The Chairperson of the Equality Authority is calling for key inequalities within the education system to be remedied.
The latest figures show that those with disabilities and Travellers are less likely to finish their formal schooling.
This is due in part to a lack of support in schools, and what the authority is calling a "culture of disrespect for difference".
The most recent statistics also show almost two-thirds of those who lea ve school without qualifications are male.
That is in contrast with the high proportion of males who obtain higher-level awards at third level.
The body says the segregation of students according to gender, religion and disability and membership of the Travelling Community is creating problems for future relationships of respect.
Niall Crowley, of the Equality Authority, said that new policies and further investment are needed to combat the problems.