the fee-paying, all boys’ school secured a place in university between 2009 and 2015.

The seventh member of our ‘100pc club’ is Tralee Community College in Co Kerry. While the non fee-paying, co-ed school sent just 3pc of its Leaving Certificate students on to university between 2009 and 2015, it has placed 100pc of them in third-level institutions. 142 of the 159 students who sat the state exams at the school went on to study at Tralee Institute of Technology.