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11.37 4 Dec 2018


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A new survey shows public schools are closing the gap on private schools when it comes to students entering college.

The annual Feeder School table shows more than 50 public schools have a 100% college transfer rate.

However, it also shows students from the most affluent parts of Dublin are up to 14-times more likely to progress to university than those in some disadvantaged areas.

The Irish Times survey reveals that most schools in better-off parts of the city - such as Dublin 2, 4, 6 and 14 - had progression rates of 90% or more.

By contrast, individual schools in some deprived parts of the capital - such as Dublin 10, 11, 17 and 24 - had progression rates as low as 7%.

Fee-paying schools and those based in affluent areas continue to dominate - accounting for 17 of the top 20 schools that send the most students to college.

DEIS schools saw an average progression figure of 57%.

Seamus Lahart is president of the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI).

He told Pat Kenny the survey does not give the full picture.

"It's too narrow and it's an unfair view, and it's not an accurate picture of future employment.

"It penalizes schools that cater for the wide range of skills in the student body and it's just too easy and it's not a complete picture."

"There's a wide-range of skills, education is a life-long process now - it's not like it was 30 years ago - there's progression.

"Some people may leave school and take up a PLC course and take a more considered approach to a future career and may indeed progression on to college - and those people are not comprehended by those figures".

"You mentioned the figures in Dublin and some of the addresses in Dublin - why wouldn't more students in those areas: there's a college down the road from them.

"It doesn't take into the fact of accommodation costs in Dublin, and quite simply if you live further away from a college you're less likely to attend it for that reason.

"So there's lots of reasons as to why the league tables would be affected - but these league tables don't take account of any of that".


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