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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 26 April, 2019

Irish students almost 10% more likely to finish school than their European equivalents

This new information comes in the School Retention Report released today.

Image: Shutterstock/Stuart Monk

NEW FIGURES RELEASED today by the Department of Education show Irish pupils as 10% more likely to finish school than their European counterparts.

The School Retention Report released today shows 90.1% of pupils completed the Leaving Certificate.

Across Europe the average number of adults aged 20-24 who have completed secondary education sits at 81%.

Overall, the number of secondary school pupils completing the Leaving Certificate has risen for the third year in a row.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme, Minister for Education, Jan O’Sullivan, said:

It basically the policy in Ireland to ensure that we keep young people at school right up to Leaving Certificate.

“We’ve had a number of changes for example – reform of the primary level curriculum, the literacy and numeracy strategy has been particuarly successful and in fact we’ve reached targets in three years that were set for nine years. I suppose it an ongoing effort,” she said.


In this morning’s interview the Minister also mentioned the success of DEIS schools – which focus on disadvantaged areas – in keeping students on up to the Leaving Certificate.

A positive trend in the gender gap of those staying on was also identified. Figures for this year showed that the gap had fallen to 2.67% – with a higher number of boys leaving school before Leaving Certificate level.

The number was down 0.92% from 3.59% the previous year.

Ongoing dispute 

On the ongoing difficulties with the teaching unions over the reform of the junior cycle the Minister said that “we are going to sort this out by sitting around the table”.

This is over plans laid out for teachers to have a much larger involvement in assessing their student’s work.

Talks have been ongoing this week over the issue but are yet to reach a resolution.

The unions are set to meet on Friday around new proposals put forward by the Department of Education.

Read: Minister: Keeping data on students until they’re 30 is ‘reasonable’

Also: Some Leaving Cert students don’t get Child Benefit – because of their age

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