Fee-paying and Gaelscoil students most likely to go to university

Department of Education figures show half of early school leavers stay in education

More than 57 per cent of pupils attending all-Irish schools enrolled in higher education courses that year

More than 57 per cent of pupils attending all-Irish schools enrolled in higher education courses that year


Two-thirds of students who attend fee-paying secondary schools go on to higher level education, compared to about 40 per cent of students from other school types, new figures from the Department of Education have shown.

The figures are based on students who completed post-primary school in 2010.

The new data, compiled using detailed analysis of records held by the department , also reveal that only one quarter of students attending schools that are designated disadvantaged (Deis) went on to higher education in 2010, compared to half of all students from non-Deis schools.

More than 57 per cent of pupils attending all-Irish schools enrolled in higher education courses that year.

A separate report on early school leavers has shown that of the 7,713 students who dropped out of school early in 2010, more than half have gone on to further education or training or continued in second-level education programmes such as post-Leaving Certificate courses.

A further 14 per cent of early school leavers were enrolled in education or training outside of the State. Some 6 per cent had joined the workforce, while 6.6 per cent had claimed social welfare.

The number of students leaving school before completion accounted for 2.5 per cent of the overall cohort in 2010, down from 3.7 per cent in 2002 .

It is notable that more girls dropped out of school early than boys in 2010 – 4,023 compared to 3,690 – a trend reflected in data dating back to 2003.This finding runs counter to claims that boys are at higher risk of dropping out before the Leaving Cert.

Also, girls tended to leave post-primary schooling earlier than boys. A quarter (25 per cent) of female early school leavers left after year three of Junior Certificate/ JCSP compared to 21 per cent of boys.

Overall, half of all students enrolled in the final year of senior cycle in a State-supported post-primary school in 2010 went directly to higher education. A further 28 per cent progressed to further education, training or continued second-level education. Ten per cent took up employment, while 7 per cent made social welfare claims.

An estimated 4 per cent enrolled in colleges abroad, with the majority talking up higher education programmes in the UK and Northern Ireland.

This report, entitled School Completers – What Next? , and its companion report Early School Leavers – What Next? , are the first in a series of annual reports by the Department of Education that will track school leavers a year after they leave school.

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