League tables show further evidence of elitism in education

castleknock college

Credit castleknockcollege.ie

Students from fee-paying schools are still dominating the highest point courses in universities, according to the Irish Times school league tables published today.

Despite data which says that non fee-paying schools accounted for three quarters of the top 100 secondary schools in the 2013 league tables, it is private school students who snap up the most sought after courses.

The league tables also show a major advantage to the affluent south Dublin area, with 25 schools there sending at least 94 per cent of their students to college. The list shows that 17 schools in the top 100 are located in south Dublin – 14 of them fee-paying – while north Dublin boasts only two, Castleknock College and Ard Scoil Rís.

Mary Maguire, deputy principal of Warrenmount National School, Dublin 8, which has 49 per cent foreign national attendance, expressed concern at the elitism within the Irish education system.

“Not many of our students’ families are in a financial position to send their children to fee-paying schools, and even at such a young age they definitely face a disadvantage being forced into state-run schools.”

The research also found that there was an overall increase in university attendance, with school leavers 14% more likely to go to University than the figures from the 2012 league tables.

However, a spokesperson for the Teacher’s Union of Ireland has called the league tables “an exercise in silliness”.

Hannah Popham

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