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  • Writer's pictureHarshal

What Appeals To You About This School Over Other Options?

Updated: May 13

22 Parents Considered These Themes When Choosing A School For Their Children.

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 kids in uniform looking at the rising sun.
School kids in uniform looking at the rising sun.

Q: What appeals to you about this school over other options?

22/24 parents considered these themes when choosing a school for their children:

Ethos and Values: 8/22 parents chose schools that aligned with their values, such as inclusivity, non-religious education, and modern teaching methods.

  • "Prefers schools where religion is not prominent. Believes in keeping religion out of education."

  • "Prefers Scoil Lorcáin for its support of Irish-speaking families, ensuring our cultural heritage is preserved."

  • "The only option available was Gracepark, but they like the school for its absence of religious education, and its diversity."

  • "ET Portmarnock preferred for its inclusive, diverse, and flexible learning environment."

  • "Mom only looked into ETNS. She helped start the school by joining a committee to petition for its creation even before she was pregnant."

3/22 parents remain cautious about overly modern schools, preferring traditional educational methods due to discipline and educational structure concerns. These schools were perceived as untested compared to their more established counterparts.

  • "They express concerns about Educate Together's lenient approach towards discipline and prefer a more traditional schooling environment." 

Location and Convenience: The convenience of the school's location, often within walking distance from home, plays a critical role in the decision-making process for 10/22 parents.

  • "Living in Dublin 2 was beneficial as it allowed the kids to walk to school, making the commute easy and quick."

  • "The school is close to their home, which makes it easy to walk there, greatly simplifying daily routines."

  • "They believe a mixed school would be be tter, but choose St. Laurence's for its proximity to their locality in Stillorgan."

Community: 7 out of 22 parents value schools that cultivate a strong community feel.

  • "The family likes Bray School Project for its small size, which helps in creating a close-knit community."

Gender mix: Some parents preferred mixed-gender schools.

  • "They appreciate Holy Cross for its small class sizes and mixed-gender environment but the all-boys nature of St. Laurence's is a disadvantage for their sons and daughters."

Facilities and Extracurricular Activities: 12 out of 22 parents emphasized the importance of adequate facilities and a rich array of extracurricular activities. 4 out of 22 parents were dissatisfied when schools lacked structured activities or facilities, influencing their choice towards more traditional or better-equipped schools.

  • "Despite a preference for Educate Together, they found it lacked desired facilities, which led us to choose a Catholic school with better resources."

  • "Impressed by the school's colorful, light environment, large play area, and gym with equipment."

  • "Queen of Angels celebrated 'student of the week,' which excited the kid."

  • "We chose Sharavogue School because it offers full care, including before and after care, has large playgrounds, and serves hot food daily."

Cost: Although the public schools are free, after-care or private schools are expensive. Parents factored in the cost in their decisions.

  • "Considered Nord Anglia but found it too expensive and unnecessary."

Educational Continuity and Reputation: 6 out of 22 parents consider the potential for seamless progression to esteemed secondary schools or the overall reputation of a school within the community as significant factors. 2 out of 22 parents view the local education system as inadequate compared to international standards, leading to choices favoring schools outside the typical Irish system.

  • "Gaelscoil Shliabh Rua is a second choice, appreciated as a feeder for top free secondary schools in Ireland."

  • "Moved from a public to a private school mainly due to bullying issues and the advantage of private schools having their own secondary schools."

  • "Nord is the only school outside the Irish system, with the IB board, offering academic excellence and exposure to different cultures."

The 12 Articles in this series



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