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2.12 Number of National Schools by type, 19161, 1923 and 2014
    
Type of school191619232014
1916, 1923   
Ordinary schools7,5415,268 
Convent schools352327 
Monastery schools5751 
Workhouse schools965 
Model schools7031 
Fishery schools10 
Hospital schools10 
Schools aided for "invalid, blind or crippled children"04 
    
2014   
Mainstream schools  3,137
Special schools  140 
Total8,1185,6863,277
Source: Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, Department of Education and Skills
1 Data for 1916 is for whole island of Ireland.

 Miss Crowe and Mr Gildea with their pupils at Kilglass National School, Ahascragh, Co. Galway

Photo: Miss Crowe and Mr Gildea with their pupils at Kilglass National School, Ahascragh, Co. Galway

  • While the population of Ireland increased over the last 100 years, the numbers of National Schools has fallen. There were over 8,000 National Schools on the island of Ireland in 1916.
  • By 1923 there were nearly 5,700 and this had dropped to 3,277 by 2014.                                                              
  • The Irish Education Act of 1892 required parents in cities and urban areas throughout the country to send children between the ages of 6 and 14 to school for at least 75 days a year.  
  • Rural areas were excluded from the requirements of this Act, which stated that children could be kept out of school if they were prevented by "sickness, domestic necessity…husbandry and the ingathering of crops, or giving assistance in the fisheries, or other work requiring to be done at a particular time or season…"                                                                                                                            
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2.13 Average number of pupils on National School rolls 1914-19231 and 2014
     
YearNumber of schools in operationAverage number of pupils on rollsAverage daily attendanceAverage daily attendance as % of average number on rolls
19148,207700,265508,42472.6
19158,163699,172499,98371.5
19168,118699,570494,31870.7
19215,746497,761364,86373.3
19225,696495,836356,11571.8
19235,686497,146369,40174.3
20143,277544,696::
Source: Commissioners for National Schools in Ireland, Department of Education and Skills
1 Data for 1914-1916 refers to the island of Ireland.
 

 

  • This table shows that school attendance at National Schools in 1916 was 70.7%. So on any given day in a National school in 1916 only seven out of 10 pupils who were enrolled had attended school.
  • School attendance data from Tusla (the Child and Family Agency) shows that average daily attendance at Primary schools was 94.1% in 2012/2013.                                                
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2.14 Number of Principals and Teachers in service in 19161 and in 2014/2015 
        
 19162014/2015 
 PrincipalsAssistant TeachersTotalPrincipalsTeachersTotal 
Men4,4051,2815,6861,1215,1706,291 
Women3,2854,4407,7252,15730,53032,687 
Total7,6905,72113,4113,27835,70038,978 
Source: Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, Department of Education and Skills
1 Data for 1916 refers to the island of Ireland.

 Teachers group at Waterpark College, Waterford 1910

Photo: Teachers at Waterpark College, Waterford 1910

  • There were 13,411 Principals and Assistant Teachers in National Schools on the island of Ireland in 1916 and the majority of the teaching staff (57%) were Principals.
  • There were 7,690 Principals and 5,721 Assistant Teachers which means that there were 1,969 schools with just one teacher - the Principal.                                             
  • In 1916, 57% of Principals were male and by 2014/2015 this proportion had dropped to 34%.                                                                                          
  • In 1916 most of the Assistant Teachers were female (78%) and in 2014/2015 86% of teachers are female.                                       
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2.15 Average income of Principals and Assistant Teachers in 19161
   
 PrincipalsAssistant Teachers
Men£115 19 shillings and 11 pence£83 11 shillings and 4 pence 
Women£92 13 shillings and 9 pence£70 2 shillings and 3 pence
Source: Commissioners of National Education in Ireland
1 Data in this table refers to the island of Ireland.

 

  • A gratuity of £8 was paid to a teacher in respect of every boy monitor or pupil teacher who successfully completed his course and passed the examination. For a girl monitor or pupil teacher the teacher also received a gratuity but this was only £6. The minimum age for appointment as a monitor was raised from 13 to 15 years in 1905. (The gratuity of £8 for boys, updated to 2014 prices using the Consumer Price Index, is €738.20 while the gratuity of £6 for girls would be €554.11 in 2014 prices.)               
  • Pupil teacher positions were offered to Secondary School students who had obtained a pass with honours in one of the Junior grades in the Intermediate Examinations. They were allowed to continue their studies in the Secondary School and had to teach, under supervision, in the National School to which they were attached for 1-3 hours per day. The pupil teacher position was seen as preparation for a possible entrance to a teacher training college.                                                                                                                        
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2.16 Numbers of Monitors and Pupil Teachers 19161
    
 MonitorsPupil TeachersTotal 
Boys41962481
Girls1,4504321,882
Total1,8694942,363
Source: Commissioners of National Education in Ireland
1 Data in this table refers to the island of Ireland.

 

  • A gratuity of £8 was paid to a teacher in respect of every boy monitor or pupil teacher who successfully completed his course and passed the examination. For a girl monitor or pupil teacher the teacher also received a gratuity but this was only £6. The minimum age for appointment as a monitor was raised from 13 to 15 years in 1905. (The gratuity of £8 for boys, updated to 2014 prices using the Consumer Price Index, is €738.20 while the gratuity of £6 for girls would be €554.11 in 2014 prices.)  
  • Pupil teacher positions were offered to Secondary School students who had obtained a pass with honours in one of the Junior grades in the Intermediate Examinations. They were allowed to continue their studies in the Secondary School and had to teach, under supervision, in the National School to which they were attached for 1-3 hours per day. The pupil teacher position was seen as preparation for a possible entrance to a teacher training college.                                                                                                                 
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2.17 Numbers of students for Intermediate Examination 19161, Junior Cert. and Leaving Cert. 2015
      
GenderIntermediate Examination 1916Junior Cert. 2015Leaving Cert. 2015
JuniorMiddleSeniorTotalTotalTotal
Boys4,0401,7168886,64430,30927,192
% passed55616558n/an/a
Girls2,9311,0695324,53229,21327,815
% passed53647058n/an/a
Total candidates6,9712,7851,42011,17659,52255,007
Source: Report of the Intermediate Education Board for Ireland 1916, State Examinations Commission
1 Data for 1916 refers to the island of Ireland.
  
  

 Waterpark College, Waterford, classroom 1913

Photo: Classroom, Waterpark College, Waterford, 1913

  • The Intermediate Examinations in 1916 were taken by second level students and had three levels - Junior, Middle and Senior. There were strict age limits for these examinations - under 16 for Junior, under 17 for Middle and under 18 for Senior.                                                
  • Nearly 7,000 students took the Junior Intermediate examination in 1916 and 58% of the candidates were male while about 1,400 took the Senior examination and over 60% of the candidates at this level were male.                
  • In 2015 there were just under 60,000 candidates for the Junior Certificate examination and about 55,000 for the Leaving Certificate and the gender split was about 50:50 for both of these exams.                                                                                                       
BoysGirls
Junior Intermediate exam 191640402931
Middle Intermediate exam 191617161069
Senior Intermediate exam 1916888532
Junior Cert 20153030929213
Leaving Cert 20152719227815
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2.18 Intermediate examination results by subject and gender, 19161
      
SubjectBoysGirlsOverall total 
JuniorMiddleSeniorTotalJuniorMiddleSeniorTotal% boys
English4,0301,7138876,6302,9281,0645314,52311,15359.4
Algebra4,0401,7168876,6432,9191,0495174,48511,12859.7
Arithmetic 4,0391,7158876,6412,9211,0505164,48711,12859.7
Arithmetic with Algebra4,0341,7158876,6362,9211,0495174,48711,12359.7
French2,7611,2016374,5992,7981,0255054,3288,92751.5
Geometry3,9891,6878736,5491,2354923352,0628,61176.1
History and Historical Geography2,2381,0905933,9212,1658654263,4567,37753.2
Irish2,5551,0565634,1741,7785322762,5866,76061.7
Latin2,5811,2107124,5034191751197135,21686.3
Experimental Science Course - Second year2,23927152,515900161111,0723,58770.1
Experimental Science Course - First year1,151501,1568853869292,08555.4
Bookkeeping876188241,088465105145841,67265.1
German13855312247544202231,3971,62113.8
Commercial Course7961602698235185254611,44368.1
Trigonometry06823821,064081691501,21487.6
Greek5483242431,11522041,11999.6
Chemistry606443131,01785924911,10891.8
Domestic Economy and Hygiene00001482951646076070.0
Physics38298190526101493355994.1
Drawing1554675272009532239718.9
Manual Instruction and Practical Mathematics3761103870000387100.0
Shorthand229265260791549835872.6
Applied Mathematics0167802470551025796.1
Physiology and Hygiene120333119742262291.3
Botany12032494541721751.7
Physical and Commercial Geography216524110417224315371.9
Mechanics4101361410000141100.0
Italian001182313147.1
Music221533061145.5
Spanish52071001887.5
Source: Report of the Intermediate Education Board for Ireland 1916
1 Data in this table refers to the island of Ireland.

 

  • The most popular subjects for the Intermediate examination in 1916 were English, Algebra, Arithmetic and Arithmetic with Algebra with over 11,000 students taking these subjects.                                                                       
  • Languages were also popular with nearly 9,000 students taking French, while 6,760 took Irish and 5,216 took Latin.                                                                      
  • All of the students who took Manual instruction and practical Mathematics and Mechanics were males, while 88% or more of the students who sat exams in Greek, Applied Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Trigonometry were male.   
  • All of the students who took the exam in "Domestic Economy and Hygiene" were female while over 80% of the students taking exams in Physiology and Hygiene, Botany, Italian, German and Drawing were female.              
  • Notice that while there is a bias towards males taking subjects such as Applied Mathematics and Trigonometry, there were still strong numbers of females taking Algebra, Arithmetic and Arithmetic with Algebra. 40% of the candidates for these subjects were female.                                                                                                                                        
  • Close to 70% of students taking the subjects "Commercial Course" and "Shorthand" were males, which presumably reflects the fact that the majority of office jobs were held by men.                                                                       
BoysGirls
English66304523
Algebra66434485
Arithmetic 66414487
Arithmetic with Algebra66364487
French45994328
Geometry65492062
History and Historical Geography39213456
Irish41742586
Latin4503713
Experimental Science Course - Second year25151072
Experimental Science Course - First year1156929
Bookkeeping1088584
German2241397
Commercial Course982461
Trigonometry1064150
Greek11154
Chemistry101791
Domestic Economy and Hygiene0607
Physics52633
Drawing75322
Manual Instruction and Practical Mathematics3870
Shorthand26098
Applied Mathematics24710
Physiology and Hygiene3226
Botany3172
Physical and Commercial Geography11043
Mechanics1410
Italian113
Music56
Spanish71
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2.19 Junior Certificate 2015 candidates by gender and subject
SubjectMaleFemaleTotal% male
English30,02228,99759,01950.9
Mathematics29,96428,91058,87450.9
Geography27,88727,02154,90850.8
Science28,14126,12454,26551.9
History27,29726,68553,98250.6
Irish25,67926,31651,99549.4
Business Studies16,85216,32433,17650.8
French15,05216,99232,04447.0
Religious Education13,27814,13027,40848.4
Home Economics3,42818,11321,54115.9
Art, Craft, Design7,49313,16020,65336.3
Material Technology13,6452,50016,14584.5
Technical Graphics9,9551,74611,70185.1
German5,8475,57511,42251.2
Music3,0287,75410,78228.1
Spanish4,0524,4068,45847.9
Metalwork7,1877977,98490.0
Technology2,6466123,25881.2
Environment & Social Science33425959356.3
Classical Studies38013251274.2
Italian16826643438.7
Latin3164836486.8
Source: State Examinations Commission

 

  • The five most popular subjects in the Junior Certificate in 2015 were English, Mathematics, Geography, Science and History.
  • There were some strong gender differences in 2015 in subject choice. Over 80% of students taking Metalwork, Latin, Technical Graphics, Material Technology and Technology were males while 74% of candidates for Classical Studies were males.
  •  More than 70% of the candidates for Home Economics and Music were female while girls accounted for more than 60% of Art, Craft, Design and Italian candidates.                                
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2.20 Number of Industrial and Reformatory schools by denomination in 19161
 
Type of schoolBoysGirlsMixedTotal
Industrial schools - Roman Catholic1841261
Industrial schools - Protestant2204
Reformatory Schools - Roman Catholic2204
Reformatory Schools - Protestant1001
Total2345270
Source: Inspector of Industrial and Reformatory schools, Annual Report 1916
1 Data in this table refers to the island of Ireland.

 Industrial school Letterfrack, Co Galway

Photo: Industrial school, Letterfrack, Co. Galway

  • There were 65 Industrial schools and 5 Reformatory schools in 1916, of which 65 were Catholic and 5 were Protestant.
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2.21 Number of children in Industrial schools and Reformatory schools in 19161
Type of schoolBoysGirlsTotal 
Industrial schools3,8164,1067,922  
Reformatory schools64167708  
Total4,4574,1738,630 
Source: Inspector of Industrial and Reformatory schools, Annual Report 1916
1 Data in this table refers to the island of Ireland

 

  • Over 8,000 children lived in Industrial and Reformatory schools in 1916, with 7,922 in Industrial schools and 708 in Reformatory schools.
  • More than 90% of the children in Reformatory schools were boys while 52% of children in Industrial schools were girls.
  • The Annual report of the Inspector of Industrial and Reformatory schools in 1916 said that the number of children admitted in 1916 was the lowest in years. During 1916 a total of 1,001 children were admitted - 179 to Reformatory schools and 822 to Industrial schools.
  • This low number of admissions in 1916 was attributed to the "abnormal conditions" prevailing during 1916. The previous year, 1915, saw a total of 1,133 children admitted to Industrial and reformatory schools.
BoysGirls
Industrial schools38164106
Reformatory schools64167
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2.22 Deaths in Reformatory and Industrial schools in 19161
 
Cause of Death BoysGirlsTotal 
Diseases of Chest and Lungs437
Diseases of Heart325
Diseases of Brain9615
Diseases of Nervous System011
Pulmonary Tuberculosis16420
General Tuberculosis235
Drowned101
Haemorrhage101
Enteric fever022
Shock011
Total362258
Source: Inspector of Industrial and Reformatory schools, Annual Report 1916
1 Data in this table refers to the island of Ireland

 Photo of dormitory, Baltimore, Co. Cork

Photo: Dormitory, Baltimore, Co. Cork

  • Of the 58 children who died in 1916 in Reformatory and Industrial schools, 25 died from TB while 15 had "Diseases of Brain" entered as the cause of death.
  • The writers of the report also state that since August 1914 3,860 boys from Reformatory and Industrial schools had served in the navy and the army. The total number of war casualties from among the ex-inmates of these schools was 1,132, which included 374 deaths (over the time period 1 August 1914 to 1 June 1917).
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2.23 Reasons why children were confined to Reformatory schools, 19161
 
OffencesBoysGirlsTotal   
Larceny and petty theft966102   
Larceny in dwelling house011   
Sacrilege303   
Obtaining by false pretences202   
Embezzlement101   
Cattle stealing101   
Housebreaking, shop breaking, etc.37138   
Burglary101   
Wilful damage and other malicious offences12012   
Assault101   
Vagrancy527   
Unlawful possession of goods617   
Breach of rules of, or escaping from, Industrial Schools112   
Drunk and disorderly101   
Total16712179    
Source: Inspector of Industrial and Reformatory schools, Annual Report 1916   
1 Data in this table refers to the island of Ireland.

 Netmaking, Baltimore school, Co Cork

Photo: Netmaking, Baltimore school, Co. Cork

  • The purpose of the Industrial schools seems to have been to give training to children from poor backgrounds so that they would be able to get employment.
  • In contrast, children were detained in Reformatory schools because they had been convicted of an offence. A table in the 1916 Annual Report of the Inspectors of Industrial and Reformatory Schools gives the reasons why boys and girls were confined in Reformatory schools and this is shown above.
  • There were 96 boys and 6 girls were sent to Reformatory schools in 1916 because they were convicted of larceny and petty theft while 37 boys and 1 girl were convicted of house breaking or shop breaking.
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2.24 Ages of children on admission to Industrial and Reformatory schools, 19161
 
Age on admissionBoysGirlsTotal   
Industrial schools:      
Under 6 years4997146   
6 years and under 87571146   
8 years and under 109876174   
10 years and under 1214371214   
12 years and under 149250142   
Total457365822   
       
Reformatory schools:      
12 to 14 years79685   
14 to 16 years88694   
Total16712179    
Source: Inspector of Industrial and Reformatory schools, Annual Report 1916   
1 Data in this table refers to the island of Ireland.

 

  • Of the 822 children admitted to Industrial schools in 1916, 146 were less than 6 years old while a further 146 were aged between 6 and 8 years of age.
  • 85 children admitted to Industrial schools were aged between 12 and 14 years of age . There were 94 aged between 14 and 16 years of age.
BoysGirls
Under 6 years4997
6 years and under 87571
8 years and under 109876
10 years and under 1214371
12 years and under 149250
BoysGirls
12 to 14796
14 to 16886

 

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