A new Irish study has shown the numbers of Irish schoolchildren who are not in primary education are at record highs.
The report from the Education Department’s Childrens Bureau shows there were 6.6 million children enrolled in Irish primary schools in the 2016/17 academic year.
This is up from the 6.4 million in 2013/14 and 6.3 million in 2009/10.
The latest figures also show that the number of children who are out of primary education for any reason is up by almost 60 per cent over the past year.
The figure is up to 1.7 million, with over 1.1 million being in secondary education.
The Department of Education says the increase in the number out of school is down to the government’s commitment to provide a high quality education to all children.
The Education Department says the number and type of primary school students has also changed significantly over the years.
The department says there were 3.4 per cent fewer primary school pupils in the early years of 2016/2017 compared to the same period in 2017/18.
It also said that there was a decrease in the percentage of primary pupils who were in a full or part-time education.
The proportion of students in early childhood is also down.
The Department of Childrens says the data is being analysed in a number of ways.
There is also a rise in the proportion of children attending primary school with an academic background.
The education department says a growing number of families are opting for a more comprehensive education.
More than half of primary schools across the country are offering the children of the first four years of primary schooling an opportunity to continue learning.