Reports On School Completion And School Leaving ShoEducation and Skillsw Majority Of Students Entering Higher And Further Education

Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, today welcomed the publication by her Department of two important reports on the 2010/11 cohort of school leavers.

One report tracks the next steps taken by students who completed secondary school.  The other report identifies and tracks the next steps of students who left school early.


According to Minister O’Sullivan, “These are important reports and provide a very valuable snapshot of the career and education choices of those who complete second-level and also of those who leave school early.  Third level and further education remain the path that the majority of both cohorts of students take, which is a positive sign.  However, there are students in both cohorts who aren’t engaging in further education or training and the data emphasises yet again the importance of providing these young people with appropriate options.

The main findings of the survey in relation to 54,760 students categorised as school completers in 2010/11 are:

  • 52.3% enrolled in Higher Education
  • 28.2% enrolled in Second Level/Further Education or Training
  • 7.3% employment activity
  • 6.9% social welfare activity
  • 5.4% other (including emigration, seasonal employment)

Of the school completers who were in higher education in 2011, 88.1% were still in higher education in 2012.


The main findings of the survey in relation to 7,572 students categorised as early leavers in 2010/11 are:

  • 50.9% enrolled in second-level/further education
  • 15.7% in education outside the State
  • 6.6% social welfare activity
  • 4.4% employment activity
  • 21% Other (including emigration)

Minister O’Sullivan said, “The data shows that the number of early leavers is declining year on year, with for instance some 11,498 students categorised as early leavers in the 2001/2 academic year.  This is supported by the more recent school retention data that shows more than 90% of second level students who began second level in 2008 completed their Leaving Certificate in 2013 or 2014.  Expanding the number of options for students following second level is vital.  This year will see the first new apprenticeships in growing sectors of the economy launched.  Innovations such as this, together with a strong third level sector, are necessary to provide all our students with an appropriate range of career and education options.”

The reports can be found on the Department’s website:

School Completers – What Next?

Early Leavers – What Next?