Fee-paying pupils more likely to take high points courses in universities

Tuesday 26 November 2013 10.17
Students from fee-paying schools and gaelcholáistí claim the majority of high point places
Students from fee-paying schools and gaelcholáistí claim the majority of high point places

The number of schools that send all their pupils onto third level education has increased, according to the latest league tables.

Students from fee-paying schools and gaelcholáistí claimed the majority of places with the highest points.

The league tables are based on data provided by over 30 third-level colleges about the school of origin of students.

It found that three quarters of non-fee-paying schools account for the top 100 when it comes to their students going to college.

However, the list of schools sending students to high points courses, such as medicine, dentistry and law, is almost entirely dominated by fee-paying schools.

The tables also reveal that schools with high numbers of disadvantaged pupils send fewer students to college.

The Teachers' Union of Ireland has warned that the publication of school "feeder" lists risks distorting the true meaning of education.

The union believes that inclusive schools, which embrace all learners in the local community, are unfairly represented by the focus on third-level progression.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, TUI General Secretary John MacGabhann described the tables as "an exercise in silliness".