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Report finds class still an issue in education

Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 12/08/2014. Report finds class still an issue in educationTags: Education And Politics Teachers Parents

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has published a report today highlighting how young working class school leavers are less likely to reach third level education than their middle class peers. The report entitled, ‘Leaving School in Ireland: A Longitudinal Study of Post-School Transitions’ surveyed over 750 young people who had completed their Leaving Certificate in the last four years.

According to the report, ‘This cohort of young people is of particular interest as they went through the second-level educational system during a period of economic boom but left school at the onset of a period of recession.’

The report commented that,‘Young people from working-class backgrounds were less likely than their middle-class peers to go on to higher education, a pattern that was largely related to their lower levels of Leaving Certificate performance, which in turn reflected earlier processes of disengagement from school and negative interaction with teachers.’

The report also found that because of lower Leaving Cert grades, young people were entering the workforce directly from school and so finding it very difficult to get paid employment.

The ERSI concluded that, ‘The study highlights the importance of having a school climate that fosters high expectations and positive engagement among students from early on in junior cycle, a climate that would enhance post-school outcomes for young people.’


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