Cistercian College flying high after weathering storm

Thursday, 7 September 2017

ONE OF the most inspiring and positive stories to unfold in the midlands this year was the rescue of the landmark Roscrea boarding school Cistercian College, when it appeared the 112-year-old institution faced closure because of falling student numbers.

However, following a dramatic turn of events when the parents and pastmen of the school rescued it from closure at the eleventh hour, now the school has been selected as the fourth best boys school in the country from the list of 400 published by the Sunday Times.

The list is made up of the best performing schools where students successfully secure college placements and is from information gathered from to 2014 to 2016.

Cistercian College Roscrea is ranked number 17 on the overall list of boys and girls secondary schools for 2017 and the list of best performing schools reveals thats 77.3% of students continued their education and continued into third level following their Leaving Certificate.

Only last February it appeared the famous boarding school, located near Roscrea on the Shinrone Road and only 250 yards inside the Offaly border with North Tipperary, faced closure after an unexpected announcement from the school's Trustees revealed the school faced almost imminent closure.

Since 1905 thousands of students have received their education at the school, which is one of Ireland's best known boarding schools and boasts past pupils including former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, former Tanaiste Dick Spring, former Minister for Foreign Affairs David Andrews and famous journalist and writer, Conor Brady.

Following the 2008 financial crash in Ireland enrolments at the famous fee-paying school had plummeted and trustees of the College subsidised the facility for several years in hope that numbers would grow as the economy recovered - but the expected resurgence in numbers never happened.

The school's management said there had been a 45% fall in numbers enrolling in the last ten years and that numbers had become so small that the school had become unsustainable.

Earlier this month over 120 students graduated after completing their Leaving Certificate and the future looks bright for the school, with ever growing interest in places.

The top boys' school on this year's Sunday Times list was Glenstal College, Murroe, on the Tipperary and Limerick border, with 84.6% taking up a college place

The Sunday Times Schools Guide 2017 ranks the top 400 secondary schools in Ireland by the average proportion of pupils gaining places in autumn 2014, 2015 and 2016 at one of the nine universities on the island of Ireland, main teacher training colleges, Royal College of Surgeons or National College of Art and Design.



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