The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations subject to policy matters being determined by my Department. While the State Examinations Commission holds details of the centres in which candidates sat examinations, disclosure of a detailed breakdown of numbers of students by areas-centres would lead to the compilation of league tables. Section 53 of the Education Act enables the refusal of access to data which would enable league tables on the comparative performance of students or schools to be determined. I am on record as opposing the publication of such tables as they provide an unbalanced and grossly limited indication of a school's performance.
My Department publishes reports on school retention in second level schools. The most recent report, published in September 2005, gives details of the cohort of students who entered the first year of second level in 1996 and shows the proportion who remained in school and sat the leaving certificate examination in 2001 and 2002. It can be accessed atwww.education.ie. Table 4.2 of the report shows the retention rates for each county and gives separate information for Dublin city, Dublin south, Fingal and Dún Laoghaire.