One in five students from 15-years-old have jobs

One in five second-level students have part-time jobs, but the work could be affecting their studies.

The figure emerged from the responses of 15-year-olds, during international tests in reading, maths, and science.

They were asked if they had worked for pay, either before or after school, on the most recent school day. Among native Irish students, 21.5% said they had, but whereas 16% of immigrants had.

The figures are shown in a report, this week, from the Organisation for Economic Co-operatin and Development (OECD), which compared the educational and other experiences of immigrant students in 50 countries.

While the prevalence of paid work among Irish students is at the same level as the EU average, and below the 23% average across OECD countries, the report said students who work for pay score lower in science and are more likely to report feeling like an outsider at school. They are also more likely to have low expectations for future studies, to arrive late, and skip school.

In-depth studies of junior cycle students, a decade ago, in Ireland, found that those who have part-time jobs during term-time tend to achieve lower exam grades than others, when all other factors are taken into consideration.

The Irish students were surveyed in March, 2015, during the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), in which they were the world’s best at reading and well above average at maths and science.

Some 5,700 Irish 15-year-olds at 167 schools took part in PISA 2015, 60% of them in third year and a quarter in transition year.

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