October 13, 2015

When to Enrol

When to Enrol

The right time to enrol depends on the school you are applying to and where you live.

Schools set their policy on when they accept enrolments in their enrolment/admissions policy, which you can obtain from the school on request.

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 put your child’s name down 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.

From 3 October 2018, only minority schools may use religion as a selection criteria in their enrolment policy, so for access to the vast majority of the schools in Ireland, you will not have to worry about whether your child is a member of the religious ethos to which your local schools subscribe.

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.