Dáil Éireann - Volume 615 - 21 February, 2006
Written Answers. - Early School Leavers.
Mr. Curran Mr. Curran
621. Mr. Curran asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of drop out rates in post primary schools in Clondalkin for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005. [6784/06]
Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin
Ms Hanafin: The latest data published by my Department on retention rates in second-level schools relate to the cohort of entrants to the first year of junior cycle in 1996. Students in this cohort would have sat the leaving certificate in either 2002 or 2003, depending on whether they took the transition year programme.
The published data for the 1996 cohort indicate an average “unadjusted” retention rate to leaving certificate of 70.3% for the local authority area of south Dublin, as compared with a national average figure of 77.8%. The term “unadjusted” relates to the fact that the figures cited have not been adjusted to allow for factors such as persons opting to pursue their senior cycle education in private institutions, emigration and death. The national adjusted leaving certificate retention rate  for the 1996 cohort was 81.3%. Retention data on individual schools or on schools in a particular local area are not made available separately by my Department.
As regards those who complete the junior certificate but who depart from second-level education prior to the leaving certificate, the available statistical evidence indicates that the increasing range of further education and training opportunities available for these students is having a positive impact. CSO data show that the educational profile of 20-24 year olds in Ireland has improved steadily over the last five years, as increasing opportunities have been made available in the further education and training sector. By 2005, 86.1% of 20-24 year olds had attained upper second-level education or equivalent, up from 82.4% in 2000. This indicates that there has been an increase in the proportion of young people with at least the leaving certificate or equivalent. Indeed, the level of educational attainment of Irish young people is ahead of the EU average on that measure.
Dáil Éireann 615 Written Answers. Early School Leavers.