Data shows number of pupils completing the Leaving Cert at record level

Record numbers of Irish students are completing the Leaving Cert, according to figures from the Department of Education.

The numbers show the percentage of Irish 20 to 24-year olds with at least an upper secondary education is the second highest in Europe at 94%.

The number of early leavers from education has dropped by more than 40% since 2011 from 10.8% to 6.3%.

Ireland’s ranking in this measure has risen by seven places to 7th in Europe, and puts the country significantly lower than the EU-28 average of 10.7%.

The majority of drop-outs happen between fifth and sixth year of secondary school.

The results show the gap in Leaving Certificate retention rates between Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) and non-DEIS schools has narrowed, almost halving from 15.8% in 2001 to 8.5% in 2010.

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