Students who attend fee-charging schools are far more likely to go directly to third level education, according to new data compiled by the Department of Education.

A report tracking school leavers from three years ago has found that 66% of students from the fee-charging sector were in third level education one year later.

This is compared to 42% of students from non fee-charging post primary schools.

This is the first time the Department of Education has published reports based on the information it and other agencies gather.

Of those who completed their Leaving Certificate in 2010, more than half went on directly to higher and under a third to further education.

There was evidence of 7% signing on for social welfare and 10% working.

The figures showed 66% of students from fee-charging schools went straight to third level.

That is compared to 47% of students in ordinary secondary schools, between 42% and 38% in comprehensive and community schools, and 34% in the VEC sector.

The data found students in all-Irish schools were 14% more likely to be in college one year later.