The right time to enrol your child in primary school depends on the school you are applying to and where you live.
Schools set their own policy on when they accept enrolments in their enrolment/admissions policy, which you can obtain from the school on request, or by logging into our website and viewing the enrolment policy through our School Search function (if the school has registered).
As a result, one school may take applications from birth, others may only accept them in the year prior to enrolment and some schools may take them from age 2.
In areas where supply meets demand, it is not so important to get ahead of the queue. Schools must take all applicants unless they are oversubscribed. In the event of over-subscription, they may apply their enrolment policy criteria to decide who gets a place.
If you live in an area of high demand and over-subscription, the search for a good school often begins during pregnancy!
First come, first serve policies in some schools mean you must enrol your child from the moment they’re born to give them the best chance at getting into that particular school. Areas of over-subscription can often be so inundated with applications, that even this won’t guarantee a place.
If you come from a non-religious background or practise a religion other than Catholicism, this can also make the enrolment process a stressful time. Catholic schools make up 90% of Irish National Schools and may refuse to offer your child a place if they are oversubscribed, if their enrolment policy prioritises Catholic children. Be sure to apply far and wide if this is the case!
If you are having difficulty securing a place for your child in school, you can contact Tusla for assistance. However, they cannot force a school to take your child.