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  • 12-05-2022 12:49pm
    Registered Users Posts: 17 spudrick

    We're starting our house hunting journey, and have various criteria on commute distances and facilities and budget, but one thing I'm not sure about is schools. We have a nearly 2 year old who will obviously be starting school after we've moved to our new house wherever that ends up being. But I have absolutely no idea what to look for in that regard. I moved from abroad a couple of years ago and don't know anyone with school age children here.

    Are there good resources out there to indicate what school catchment areas a given location is in? Are catchment areas even a thing? I have absolutely no idea what is involved in school enrolment here. Then once you know what school covers a given location, how do you tell how good that school is? I'm aiming to move for the long term so while primary schools are the focus right now we'd also probably still be in the same house further down the road when looking at secondary schools too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 639 ✭✭✭ houseyhouse

    Each school sets its own admission criteria, which may or may not include a reference to the catchment area. I only know of one secondary school that does include catchment area and the area is bigger than Galway city. You won’t find school district matters like it does in the US or UK or most other countries. Most schools here are nominally Catholic, which may or may not matter to you based on your own circumstances. Personally, my kids go to an Educate Together primary (multi-denominational) and I can’t say enough good things about it. If in south county Dublin, many of the schools are private, which means that the public schools there tend to cater to students from less advantaged backgrounds. In other parts of the country, schools are very economically mixed (because they aren’t catering to small catchment areas).

    Some secondary schools prioritise children of past pupils but this is being phased out. There are rankings for secondary schools but they’re based exclusively on transition to third level so they won’t account for the background of the students or for other factors like the culture of the school etc.

    You might find the citizens information website useful. It has an overview of the educational system here.

    Post edited by houseyhouse on

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,312 ✭✭✭ AlanG

    It is very hard to find catchment maps on the department website so you are better off looking at each schools website for their admission policy, it will list the areas and order of preference.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,864 ✭✭✭ tscul32

    As above, all depends on where you are. Most of the secondary schools where I am are catchment area schools, as are the primary ones. Mine are in catholic primary and educate together secondary, very happy with both, but both are catchment schools and you'd need to check with the schools for the exact catchment area. Some are on the school websites but not all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,145 ✭✭✭ jellybear

    In relation to your question about school performance, you can find school inspection reports here

    Best of luck with the move!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,624 ✭✭✭ spaceHopper

    Where I live, each primary school has a catchment area and each primary school will be a feeder school for a number of secondary schools.

    The one my kids go to changed its admissions process to apply the year before the child should start. The school operates 3 lists, siblings of children in the school, children from the catchment area and children from outside the catchment area. I basically boils down to in the area or not.

    If the child will be less than 4y 6m in september then you probably are better off apply for the following year but you should talk to the school. I've never heard a parent say they send their child to school too late, it's always I should have waited a year.

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