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  • Writer's pictureHarshal

What Other Schools Did You Consider Before Choosing This School?

Updated: May 13

Themes From 24 Parents When Considering Schools For Their Kids

Welcome to our series exploring the Irish education system through our personal journey to find the right school for our son. Based on our conversations with 24 families, each post dives into a different aspect of choosing a primary or secondary school.

School children wearing green school uniforms.
School children wearing green school uniforms.

Q: What other schools did you consider before choosing this school? 

Parents considered these themes when considering schools for their kids:

Multiple Options Considered: 6/24 parents evaluated several schools before deciding. Many recommend applying to multiple schools before you decide on the one right for your kids.

  • "The family considered three Catholic schools before choosing Bray School Project. They applied to all of them and got acceptance from each."

But, some parents had fewer options due to geographic constraints. Some parents were set on only one school.

  • "We decided that our son will only attend Blackrock college, a private secondary school."

Local Community Schools: 8/24 parents preferred schools nearby. These schools were also well-known among families in their area.

  • "They mentioned that all the neighborhood kids go to either Olaf's or Taney."

However, some parents looked beyond their immediate locality to access specific programs or educational approaches unavailable locally.

Specialized Schools: 4/24 parents sought specialized education options, such as Montessori, Educate Together, or religious schools, reflecting a preference for specific educational philosophies or values.

  • “Wanted her child to attend Educate Together for its modern and inclusive approach but missed the cut."

Availability and Accessibility: Issues of availability and the ease of getting into certain schools were factors in the consideration process. 3/24 parents mentioning the challenge of long waitlists or needing to apply far in advance.

  • "We did not consider Dalkey Educate Together because we had to put our names down years in advance."

Now, the process has changed in Ireland. You can only apply one year before you start. There still are not enough seats for everyone, so we still saw a scarcity mindset. We found that parents know ways to game that system.

Recommendations and Reputation: 3/24 parents preferred schools recommended by other parents or those with a good reputation in the community. This indicates the influence of social networks and perceived school quality.

  • "Initially joined a public school, Harold School, but moved to private schools for better secondary school admission chances."

The 12 Articles in this series


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