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Fee-paying schools send most students to college

GEOGRAPHY still plays a major role in deciding whether a child will make it to third level education.

About a third of schools with a progression rate of close to 100pc are in the Dublin area – and most of these are fee- paying schools in the south of the county.

Schools with high numbers of disadvantaged students continue to send fewer pupils to college.



Fee-paying schools, typically charging €4,500-€6,500 for a day student, dominate the list of who sends the highest proportion of past pupils to third-level.

Many schools in the free education system match their record, but a big divide is seen when comparisons are made with schools with high concentrations of disadvantaged students.

The so-called league table is based on data provided by over 30 third-level colleges about the school of origin of students who enrolled this year on the basis of their Leaving Certificate results.

It shows eight schools in Co Dublin sent all of their students to third level institutions.

These include CBC in Monkstown, Colaiste Eoin in Stillorgan and Blackrock College.

Closer to the city centre Loreto College on St Stephen's Green and CUS on Lower Leeson Street also achieved a 100pc rate, as did St Michael's College on Ailesbury Road.

However, the rate drops significantly in areas such as Coolock and parts of Tallaght where less than 50pc advanced to third level.

Because of the volume of information involved, there may be some discrepancies, but the table does offer a broad picture of progression to third-level among over 700 second-level schools. As the table is published, a teachers' union has warned that such lists are hugely damaging to the inclusive school that admits all the children of the community.

The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) said inclusive schools were unfairly represented by so narrow a focus on third-level progression.



TUI general secretary John MacGabhann said the lists promoted a view that a school's success was solely dependent on students achieving entry to third-level courses that required high points.

"We believe that a school's mission is more expansive, inclusive and generous than such a narrow vision suggests," he said. Mr MacGabhann said each individual student was unique and each had an individual set of talents.