Immigration and School Composition in Ireland

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In the last decade, Ireland has experienced a rapid increase in immigration on a scale previously unknown in the country’s history. Over this time, Ireland has been transformed to an increasingly heterogeneous country in terms of nationality, language, ethnicity and religious affiliation. These changes have also impacted on the composition of Irish schools. The article draws on data collected for a large-scale study of primary and second level school provision for immigrant students. The findings indicate the absence of the degree of school segregation found in many European countries, mainly due to the geographical dispersal of the immigrant population and the wide variety of national groups represented. However, the interaction between geographical location, parental choice of schools and school admissions criteria means that immigrant students are overrepresented in larger schools, schools located in urban areas and those with a socio-economically disadvantaged intake.

Source: Irish Educational Studies, Vol 29 No 3, September 2010, pp.271-288. Published online 1 September 2010. Charge applies. 

Author(s):Delma Byrne, Merike Darmody, Frances McGinnity and Emer Smyth (ESRI)
Publication Date:01 Sep 2010
Geographic Focus:Ireland
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