Staying in School


Department of Education and Skills

Key information

Retention rates of secondary school pupils by entry cohort year, milestone, sex, administrative county, region, school type and schools designated/non-designated Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) schools. Early school leavers as a percentage of 18 to 24 year olds classified by sex. Percentage of 20 to 24 year olds with at least a second level education classified by sex. EU comparative data also presented. Percentage of persons aged 15 to 24 and 25 to 64 classified by the highest level of education attained (National Framework of Qualifications classification). Links


Department of Education and Skills post primary pupil's database and state exams data. Quarterly National Household Survey data from the Central Statistics Office.


All pupils in the State-aided second-level school system. Pupils in important educational pathways outside the system such as Youthreach and apprenticeship training are not included. Estimates are made for pupils who leave the State-aided second-level school system to attend Private Non-aided education providers. Estimates are also made for pupil who die or emigrate.



Reference period

Five to six year school cycle

Start date

1991 entry cohort


Approximately 5 months after the end of the reference period


  • County
    The 34 administrative counties.
  • Milestone
    Junior certificate Year 1; Junior certificate Year 2; Junior certificate Year 3; Junior certificate sits; Senior cycle Year 1; Senior cycle Year 2; Final retention rate
  • National Framework of Qualifications
    Level 1 Certificate; Level 2 Certificate; Level 3 Certificate; Level 3 Junior Certificate; Level 4 Certificate; Level 5 Certificate; Level 4/5 Leaving Certificate; Level 6 Advanced Certificate; Level 6 Higher Certificate; Level 7 Ordinary Bachelor Degree; Level 8 Honours Bachelor Degree; Level 8 Higher Diploma; Level 9 Masters Degree; Level 9 Post-Graduate Diploma; Level 10 Doctoral Degree; Level 10 Higher Doctorate.
  • Region
    Border, Midland and Western (Border; Midland; West); Southern and Eastern (Dublin; Mid East; Mid West; South East; South West).
  • School type
    Secondary; Vocational; Community & Comprehensive.


People and Society - Education

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certificate cycle department early education framework junior leavers national nfq post primary pupil qualification rate retention school secondary senior skills