No one cares about middle-class children who are being 'tweaked out' of the university system.
That is according to Newstalk Breakfast host Ciara Kelly, who was speaking as it emerged that there was a drop in disadvantaged students going to college following a return to normal Leaving Certificate exams.
Ciara said predicted grades helped some, but disadvantaged others.
"I get it - no one cares about middle-class kids," she said.
"I said this at the time when we did the predicted grades... we weren't allowed have school profiling, we were only allowed have class profiling.
"Middle-ranking kids in middle-class schools were thrown under a bus; but no one cares.
"There is no one who will advocate for the middle-classes, and there's no one who will advocate particularly for middle-class kids."
'School system can only do so much'
Ciara said there needs to be a more level playing field.
"I would like to see a level playing field, so every kid who would like to go to a university from a DEIS school, and who has the ability to go to a university from a DEIS school, can do that," she said.
"I would like to see that, but I don't think that schools alone are what makes people go to college.
"I think that much more comes from family aspirations, from parental aspirations, from home supports - all that kinds of stuff - I think the school system can only do so much."
She said social engineering was behind the predicted grades.
"When I see that we have reverted to what we were pre-pandemic - you might not call it a meritocracy, because you might say 'Some kids have advantages' - social advantages, familial advantages, all of that' - that's true," she said.
"There was social engineering [that] went on with the predicted grades... people wanted to do the right thing, and in their view the right thing was to give a kind of a leg-up to DEIS schools and deprived area schools, and a leg-down to other schools.
"To me, I prefer a blank piece of paper and a meritocracy, and that any kid who works hard and has the ability and wants to do it can do it.
"I think I'm in a minority of one saying that I feel sorry for middle-class kids.
"I think that they were tweaked out the system over the last two years," she said.
View this post on Instagram