The College is consistently and massively under-represented by so-called ‘League’ tables in Irish newspapers. These are not official, and the data does not come from the Department of Education. They tend to be solely based on data from third-level institutions in the Republic of Ireland (and some in Northern Ireland) about the origins of their students.
Crucially, the majority of pupils leaving St Columba’s College are not represented at all in these statistics, since so many go on to universities outside the state (particularly the United Kingdom, Holland and Germany, as well as distinguished institutions in the United States and elsewhere). This data never reaches the Irish media.
As an example, in 2016 the College was the lowest-rated fee-paying school in the Sunday Times’s “Definitive Guide to Ireland’s Top 400 Schools”, at place 372. This was despite achieving the very high average points score of 459 in the three years covered by the table. It is possible that next year in the equivalent table we will drop further, despite achieving a record 474 points per candidate (after rechecks) which is likely to be one of the very highest averages in the country, and is higher than several schools at the top of the table claim for themselves on their websites, since increasing numbers of our pupils are choosing to study at European universities.
It should also be noted that the ‘Sunday Times’ table massively understates our pupil-teacher ratio, since the only data available to the media refer to state-paid teachers, a minority compared to privately-paid teachers at the College.