Education and Schools in Dublin

For many parents, the prospect of organising education and schools in Dublin for their children can be a daunting one. However, it should come as some comfort that almost all public schools in Ireland teach in English, and that all children in Ireland (including foreigners) have the right to free education.

Some expats may nevertheless prefer to enrol their children in one of Dublin's international schools so that they can continue with their home curriculum. 

Public schools in Dublin

schools in Dublin
In theory, schooling in Dublin is easier to organise than in many other expat destinations. By law, any child in Dublin can attend public school whatever their parents' visa status, and they can do so for free.
In practice, however, finding a public school in Dublin can be more difficult than it appears on paper. Many of the schools in Dublin are full, with little space for new enrolment.

When a school has reached its capacity, the remaining children are put on waiting lists. With the majority of Dublin public schools operating on a first-come, first-served basis, expat parents arriving in Dublin outside of regular application periods can be at a distinct disadvantage.

Once a school has drawn up a waiting list, children on the list are then prioritised according to the school's admissions policy. Sometimes a child may be moved up the list more quickly if they have a sibling already attending the school in question or if they live in the same area as the school.
To avoid being placed on a waiting list, it is highly recommended for expats who have decided on an area to live in to try and contact local schools before arriving.

Private schools in Dublin

Dublin is home to the highest number of private schools in Ireland. These schools are privately funded and therefore aren't subject to state controls. Many of these are single-sex schools with religious affiliations, and boarding facilities are often available.

Expats on a budget should be aware that this is a costly option, especially if planning to make use of the school's boarding facilities. 

International schools in Dublin

Many expats choose to have their children continue with the curriculum from their home country in one of the international schools in Dublin. These are considerably more difficult to get into than public schools and can be very expensive, although they offer top-rate education. International schools can also offer tests and degrees needed for higher education in an expat student's home country, such as the American SATs.
These schools usually have long waiting lists, so it's advisable to apply for international and private schools as soon as possible. For families that move unexpectedly and quite suddenly to Dublin it is possible for children to attend public school while waiting to enrol in a private or international school.

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