A lecturer has claimed that those who go to fee-paying schools are 'cheating' in the Leaving Certificate race.
Dr Katriona O'Sullivan was speaking as a new league table found those from fee-paying schools were significantly more likely to progress to high points college courses.
Data compiled by the Irish Times found 99.7% of Leaving Cert students from schools which charge fees progressed to third level.
Non-fee-paying schools sent 80% of students to college, down 3% on last year.
While Deis schools in disadvantaged areas also performed well, with 62% of students going on to study in higher education.
Dr O'Sullivan is a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Maynooth University.
She told Newstalk Breakfast parents are cheating by using private schools.
"If you celebrate your child's performance in the Leaving Cert, and you've paid for that privilege, then you've nothing to celebrate.
"Basically what you've done is you've cheated in a race.
"And not only have you cheated in the race, you've actually made other children feel bad.
"If you celebrate a system that is unfair, then basically you're harming society - you're harming other kids.
"It's like putting two kids in a race, and one kid has an injury and the other one doesn't".
But Dr O'Sullivan says we should have used the pandemic to change the education system.
"I've accepted a few years ago that, realistically, we're just going to keep perpetuating inequality in Ireland - and make sure that the same voices get heard at the high state of tables.
"It's really unfortunate that COVID didn't really give us an opportunity to re-think education.
"We really had a chance to reflect on what a fair society looks like, and how we make sure that everybody gets equal opportunities.
"But it looks like it really hasn't changed anything: the same groups are getting the same advantages".
She says the current CAO points-based system is unfair.
"Points are inflated every year, so using high-point courses as a metric isn't necessarily fair.
"What we should look at is what people want to be, and what jobs they aspire to and what's fair.
"You have to take into consideration the fact that Deis have a higher rate of school dropout - so when you take that increase, you've also got to account for the fact that maybe 10% of kids didn't even complete their Leaving Cert within them schools".
And she says while she is not against league tables such as these, there are better metrics.
"I actually think the league tables are a good thing because it gives us an idea of what's going on.
"The league tables actually shows us that the inequalities are happening.
"You could use relative rank scores - so you could actually look at how children perform against their peers within the system.
"So if you're in a Deis school, you could actually be ranked next to the other students within your school and your community and your family background.
"And then places could be distributed equally across applicant groups in the different courses."