Catholic schools top NI league tables

Catholic schools are outperforming all non-denominational schools in the North

Catholic schools are outperforming all non-denominational schools in the North at GCSE level, with five Catholic voluntary grammars claiming the coveted top slot in a prominent league table.

The five Catholic schools that topped this year’s Belfast Telegraphleague table saw an impressive 100% of their pupils achieve five GCSEs including English and Maths at grades A* to C last year to rank joint first.

Since the league tables began in 2012, it is the first time that schools in the Catholic sector have exclusively dominated the number one position.

The top five schools are: St Joseph’s Grammar (Donaghmore); Rathmore Grammar (Finaghy); St Mary’s Grammar, (Magherafelt); Our Lady’s Grammar (Newry) and Lumen Christi College (Derry).

This now brings to eight the number of Catholic voluntary grammars ranked among the 10 highest achieving schools in the North, compared to just four in 2013 and 2012.

Catholic maintained schools are also outperforming schools in other sectors, the league tables reveal.

Of the top 10 non-grammar schools, the majority are Catholic maintained, including; St Catherine’s College (Armagh); St Patrick’s High (Keady); St Patrick’s co-ed Comprehensive College (Maghera); St Patrick’s College (Banbridge); St Colmcille’s High (Crossgar) and Our Lady of Lourdes High (Ballymoney).

The Belfast Telegraph league tables use the government benchmark of five GCSEs, including English and Maths, at grades A* to C, as this is recognised as the standard required to secure most employment.

The data was taken from the Northern Ireland School Census, Summary of Annual Examination Results, provided by the Department of Education, which includes GCSEs and equivalent qualifications. The figures also include pupils with Special Educational Needs.