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Ireland's top secondary schools announced

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 14/03/2011. Ireland's top secondary schools announcedTags: Secondary School News

Ireland's top 400 secondary schools have been named in a newspaper survey. 

The Sunday Times' Parent Power Survey has listed the educational establishments in a league table, ranking the schools on the proportion of students they have going on to higher education.

It named Gonzaga College in Ranelagh, Dublin, as the number one facility for pupils going forward to study at university.

Gonzaga College has been around since 1950, when it was founded as a Catholic school.

It caters for pupils studying for their Junior Certificate, Leaving Certificate and Transition Year and offers students a range of extracurricular activities, as well as academic teaching.

Second place was given to Glenstal Abbey, a County Limerick boarding school, while the Teresian School was listed in third position, also in Dublin.

Out of the top ten schools in the survey, six are fee-paying, while the remaining four are Irish-speaking.

The highest ranking 20 schools showed a dominance of establishments in Dublin, with 13 of the prestigious places being given to facilities in the capital.

Written by Donal Walsh ADNFCR-2163-ID-800460527-ADNFCR



(07-09-2011 21:13)

3rd level education is free in ireland.
Trinity, UCD... DCU... all free. There's a 2,000 registration fee but if you can't afford that the maintenance grant covers it. Sorry to bust your bubble

Professor A. E. D.

(28-04-2013 03:36)

Aoife's letter is superbly written, expressing its points with clarity, elegance and sophistication. The letter itself is sufficient testimony to the quality of education he received at school and has developed at University. I, too, worked all through my undergraduate years and understand the burdens of that. Well done, and good luck to you.


(22-01-2012 19:25)

I disagree with the notion that this list is a list of ability to pay. However, I do think that the reason fee paying schools are, generally, the better schools in the country is because the students are brought up with expectations, gratefulness of their opportunities and most importantly support. This support comes from both family, and from the community within the school. Having experienced two different types of education myself, one public, the other private, I can say that regardless of what anyone says, there is a difference in the atmosphere between the two. I certainly believe, and know that, the grades of pupils in Gonzaga most certainly do represent their position on this list, and being such a fantastic school, it thoroughly deserves this position.



(23-10-2014 21:12)

I am Lucy from China, I am invited by TCD to teach Chinese for Extramurral students. As I am going stay for 2 years in Dublin, I am thinking of asking my son to stay with me. My son is 14 years old. Does any one of you know if it is possible for my son to go to any of the non-fee-paying public school if he comes to Dublin? I would really appreciate if you can give me any ideas about Irish high school education. please contact me at thank you!


(15-03-2011 11:46)

This table does not measure the 'top schools'. It measures the schools who's parents can best afford the costs of 3rd level education.



(23-09-2011 10:46)

Shane is correct, this list only counts students who go on to university. The list doesn't grade by academic achievement and doesn't list numbers entering 3rd level in general. It is slightly misleading but is the only gauge available. I think you would see the likes of Gonzaga removed from their perch somewhat if overall grades were used instead.


(25-04-2013 14:05)

Well said Aoife, truly with u on tht, any day I would want my kids to go to a non-fee paying school, the simplicity and humility that they will pick up there is what I ultimately want them to have. Hope and pray that the government and private sponsors will be willing in the future to invest in students who have really excelled in school, enabling them to attend college with financial aid that that they can repay after the course, like in a few other countries. God bless your efforts.

vee rrr

(08-09-2015 13:52)

My son is nearly the same age, He was born here but i was not. Despite excellence in primary school, because of lack of information (and what seems occasional bigotry at my non national roots, -though even my grandmother was irish-) I have struggled to get him into secondary school (last year we 'homeschooled') and still haven't had success this year yet.
This may be an issue for you as well.
Most schools say they are full, a few are arrogant or suspicious... they ask where he attended before they will tell me if a place is available. I've been asked alot of questions and if I say the 'wrong' thing they suddenly remember they don't have a place. These are the so-called 'public' schools.
However, I have heard a couple schools say they hold a couple places for non-nationals, but not all and these can fill early. (My son doesn't count he's irish.)
You also have to get immigration permission to bring your son and I've heard stories of both (permissions given and not given to parents). Good luck.
If anyone knows a school city center with a place in transition year, or other suggestion, it is appreciated.
As to the original discussion, it's a starting point, and perhaps other rankings will follow...


(26-04-2014 06:59)

Dear Sir/mam,

I'm a student from Sri Lanka who wish to continue the AL bioscience in your college. I wish to know that is there any scholarships available in your school to continue my studies in your college or any one who wish to support financially in my studies where as I could contact them.I hope you'll help me.



(10-04-2012 01:00)

I went to what is considered a disadvantaged school. The education I received there was truly excellent as reflected in my own Leaving Certificate results and the results of my peers. However many of these same peers could not afford to attend university on leaving school. Many took time out, many worked and saved money, many intend to enter third level education as mature students.

The notion that this survey is independent of ability to pay is farcical.

Vinnie, if you had any idea what you were talking about you would be more than aware that the maintenance grant is insufficient to cover the true costs of attending university, that the system which dictates eligibility is grossly flawed and that there are thousands of families who have incomes that are marginally greater than the imposed limits and who consequently cannot afford to pay for their children's university education.

I was a perfect university candidate. I obtained a scholarship when entering University based on my Leaving Certificate results. I have continued to obtain scholarships each year of my study. However I have had to work throughout summer and term time, every year of college in order to finance my education. There have been periods of more than three months at a time where I have literally not had a single day off, a single day to relax, a single day to recover where I was neither attending lectures nor work.

The year I entered university the income limits for eligibility for the maintenance grant ceased to rise with inflation. And so, I have not received any grant in my four years of study. I have had to take out a loan and am currently in debt, in order to fund my final semester of undergraduate study. The reality is, had I not been able to find employment over the past four years, had my extended family not been able to aid me in paying registration fees each year, had I not been able to take out a loan to pay for the past few months, I quite simply would have been incapable of funding my third level education.

And I am far from unique. I have friends who have started college and been obliged to take gap years for no other reason than that they couldnt afford to go back yet. I have friends who were forced to drop out completely and take up any employment they could find, in order to help and provide for their families who were suffering in the recession. I have friends who despite being eligible for the grant still cant afford to go to university.

In the meantime, the government was and is still obliged to provide a wage to each and every member of staff in fee paying schools. Why? If certain parents feel that their children deserve better than what public schools offer and are willing to pay thousands to ensure that their children are part of the privileged few in the name of a better education, why dont they foot the bill?

I presume,Tom, that you are a teacher. Your claims that the fact that these schools are considered the best has nothing to do with money neednt be entertained. Im not denying that there is a difference in atmosphere between the two types of school. But that the children in fee paying schools are more grateful for their opportunities? The children in fee paying schools in my experience have no concept of what their opportunities are. Yes, they understand that a college education will always be open to them, that it is probably expected of them. But unless they understand and are faced with the alternative, as so many do and are, that is not to be equated with gratitude for an opportunity. And Tom, your suggestion that the children attending fee paying schools are brought up with expectations and support, with the implication being that that those who do not attend such schools do not, is both insulting and infuriating.

It is beyond question that the results of this survey reflect the fact that in this country, everyone is not given an equal opportunity for third level education and that ability to pay is a huge contributing factor. It is not the only one, but denial that it has any influence whatsoever is fanciful.



(13-03-2012 22:38)

I wonder how schools would come out in this survey if grinds were not allowed. There is a very high level of grinds going on, especially in the so called high achieving schools and in schools where parents are more likely to be able to afford them.

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