Méid an Téacs

Feeder schools: Social class still drives school league tables

Nollaig 3, 2015

Gaelscoileanna and fee-paying schools dominate school rankings with the highest number of students graduating to third-level education, Irish Times figures published today show.

However, a number of schools outside this traditional group also rank towards the top of league tables, including community and non-fee paying schools. Coláiste Eoin in Stillorgan, Co Dublin, an all-boys gaelscoil, heads the overall rankings, followed by the fee-paying Cistercian College in Roscrea, Co Tipperary,

But Magh Éne College, Co Donegal and Coláiste Gleann Lí (formerly Tralee Community College) in Co Kerry appear in the top-five for the first time. Principals at these schools say a greater focus on empowering students to direct their own study, training for staff on new and engaging ways of teaching and closer links with third-level colleges are among the factors yielding dividends in better exam results.

Social class, however, remains a major factor in the performance of schools, especially in the Dublin area. Latest figures show students in more affluent areas in the capital are progressing to college at a rate of up to four time those in disadvantaged areas.

The social class divide is most obvious in the feeder school list for high points courses in universities and other third-level institutions.