OECD publishes study on Irish education

The OECD has published its ‘Education at a Glance’ study
The proportion of young people in Ireland who are unemployed and not engaged in any training or education programme is higher than other developed countries, according to a study published by the OECD.

This year’s ‘Education at a Glance’ report found that 22% of Irish young people are in this category, compared to an EU and OECD average of 15%.

In its latest report comparing education systems and outcomes the OECD has found that young people here are far more likely to complete second level education.

Two years ago, 93% of Irish teenagers were expected to complete secondary school, compared to an average OECD rate of 84%.

However despite high rates of educational achievement here the OECD says Ireland’s general unemployment rates remain higher than average compared to other member states.

On spending, the latest data finds that Ireland has the third greatest annual expenditure per student compared to all other OECD countries.

This figure excludes money spent on research and development.

The only countries with greater expenditure are Canada and the US.

When taken as a proportion of overall spending however, the study finds that Ireland’s expenditure, at 6.2% of GDP places it in 18th place out of 37 OECD counties.

That’s slightly above average but far below the proportions spent in Scandinavian countries.

In the classroom, this study finds that Ireland’s pupil teacher ratio is worse than the OECD and EU average.

At second-level Ireland has one teacher for every 15 students. That compares to an EU average of one teacher for every 12 students. In Primary education there are 16 pupils here for every teacher. The EU average is 14 pupils per teacher.

The study finds that Irish teachers engage in more teaching time than average, at 915 hours per year at Primary level here compared to an average of 761 hours annually across EU states.

The figure at second level is also considerably higher than the average.

The study finds that teachers here are well paid by OECD and EU standards. Salaries here are higher at all levels compared to the average across other countries.