The types of schools available
The post-primary system in Ireland consists of vocational schools, secondary schools, community or comprehensive schools and private secondary schools. Most Irish school children will go to secondary schools and most of these options are free, but there are a number of fee-paying schools too.Vocational schools and community or comprehensive schools are all free to attend and tend to provide both academic and technical education.
 
How to choose the best school
For a lot of parents, proximity will be the deciding factor in choosing a secondary school. However, it is important to check any prospective school out, meet with teachers or the principal and speak to other parents who have children attending the secondary school to get their reactions.
It’s important to start researching schools well in advance and also feel free to go to any open days and get the answers to the following questions:
  • What facilities are available?
  • How many children attend this school and what are he class room sizes?
  • What technology does the school make use of?
  • What kind of extra-curricular activities are on offer?
  • What programmes are there to help children with special needs e.g. slow learners or gifted students?
  • Are there specialist teachers available?
  • What are the school's academic results?
  • Is the school maintained well?
  • Are the facilities up to scratch?
It might be a good idea to drive past the school at lunch time or when school is just finishing and check out what potential friends your child might make, whether there is a good atmosphere and do the kids and teachers seem happy. 

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