Limerick tops secondary-school league tables

Laurel Hill

Gaelscoileanna have beaten off stiff competition to secure a place in the top 10 of this year's Sunday Times Parent Power Survey.

Irish-language schools represent 5% of secondary schools nationally.

Limerick's Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ is the first non-fee-paying school to top the secondary schools league table for 10 years, ousting Glenstal Abbey in Murroe, Limerick which has been named the top fee-paying school.

The Sunday Times Parent Power Survey ranks the top 400 secondary schools on the average number of pupils gaining university places over the three years between 2011 and 2013.

An average of 88.7% of Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ pupils gained university places over the last three years. The school has 400 pupils and is located on South Circular Road in Limerick.

Coláiste Na Coiribe in Galway is Ireland's best mixed school, Coláiste Losagain is the top school in South Dublin for the second year.

Castleknock College is ranked highly for North Dublin with Presentation Brothers College the top school in Cork for a second year. Coláiste Ailigh is the top school in Ulster for the first time.

Kate Butler from the Sunday Times, who compiled the survey, said parents play a huge part when it comes to their children's education.

"60% of the girls in Laurel Hill Coláiste came from English-speaking primary schools, so they had to immerse themselves (in Irish)," she said. "Parents who send their child to a gaelcoláiste are very actively interested in education, because of the extra effort that's involved."

She said the bonus points children from the Irish-language schools got in the Leaving Cert was also an important consideration.

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