It is notoriously difficult to do comparisons across the border, but it seems that the National Educational Welfare Board is concerned enough with parental attitudes towards their children’s’ education to have published a report today commissioned from Mori Ireland. Yet the most interesting detail is in the statement from CEO Eddie Ward, that 20% of the population don’t sit the Leaving Cert (H/T Willis):
“Many thousands of our children and young people do not attend school regularly and their life chances are limited by that fact. The State is struggling with skill shortages at a time when 1 in 20 students do not sit the Junior Certificate, the minimum educational certification, and 1 in 5 do not sit the Leaving Certificate. In the long term, this gives rise to other costs to the State in the form of increased supports and to the individual in terms of unfulfilled potential. In addition, investment in teachers and schools is being lost out on through absenteeism.
The CSO has specific detail on qualification levels back in 2002. Northern Ireland fell well behind the rest of the UK, with 38% of our students coming out without qualifications.