Educate Together pupils 50% Catholic


ABOUT HALF of pupils in schools managed by the multidenominational group Educate Together are Catholic.

That’s according to a new Economic and Social Research Institute report, which also shows mothers in multidenominational schools are “as likely to describe themselves as very religious or spiritual” as mothers in Catholic schools.

A sizeable (30 per cent) Catholic intake was also found in minority faith (mostly Church of Ireland) schools.

The report, School Sector Variation Among Primary Schools in Ireland, provides new insights into the growing diversification of types of schools at primary level in Ireland. It concludes that primary schools in Ireland have remained predominantly denominational, chiefly Catholic, in both ownership and management, despite demographic changes in recent decades.

At the same time, it states, increased diversity in the Irish population has contributed to a growing demand for new types of school that are multidenominational in character.

The report shows that while the population has become more diverse in recent years, student intake in the Catholic schools is still predominantly Catholic.

It also finds school choice is constrained by the availability of places in the school of parents’ choice. While there has been growth in pupil intake, this growth has been more marked in multi-denominational schools. Schools such as Educate Together ones are more likely than other school types to be oversubscribed, it says.

The report shows how the various primary school types differed in terms of social class background and maternal education levels. It says minority faith and multi-denominational schools had higher proportions of children from professional, managerial and technical backgrounds than Catholic schools.

Maternal education levels were higher in multidenominational schools than in minority faith or Catholic schools. This factor had a stronger impact on school selection than social class.

The research found most children liked their school and their teacher. Furthermore, pupils who were particularly positive about the school and teachers came from a variety of backgrounds.

School Sector Variation Among Primary Schools in Ireland by Merike Darmody, Emer Smyth and Selina McCoy (ESRI), published jointly by the ESRI and Educate Together, will be published online on the ESRI website and the Educate Together website today.