The vast majority of Cork students who started secondary school in 2010 sat their Leaving Cert exams by 2016, new figures from the Department of Education show.
A new report by the Department of Education and Skills on school retention rates show that Ireland’s school completion rates are currently among the highest in Europe.
According to the report, 90.18% of students who started secondary school in Cork City in 2010, and 92.85% of students who started secondary school in County Cork in 2010 sat their leaving certificate exams by 2016.
The figure for Cork County is amongst the top in the country with only Kerry and Meath achieving higher completion rates.
The study also found that the gap in Leaving Cert retention rates between DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) and non-DEIS schools continues to narrow.
According to the Department of Education, this gap has almost halved, from 15.8% for the 2001 cohort to 8.5% for the 2010 cohort.
Voluntary secondary schools continue to have the highest retention rate to Leaving Certificate at 92.7%; Community and Comprehensive schools were next at 90.6%, followed by Vocational schools at 88.3%.
The number of early leavers from education and training is also down, to 6.3% from 10.8% in 2011.
This represents a 40% decrease, improving Ireland’s ranking by 7 places to 7th in Europe overtaking Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.
The report also found that 94% of 20-24-year-olds in Ireland have at least an upper-secondary level education, making it the 2nd best in Europe at 94%.
Retention rates have also improved for both boys and girls, by approximately 1% for both.
Education Minister Richard Bruton said the Department of Education is very encouraged by the report’s findings, particularly with the results relating to DEIS schools.
“We expanded the DEIS scheme earlier this year and will continue working towards eliminating this gap.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the role that school leaders, teachers and parents have played in encouraging students to continue in secondary education.”