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Finding the Right School for Your Child

Updated: Sep 26, 2022

Moving to a new area can be even more complex if you've got kids in school or are planning to start school in the next few years. Knowing what schools are in the area and how far they are away can be a factor in deciding if the property is right for you!

Some parents have a strong opinion on the ethos their child should be educated with, and if that is the case that should be a major factor in your decision on schools. However, if you have no strong opinion then sometimes the best school is the closest school. This may reduce the need for daily drop-offs and pickups by the taxi of mum and/or dad and it is always good to develop a local sense of community and closeness with your neighbours who also attend the same school.

Choosing a School

You should gather as much information as possible about the schools in which you are interested. Schools can vary considerably in how they operate and the emphasis they put on areas such as exams, sports, the arts, personal development, religion, social affairs, European languages and practical skills acquisition.

Talk to teachers and, if possible, to other parents in order to see whether the school is likely to meet the needs of your particular child.

Some schools will have a waiting list. You will need to investigate the enrolment policy of the school in which you are interested and you should plan the enrolment of your child well in advance.

If you are planning to remain abroad and to send your child/children to an Irish school as an overseas student, then you can choose from a range of fee-paying secondary schools (such as a boarding school or a day secondary school) that arrange accommodation and guardianship, as appropriate.

Applying to a School

You should apply to the school in writing. If they have an application form, complete the form or apply by letter.

All primary schools must publish an admissions notice and an admissions policy. The admissions notice tells you:

  • When the school will start accepting applications for the year (when to apply)

  • When you will get the decision on your application

  • When you must accept a place

The admissions policy describes the rules the school will follow for selecting students and how they make their decisions. It also states what happens if the school is over-subscribed.

School Costs

All primary national schools are state-funded. The costs of fee-paying secondary schools can vary considerably. You will need to check with each individual school.

Some secondary schools may ask your child to sit an entrance exam, for which they will charge a fee.

Whatever school you choose, you will need to pay for school books and, where appropriate, school uniforms. Usually, you will also have to pay for extra-curricular activities.


The Home Hunter Report will give you a snapshot of the local schools along with over 20 other pieces of information which will be vital to you deciding whether or not to proceed with your interest in a property.

To buy a Home Hunter Report, go to and enter in the postcode. It's Property Research Made Easy!

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