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  • Writer's pictureHarshal

How was your experience with the application process and the wait list?

Updated: May 13

Experiences From 21 Parents When Applying To Schools 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.

Kid reviewing his school application process.
Kid reviewing his school application process.

Q: How was your experience with the application process and the wait list?

21/24 Parents had these experiences when applying to schools for their children:

Straightforward Application Process: 9/21 parents described the school application process as straightforward, even when done last minute or from abroad.

  • "The application was simple, without a waitlist as they were part of the local system."

  • "The application process to St. Olaf's was straightforward. Despite applying last minute, they were surprised and happy to get in."

Whereas, some parents expressed surprise and relief at their child's acceptance, suggesting varying expectations about the outcome.

Challenges with Waitlists and Acceptances: 6/21 parents discussed challenges related to waitlists and securing spots in preferred schools. Being on the waitlist for your preferred school was a common source of stress.

  • "Applying to the school and dealing with the waitlist was straightforward but tense."

  • "Admission to schools in Kilmacud can be challenging due to being in zone B for all schools."

  • "Was 60th on the waitlist for Educate Together but secured a place by September."

One parent applied to one school only because they were confident it was the right choice. This contrasted with the more common approach of applying to multiple schools as a strategy.

Importance of Early Application and Research: 5/21 parents highlighted diligent research and early application to schools. They also researched feeder systems and secondary school reputations.

  • "Researched feeder schools and their partnerships with secondary schools."

Scarcity vs Sales Admission Processes: 4/21 responses noted the differences in admissions processes among schools. Some schools offered more catered high-service approaches through open days and individual meetings.

  • "For Nord, we will go for a school visit this Friday. It was very easy as they catered to our timing for an open school visit."

  • "Most other schools don't organize events for prospective parents and students to visit."

The 12 Articles in this series


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