Education & Equality
(Critically discuss the statement that money and education and equality are inextricably linked)
In Ireland the school you go to will possibly determine the type of job that you will have and possibly the outcome of your life. In all Irish schools all children are equal or so they are meant to be! But as the school system in Ireland is free those people with money then tend invest in educational extracurricular activities for their children which gives their child an extra advantage, for example if their child is weak at maths then they will have the resources to get them grinds, a child from a poorer background will not be able to afford this facility. The division is also visible in other extracurricular activities such as horse riding, ballet, music lessons, etc all these type of extracurricular activities cost a lot of money so therefore children from a poor background do not have access to them. I personally believe that this is where the major division comes between classes and that children then tend to carry this through their life, they tend to believe that horse riding, ballet, etc are out of their league and that they are not worthy to participate in such events because they are for the upper classes the people with the money. Stastics also show that the number of people from poor backgrounds that go on to third level are quite low, as third level is quite expensive, even with grants there are still a lot of costs ie travel, books, materials and childcare for single parents .
If you look at certain elitist groups in Ireland for example a lot of Fianna Fail politicians in Dublin all went to the same secondary boarding schools and the same third level colleges. So obviously if you have money in Ireland it opens all doors for you and this approach is used by parents from day one ,first the pick the right creche then the right primary school even if they have to drive the children a distance to it and the same with the secondary school or in some cases they are sent boarding, then to achieve the required points for the the third level college that the wish to go to or their parents wish them to go to the are given as much grinds in as many subjects as the require. When the get the college the parents are happy with the are rewarded by unlimited resources while at college, this is done so the will be able to socialise and make a large array of contacts of the same background as themselves which in turn will aid them in their future life.

We will start with primary education, Children starting school can attend national schools, which are State-aided and do not charge fees, or they can attend one of a small number of private primary schools, which do not get any State funding and which charge fees. The vast majority of children attend the state-aided primary or national schools; children may not be enrolled at primary school before the age of 4. There are various early educations or pre-school facilities available early education or pre-school facilities available but they are largely private and fees have to be paid. However, the State now funds one year of free pre-schooling under the early childhood care and education scheme there are some State-funded pre-school facilities, which are largely for children who are disadvantaged or have special needs. The national school system was established in 1831.
The national schools were originally meant to be multi-denominational. In practice, that did not happen and the majority of national schools are under the management of one church. However, since the 1970s Educate Together has established 56 new multi-denominational national schools, and more are proposed. Parents have a constitutional right to choose the kind of school to which they want to send their children and have a right to educate them at home if they wish. There is no absolute requirement on schools to admit any particular student. Schools are required to publish their admissions policy. Primary schools have had boards of management since 1975. The Education Act 1998 put the system on a statutory basis and set out the responsibilities of the boards. Primary schools are not obliged to have boards of management. The patron of the school has the right to decide whether or not to have one. In practice, most primary schools do have boards. The vast majority of primary schools in Ireland are privately owned and supported by the different churches. The State pays the bulk of the building and running costs and a local contribution is made towards the running costs.

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In the case of Catholic schools, the owners are usually the diocesan trustees; the same is true for Church of Ireland schools. Other denominational schools usually have a board of trustees nominated by the church authorities. Multi-denominational schools are usually owned by a limited company or board of trustees. Gaelscoileanna may be denominational and come under the same patronage as Catholic schools but some have their own limited company. The Education Act 1998 gives a statutory basis to the role of the patron and sets out the rules for determining who the patron is. The patron may manage the school personally or may appoint a board of management to act as manager. Under the Act the patron has the power to remove the board and take over managing the school or appoint another board. A register of patrons is kept by the Department of Education and Skills so it is possible for anyone to check exactly who the patron of any national school is.In general, the patron of a school is a representative of the owners and can be an individual or a group. In practice, the Catholic and Church of Ireland bishops are the patrons of the schools within the diocese, with the parish priest usually carrying out the functions on behalf of the bishop. The patron of a multi-denominational school is usually the board of trustees or the limited company Educate Together. Gaelscoileanna may be under the patronage of the church authorities but may opt to be under the patronage of Foras Patrunachta na Scoileanna Lan-Ghaeilge, which is a limited company set up for the purpose. The introduction of new model of primary school patronage on a pilot basis was announced in 2007.
Schools are subject to equal status legislation and to the constitutional requirements on religion. If a school refuses to enroll a child you may appeal the decision to the school??™s board of management. If this does not succeed you may appeal the decision to the Department of Education and Skills (DES). The next step after that is the ombudsman for children.


In Ireland secondary schools go from first year to sixth year, with the typical student age being between 12 and 19. It is split into two cycles, the Junior Cycle a three year course with the Junior Certificate taking place at the end of third year and the Senior Cycle a two to three year course with the Leaving Certificate taking place at the end of the sixth year. Fourth year also known as Transition Year is optional Education is mandatory up until the age of 16 or until the Junior Certificate has been sat. Below I will list the top twenty secondary schools in Ireland this was a poll done by the Sunday time??™s newspaper.
1 Gonzaga College, Ranelagh, Dublin (94.9% at university)
2 Colaiste Iosagain, Booterstown, Co Dublin
3 Glenstal Abbey School, Murroe, Co Limerick
4 Mount Anville Secondary School, Goatstown, Dublin 14 G
5 The Teresian School, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
6 Loreto College, St Stephen??™s Green, Dublin 2
7 Holy Child Secondary School, Killiney, Co Dublin G
8 Laurel Hill Colaiste FCJ, Sth Circular Rd, Limerick G
9 Alexandra College, Milltown, Dublin 6
10 Scoil Mhuire, Sydney Place, Cork
11 Colaiste Eoin, Booterstown, Co Dublin B
12 Clongowes Wood College, Naas, Co Kildare B
13 Jesus&Mary Secondary School, Salthill, Galway G
14 Presentation Brothers College, Mardyke, Cork B
15 St Gerard??™s, Bray, Co Wicklow M
16 Muckross Park College, Donnybrook, Dublin 4 G 7
17 Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles, Co Tipperary G
18 Loreto High School, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 G
19 St Andrew??™s College, Blackrock, Co Dublin M
20 St Joseph of Cluny Secondary School, Killiney,
Six of the top ten are fee paying schools and the other four are Irish speaking here are some of the details of these schools starting with number 1 Gonzaga College Sandford Park Dublin 6
The College
Gonzaga College is an all-boys private school founded in 1950 and situated at Sandford Road, Dublin 6. Gonzaga is a Catholic school which admits boys who are baptised and practising Catholics. It is a Jesuit school which aims to be a community of growth, service and faith, in which young people are able to develop the full range of their talents and abilities in a balanced and integrated way. The Jesuit motto Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam summarises the overall ethos of the school which operates in the context of the Characteristics of Jesuit Education.

Decision making
The decisions relating to applications are made by the Headmaster of the school in accordance with the criteria outlined below. Interviewed applicants will receive notice of the decision within 21 days of completion of the interview process.
Since the number of applicants normally exceeds the number of places available in the ratio of 4:1, the following criteria for decision making will operate (in the order stated):
1. Applicants must be baptised and practising Catholic boys.
2. Applicants must be resident south of the river Liffey.
3. Brothers of present, or recently past, pupils who will benefit from the curriculum and whose families have enjoyed good relations with the College in the past will receive the greatest priority. These applicants are not interviewed.
4. Sons of members of Gonzaga??™s teaching staff, and nephews, great-nephews and first cousins (up to one remove) of Jesuits, likewise receive priority. These applicants may be interviewed.
5. Sons and grandsons of Past Pupils are also given priority over other applicants. These applicants may be interviewed.
6. Boys whose families are involved directly in other Jesuit works for a substantial time likewise receive priority. These applicants will be interviewed.
7. For the remaining places those who are considered most likely to contribute positively to, and benefit from, the ethos of the school are given priority. These will be applicants who, through their interview and previous records, show that they support the ethos of the College articulated in the Mission Statement and the Characteristics of Jesuit Education. These candidates are offered such places as are available following interview. Regard will be had in the interview process for candidates with disabilities.
8. Following allocation of places according to criteria E1-E7 any remaining places will be offered among remaining eligible candidates drawn by lottery
I could not find any information available on fees so I rang the college and the said that I would have to call in person to discuss this information.

Bandon Grammar School (mixed) Bandon, Co Cork Tel: 023-41713 No of pupils: 470 Class size in first year: 25 Start date for applications: from birth Closing date for applications: October prior to entry First preference given to: siblings, members of Protestant denominations Fees for day pupils: 2004/05 ?± ?†1,964 per annum Fees for boarders: 2004/05 ?± ?†5,670 per annum Scholarships: academic scholarships, reductions for second or third members of a family Past pupils: Graham Norton Ethos: Church of Ireland Facilities: 75 acres of grounds including pitches for rugby, hockey, athletics (two Irish champions currently), cricket, tennis and soccer; indoor sports complex and gym; school hall incorporating facilities for drama, dance, music and choir; modern information technology facilities; construction studies, art block and well-stocked library
Blackrock College (boys only) Rock Road, Blackrock, Co Dublin Tel: 01-2888681 No of pupils: 950 Class size in first year: 25 Start date for applications: at birth Closing date for applications: three years before entry First preference given to: siblings, sons of past pupils, sons of staff members, relatives of the Holy Ghost Community, other relatives of past pupils, date order of applications Fees for day pupils: ?†4,550 Fees for boarders: ?†12,250 (Irish students), ?†13,450 (overseas students) Scholarships: no Past pupils: Eamon de Valera, Dave Fanning, Bob Geldof, Ardal OHanlon, Paul Costelloe, Brian ODriscoll Ethos: Catholic Facilities: swimming pool, squash and tennis courts, basketball courts, gym, concert hall, lecture theatre, two computer labs, 59-acre campus, seven science labs, orchestra, choirs, musical society, debating societies and range of extra-curricular activities Website:

Scoil Mhuire (girls only) Wellington Road, Co Cork Tel: 021-4501844 No of pupils: 410 Class size in first year: 24 Start date for applications: October of previous year Closing date for applications: December of previous year First preference given to: pupils of primary school, siblings, and daughters of past pupils, applications on waiting list Fees for day pupils: ?†2,500 Fees for boarders: n/a Past pupils: Fiona Shaw Scholarships: yes Ethos: Catholic Facilities: library, home economics room, IT room, art room, two science labs, wide choice of subjects at Leaving Cert, computer room, hockey, basketball and tennis played in UCC sports arena

Vocational schools which place less focus on academic subjects and more on vocational and technical skills – around 25% of students attend these.

Fee-paying schools get ?†100m from State

PRIVATE FEE-PAYING schools received over ?†100 million in support from the taxpayer last year.
According to new figures, Dublin??™s Blackrock College received ?†4.2 million to cover the cost of 58 teacher salaries.
Another well-known Dublin school, St Andrew??™s College, received ?†3.6 million to cover annual salaries for 52 teachers, while outside of Dublin the biggest payment of ?†3.2 million went to Kilkenny College.
Dublin??™s Belvedere College received ?†3.5 million for 51 teaching staff, while Wesley College received ?†3.2 million.
Ireland is one of the few countries where the State pays the salaries of teachers in private schools. This allows fee-paying schools to use fee income to boost its range of school services and facilities.
The 2009 McCarthy Report on public service reform estimated that the 50-plus fee-paying schools in the State generate about ?†100 million in annual fee income from parents.
This is in addition to the ?†100 million from the State for teacher salaries.
Most fee-paying schools charge fees of over ?†5,000 per year, with boarding schools charging up to ?†16,000 per year.
Last September, 10 private schools in Dublin moved to increase their fees, despite the general fall in consumer prices across the economy.
The decision reflected continued strong demand by parents for private education, which has been largely unaffected by the economic downturn.
The total number of students in fee-paying second-level schools this year (26,277) has dipped only marginally on last year.
So as we can see you need money to go to the good schools that will get the results that more or less guarantee you a place in third level education. In a lot of the schools fee paying schools I have listed they also say that students that apply for a place get preference if a family member had already attended the school, the list of requirements for Gonzaga seems to me to be very discriminatory in my eyes this discrimination is why in Ireland today we still have what is referred to as the golden circle, this refers to the upper class who all attend good schools and colleges and go on to get good jobs mainly this is all achieved through their family status ,money and contacts. So therefore there is no equality of outcome. Below I have John Rawls theory which I think says it all
Democratic equality guarantees citizens equal basic liberties, including the worth of political liberties,
through Rawls??™s First Principle. His Second Principle consists of two principles that
specify how the benefits of social cooperation are ???open to all??? and work ???to everyone??™s
advantage.??? Its guarantee of fair equality of opportunity requires that we not only judge people for
jobs and offices by reference to their relevant talents and skills, but that we also establish
institutional measures to correct for the ways in which class, race and gender might interfere with
the normal development of marketable talents and skills. The difference principle (DP) restricts
inequalities to those that work maximally to the advantage of the worst off groups. Rawls gives
priority to protecting basic liberties over the other two principles, and to equal opportunity over the
difference principle. On plausible empirical assumptions, these priorities significantly constrain allowable inequalities.( : Rawls??™s )

Democratic Equality: Rawls??™s