Primary school transfers in south county Dublin?

I’m looking to buy a house outside the M50 in south county Dublin/north Wicklow. This is intended be the family home for the next 20 years or so.

I have two kids in primary school, girl and boy in classes 3 and 4, close to my current home which nowhere near SCD and far enough from our intended new location to make “school commuting” practically impossible in either direction (probably 90 minutes each way in traffic).

I thought (naively, I’m not from around here) that when moving house I’d just be able to get the kids into a preferably co-educational local school no bother, whether state run or private. Clearly this was a stupid idea.

Many of the state-run schools near the M50 seem to operate strict catchment areas. We can’t apply to those since we don’t currently live in those catchment areas. We can’t move first because it would be practically impossible to have the kids commuting to their old school for what would be an indefinite period - these schools (with catchment areas) seem also to have substantial waiting lists.

Even where there are no catchment areas (typically further out) the classes all seem to be full, and the odds of getting places in two classes at the same time are close to zero according to the school secretaries I’ve spoken to. Most of them have a single class per year with a total of about 220 pupils, something like 28 pupils per class.

Going private doesn’t help, I assume because private primary schools don’t get teacher salaries paid so they’re not making enough (or any) profit per pupil to be able to add new teachers to meet new marginal demand.

It’s gotten to the point where we’re seriously considering just giving up. It’s hard enough dealing with the vagaries of house purchasing (bidding wars, houses that are not really for sale, hidden structural and planning issues) without having to concurrently keep track of possible capacity, catchment areas, and enrolment policies in the approx. 25 primary schools within school run distance of where we’re looking to buy.

The system seems to be set up with the assumption that nobody ever moves any significant distance once their kids have entered primary school.

Am I missing something? Is there not some kind of co-ordination system (Dept of Education?) that seeks to balance demand across schools in a given area and manage applications centrally?

Am I supposed to make formal applications to all of them, or just do a ring round every few weeks to see if they have places?

Has anyone here successfully navigated this minefield? Any tips?

There are private primaries in SCD with some years that are not full up (not sure if they are in the right locations for you though)

Try the schools in Shankill, Saint Ann’s and Rathmichael have good reputations and are close to each other both take boys and girls one is RC and the other is COI but isn’t fussy. Some OK houses in the area too.

Thanks both, I’ll look a bit harder.

FWIW I’m looking at the Kilternan/Rathmichael/Glencullen/Enniskerry area.

Basically somewhere with fresh air and crap broadband.

Citation please :smiley:

No, seriously. Who does the obligation rest upon? Should I just move and then throw myself at their mercy?

Go see the principle of St Ann’s and Ratmichael schools face to face

29 per class is the limit for mixed classes (two years in one class). I think 30 or 31 is the limit for single class schools. The schools like to be ‘full’ to avoid being foisted with difficult emergency cases.

Never mind the secretary, ask for an enrollment form, apply. As you’re a transfer, you can apply outside the normal application window. Ask for a copy of the enrollment policy. Make sure you have all the documents required!!! (Varies from school to school). Appeal to BOM if turned down. Then if that fails, take a section 29 appeal to the department. The enrollment policy per a recent supreme court case has to be ‘fair’.

Right, the state has a constitutional requirement to provide primary education. The DoE will get involved if you have moved to an area and have no school. They’ll want to know why a school has refused you, so, as I say, make sure you have your applications in and your paperwork correct (birth certs/baptism certs etc).

Got it, thanks.

My better half is teaching multi-grade (3rd and 4th) and has 31 kids…

(I’ve also heard of classes far bigger than that - not quite 40, I don’t think, but certainly 37 or 38).

Not familiar with your area but there are a number of SCD primary schools where large numbers clear-out in fifth year (I think) to go to the primary of the Secondary. I think Holly Park and Rock is an example and there are probably some others.

I was recently told about one class of 37 - all from one year (ie not mixed 3rd & 4th).

For part of the day I believe there is a secondary or support teacher.

What, if any, are the rules or ‘guidelines’ on this?

screw transfers! either get a real tattoo or forget it