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An increase of more than 300 in Irish-medium education since last year. Department of Education.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 22 February 2017 School enrolment bulletin 2016/17 published today

A statistical bulletin detailing enrolment data from the 2016/17 annual school census in October 2016, has been published today.

Key Points:

  • There are 171,612 pupils in primary schools (Year 1–7), the highest level since 2000/01.
  • There are 140,413 pupils in post-primary schools, dropping to the lowest level since records began over 30 years ago.
  • There are over 29,500 pupils studying A Level or equivalent qualifications, enrolled in sixth form education.
  • There are 23,825 pupils in funded pre-school education, a small drop on last year. This represents 92% of all three year olds in the population.
  • More than 100,000 pupils are entitled to free school meals representing three in 10 of all pupils.
  • 22% or approximately 76,300 pupils in schools have some form of special educational needs. Approximately 5,400 pupils are enrolled in 39 dedicated special schools.
  • There are approximately 13,300 pupils in schools recorded as non-white. This is an increase of 3,800 compared to five years prior.
  • In 2016/17 there are more than 80 first languages spoken by pupils with Polish and Lithuanian being the most common behind English.
  • In 2016/17 there are approximately 14,000 newcomer pupils accounting for 4.1% of the school population.
  • More than 5,850 pupils participate in Irish-medium education, an increase of more than 300 since last year.

The full statistical bulletin can be accessed on the DE website: