October 8, 2015

Education in Ireland

Education in Ireland consists of state-funded national schools, as well as fee-paying private schools which are just referred to as primary schools. For the purposes of this website, national schools and primary schools will be collectively referred to as primary schools.

State funded schools must follow the state curriculum whereas fee paying private schools may teach a different curriculum and follow different school calendars, but typically the primary school calendar starts around 1 September and finishes 30 June.

Irish schools, which teach through the Irish language, are referred to as Gaelscoileanna and will have the word Gaelscoil in the name of their school. Some schools which don’t teach through Irish may still have an Irish name for their school. These types of school usually have SN or Scoil Naisiúnta (National School) in their name. Schools with English names often have NS for National School, GNS for Girls’ National School or BNS for Boys’ National School in the school name.

Additionally, there are Special Schools, which cater for children with disabilities and special needs. Some mainstream schools also offer special classes, which would typically have a low student to teacher ratio. Our application system categorises schools as either mainstream, mainstream with special classes or special schools. The speciality of each school is listed in our central application system. You must log in to view this information and parents will be able to do so from 1 September 2016.