How to read The Irish Times Feeder Schools list

Lists should be considered alongside whole-school evaluations and subject inspection reports

The SEC does not keep data on “grind schools”, which do not receive any public funding. Photograph: iStock

The SEC does not keep data on “grind schools”, which do not receive any public funding. Photograph: iStock

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The best way to use these lists is by looking at them alongside other information, including whole-school evaluations (WSEs) and subject inspection reports, which are easily accessible through the Irish Times’ dedicated online tool (irishtimes.com/feederschools/) and through the Department of Education website.

What’s included on this list?

If more than 10 students sat their Leaving Certificate in a school in 2018, and any of them went on to one of the 27 publicly-funded third-level institutions in the Republic of Ireland, to Ulster University (formerly the University of Ulster) or Queen’s University Belfast, or one of three independent fee-paying colleges – Griffith College, Dublin Business School or the small Irish College of Humanities and Applied Sciences – it’s recorded here.

What’s not included on this list?

There’s a lot that this information doesn’t tell us about post-primary schools. We don’t how many of their students are progressing on to PLC courses or apprenticeships because, at the moment, this data is not centrally recorded. Some schools, such as Synge St CBS, introduced a transition year in 2018 and will not have had students sitting the Leaving Cert. These schools will not appear in the 2018 Feeder School tables.

Where does the information come from?

The information provided here is not officially released by the Department of Education or by the Central Applications Office (CAO), a private business that processes college applications.

Rather, it is compiled by this newspaper from two main sources. These are:

– The State Examinations Commission’s list of the number of students who sat their Leaving Cert in every publicly-funded school in the Republic of Ireland. The SEC does not keep data on “grind schools”, which do not receive any public funding.

– Information from every publicly-funded third-level institution on the school (or schools) of origin of each of their first-year undergraduate students plus information provided by the three independent fee-paying colleges.

How to read

 

the list

Let’s say, for instance, you want to see how the schools in Co Waterford, or Dublin 14, have fared.

1. Go to the section for Waterford or Dublin 14.

2. “Number who sat Leaving Cert 2018”: This column tells you the total number of students from each school who sat the Leaving Cert in 2018, from every school in that area, based on figures provided by the State Examinations Commission.

3. “Total number (all years)”: This column tells you the total number of students from that school who sat their Leaving Cert in that school in either 2018 or previous years (or who repeated the Leaving Cert in another school), and started full-time undergraduate studies in a publicly-funded third-level institution on the island of Ireland.

4. “Total percentage progression (all years)”: The percentage of students from each school who sat the Leaving Cert in 2018, plus those who sat in previous years and either deferred making a CAO application until 2018 or repeated in another institution, and started full-time undergraduate studies in a publicly-funded third-level institution on the island of Ireland.

Why can’t I find my school?

If a local school is missing, it is almost certainly because:

a. It had a Leaving Cert cohort of 10 or fewer students.

b. It didn’t have a Leaving Cert class this year because it introduced a transition year option in 2016 or because it is a relatively new school and the earliest student groups haven’t yet reached sixth year.

c. It has closed or merged with other schools to form a new school.

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