Monday 22 October 2018

Revealed: top schools league table

EOGHAN WILLIAMS and JOHN O'KEEFFE TWO thirds of the top 100 schools are non fee-paying and based outside Dublin, the most extensive survey of school performance ever published reveals today.

A Sunday Independent analysis shows that several big-name Dublin schools have been pushed down the table by a host of strong regional secondaries. The study is based on the percentage of pupils each school sent to university in the Republic. A list of the leading 200 schools appears inside today's Sunday Independent .

Every secondary school in the country was included in our survey, which measures the proportion of Leaving Cert students gaining a place in an Irish university.

Fee-paying schools fill 11 of the top 20 places. St Conleth's College in Dublin 4, which has annual fees of ?3,000, tops


the list. Wesley College, one of the capital's elite Protestant educational establishments is shoved out of the top 100.

Meanwhile, St Aloysius' School, Carrigtwohill, Cork, comes second, ahead of John Magnier's old school, Glenstal Abbey in Limerick. In all, two-thirds of the top 100 schools are based outside Dublin.

Over 100 of the schools failed to send a single pupil to university in Ireland. Of those that did, St Laurence's College, south county Dublin, came bottom. In a Leaving Cert class of 166, just one pupil went to university.

League tables which show the average grades achieved by each school in the Leaving Certificate are prohibited by law. This new research is the closest parents, teachers and students can come to seeing how their school is performing in a crucial area of academic achievement.

As students await Tuesday's first round CAO offers, they can now study which schools virtually guarantee a university course - and which ones could do better.There is strong political opposition to the publication of academic league tables. Richard Bruton is one of a tiny minority within Leinster House who supports the release of data. The Fine Gael deputy leader's own former schools, Belvedere College and Clongowes Wood, came 28th and 51st respectively.

League tables were introduced a decade ago in the UK in the face of fierce opposition from teachers. But they are now part of the educational landscape. And whether the government there likes it or not, parents use the raw material to decide which school their children should go to.

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