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Secondary schools

  • 04-11-2019 5:54pm
    Registered Users Posts: 192 ✭✭

    Thanks for all the advice above.

    I actually spoke with the principal of Enda's the other day. I'd say she was doing the rounds to a lot of disappointed folk. She said of the 144 spots that 97 were taken with brothers/sisters such that only 50 odd spaces went to the lottery which was the biggest year ever with more than 250 on the waitlist. Ours was such a high number she said we hadn't a hope and I just received back our deposit today.

    Interestingly she said the only feeder school in Galway was St. Pats for The Bish. We mistakenly thought Scoil Einde was a feeder but I guess not. So at least we stopped beating ourselves up over the primary school we chose.

    Her first suggestion was St Marys. A lot of people have a lot of negative things to say about St Marys. Perhaps it's that gaggle of gossipy conspiracy nuts as we hear a lot of crap about Endas too if you go back far enough. So we really don't know what to take seriously. Someone's experience from 15 years ago isn't that helpful. If anyone knows anyone going their currently we'd love to hear about their experiences.

    Lastly she thought between the Jes, Bish, and St Mary's we'd get in somewhere this side of town but sure she's bound to say that. She agreed the system is crazy and I would think most people would agree more weight should be given towards students applying to their closest school in their community wherever you are. She said they used to but all that had been stripped away, I presume after whatever fallout they had a few years back. She said they had applications from Oranmore to as far away as Craughwell and those applicants get treated the same as local kids. It's just a stupid, unnecessary pain in the hole that would seemingly be easy to fix. Hmm, just summed up Ireland there.

    My son is just a bike ride away from St Enda's but unfortunately he missed out on a place there, absolutely no chance of getting in now as he is well down the waiting list.
    He's in St John's at present, would have been nice if he could have stayed in the general area. He's also signed up for the bish, St Mary's, and the jes.Tbh I don't think there's much of a difference in the quality of education between any of the secondary schools in Galway, In my opinion all of them are of high standard. Would have loved Enda's as a lot of his class got in and the fact that it's mixed.
    My wife and l are in a bit of a panic. Just wondering how did you get on?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,917 ✭✭✭beardybrewer

    My main takeaways from the whole ordeal:
    1. mixed schools seem more modern and are more popular
    2. never spoke to anyone who disagreed proximity to your closest school should be a factor but despite the advantages of community and less traffic that is currently not the case
    3. a coordinated application/response across all the schools would result in much less stress. The process as stands takes months which is very worrying when you get rejections and a long wait until an acceptance.

    In the end after a few weeks after hearing from Endas we then got a response from the Jes he wasn't accepted there either which was expected as they had very few spots. He was eventually accepted to the Bish and then after several weeks more he was accepted to St Marys.

    St Mary's put on a great public night and the teachers we met seemed enthusiastic. They indicated they could take more students than they were likely to get applications for. The place itself, with it's 2 gyms and large grounds, is impressive. We were told many stories but as I said above we weren't interested from someone who hated going there 20 years ago. The new year was split into 3 classes and is not streamed. About 1/3 came from his primary school (same as you, KNS) so there's lots of familiar faces and new friends too. It's a big transition to minding your schedule and different teachers, some he likes and some not so much but the pace seems to suit him. It is a long day, he typically gets home at 5 and has 2 hours of homework (including weekends) so the fact more is expected of him was an adjustment. I should mention Mon-Thur is longer because Friday is a half day which he also likes. There's been a number of fights but the school has handled them very strictly and between us parents they said they've been doing this a long time and it happens every year at the start and then they settle down. All in all he loves it there. The uniforms are pretty smart too.

    PS: You probably heard St Mary's is absorbing Our Lady's in 2 years and will become mixed with the hope of making it more modern and have more appeal. From the parent panel on the change it sounded like the school wouldn't be financially viable without the merger and they looked forward to modernising and the govt is broadly pushing for more mixed schools.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,665 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    Interesting that Limerick can manage to have a centralised application process, but Galway can't.

    You can read a bit about it here: