Monday 24 October 2016

This table provides a school-by-school breakdown of where pupils from the Leaving Certificate class of 2015 started in college this autumn.

Published 03/12/2015 | 02:30

This table provides a school-by-school breakdown of where pupils from the Leaving Certificate class of 2015 started in college this autumn.

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The figures do not include the many school-leavers who went into further education, such as post-Leaving Cert. (PLC) courses and others, such as apprentices.

It is a detailed picture of "who went where" although it must be treated with certain caution because not all colleges provide the information in the same way.

It is based on data from most colleges in the Republic of Ireland, as well as Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster. The table does not record students from the Republic who have enrolled in British colleges this year. Some schools, such as St Columba's, Rathfarnham, Dublin, have a tradition of pupils progressing to Britain for their third-level education.

The table includes the seven universities in the Republic, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and 13 other institutes of technology, teacher training colleges - although figures for St Patrick's, and Mater Dei, Drumcondra are now included in DCU data - National College of Art and Design (NCAD), National College of Ireland, Shannon College for Hotel Management and St Angela's College, Sligo. It does not cover a number of smaller, private institutions,

The Leaving Cert. "sits" column, based on figures provided by the State Examinations Commission (SEC), refers to the number of students who sat the exam at the school last June, including Repeats, but excludes those classed as External Candidates. Schools with fewer than 10 Leaving Cert. "sits" this year are not in the list.

Primarily, the table captures first time Leaving Cert students. It may also include students who sat the exam in previous years and used their results as a basis for college entry in 2015 This may explain why the number progressing to college credited to a particular school may not relate to the Leaving Certificate "sits" figure.

In the case of students who sit the Leaving Cert. more than once, some colleges, such as Trinity College Dublin (TCD) give only the last school attended. Others such as the University of Limerick (UL) and University College Dublin (UCD) list every school at which the student sat the Leaving Cert., resulting in a "repeat" student being counted more than once.

UCD, for instance, advises, that "in cases where, for example, a candidate sat the examination twice, that candidate will appear as a statistic under both institutions and be doubly entered in the data. The double counting occurs even where the candidate repeated the examination in the institution where he or she first sat the examination." Similarly, UL advises that the data represents the number of examinations taken, rather than the number of entrants to the university.

Such double-counting also contributes to some schools showing a higher proportion of pupils entering college than is the case, when compared with the number of Leaving Cert "sits" in June. Where this happens the percentage has been capped at 100pc.

Schools are listed by county and in descending order, according to the proportion of pupils who enrolled in third-level. Schools with a relatively low number of Leaving Cert. students can have a higher percentage of pupils attending third-level.

The colleges advise that the schools' data are provided to them for administrative purposes and that they cannot stand over the accuracy of the information if used for any other purpose, such as a league table. There can be many reasons that corrections will be made to the data as it is updated.

Katherine Donnelly, Education Editor

Irish Independent

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