THREE of the top five ‘feeder schools’ in Cork are fee-paying, with Presentation Brothers College sending the highest percentage to third-level education.
St Mary’s Secondary School, (Convent of Mercy) Macroom was second on the list and is the top-rated state school in Cork while non-fee-paying Coláiste an Phiarsaigh in Glanmire was fourth.
Christian Brothers College and Scoil Mhuire on Wellington Road were the other two fee-paying schools, in third and fifth respectively.
Macroom had a second school on the list in sixth place, with De La Salle College also sending more than 100% of students to college. Where figures are above 100% they include repeat and mature students, who make up just over one-fifth of new third-level students.
Nationwide, the figures showed that state-funded schools are closing the gap on fee-paying schools, while overall college entry rates are at an all-time high.
Irish third-level participation rates are among the highest in the world for people under 40.
But there is still a significant disparity. While more than 20 schools in Cork had college progression rates of more than 90%, others sent 50% or fewer pupils on to third-level.
The progression rate in Terence MacSwiney was 27%, and 25% from Nagle Community College. However, these figures do not include students who go on to apprenticeships or further education (PLC courses).
The housing shortage appears to be having an impact on college choice, with the costs and difficulty of living away from home leading to more students choosing their local third-level option. UCC and CIT were by far the most popular choices of college for all the top-rated schools in Cork.