22.2% of secondary school students in Ireland drop out before the Leaving Cert

Monday, October 24, 2005

New figures released last week by the Irish Department of Education show a surprisingly secondary school drop out rate in Ireland.

The retention rates report released by Education Minister Mary Hanafin shows that just 77.8% of the 64,000 students who began their secondary education in 1996 completed the Leaving Cert in 2001/2002.

The worst areas in the country appear to be urban areas, particularly in Dublin where 26 schools had drop out rates above 50%. Among these were several schools which had a retention rate of less than 60% up to Junior Cert level.

By gender, the rentention rates for girls were 83.8% and boys were 72.1%.

Poor funding and large class sizes are being blamed for the high drop out rates. Separate OECD figures put Ireland 21st out of 27 developed countries in terms of spending per secondary level student.