Citizen’s Corner – School applications

Stock photo: Ivan Aleksic/Unsplash.

Q. We are new to the Limerick area and our first child will be due to go to school in September. How do I go about getting a primary school place for my child? Will there be costs involved? What happens if my local school does not have room?

Thanks for your question, it’s certainly one a lot of people have right now.

You can enrol your child in primary school if they are at least four years of age at the start of the school year in September. Usually, schools start accepting applications several months in advance. You should contact your preferred school directly to check if they have a place available.

You can search for primary schools in your area using the Department of Education’s Find a School tool.

In relation to costs, in Ireland all children are entitled to free primary education and most primary schools are funded by the State. If you send your child to a private school, you must pay fees every year.

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You should apply directly to the school of your choice. If the school has an application form, you should apply using this and keep a copy of everything you submit as part of the application.

Schools must reply within 21 days to let you know whether your child has either been accepted or placed on a waiting list. If you are offered a place, the school will give you a date by which you must accept or refuse the offer.

If the school does not have enough spaces for your child, it will give you priority according to its admissions policy. This outlines the school’s rules for selecting students and making decisions and explains what happens if the school is over-subscribed.

Schools cannot discriminate on the grounds of gender, civil or family status, sexual orientation, religion, disability or special education needs, race, membership of the Traveller community.

Some schools can prioritise a student of a minority religion if they offer education in that religion.

You can appeal to the Department of Education if a school does not enrol your child because it is oversubscribed or for another reason. If your child was not enrolled because the school was oversubscribed, you must first ask the school’s board of management to review the decision.

You must appeal to the Department of Education no more than 63 days after the school’s original decision to refuse admission.

Limerick Citizens Information Centre answer your questions in the Limerick Post. If you have a question relating to social welfare issues, tenant or consumer rights, immigration, money, tax, housing, or employment, email, call 0818 075 780, or drop in to Riverstone House, Henry Street, V93 T28.