You will help your child decide at which post-primary schools he/she will seek a place. In making these decisions it may be helpful for you and your child to think about:
- Your child’s views on where he/she would be happiest.
- Your child’s strengths and which school will provide the education best suited to your child.
- Your own and your child’s impressions of schools.
- Travel to school and the arrangements for the provision of home to school transport.
Other useful information that may help inform your decision about specific schools may include:
- Schools’ prospectuses.
- The range of public examinations taken at schools (e.g. GCSEs) and their pupils’ success in these examinations.
- The arrangements schools make for pupils who may require special help.
- Schools’ policies on homework, uniform, discipline, etc.
- The range of extra‑curricular activities available in schools.
- School fees (if relevant).
You will need to consider the likelihood of your child being able to secure a place at your preferred schools. To do this you need to consider the level of competition for places at the school and the extent to which your child might be able to successfully compete for these places (i.e. the degree to which your child meets the school’s admissions criteria). To assist you to make these judgements it is essential for you to have important information about:
- The pattern of applications and admissions to a school in previous years – that is, the number of applications received in each of the previous few years, and the number of applicants actually admitted in those years. Remember that the pattern of applications may change from year to year. A school that receives fewer applications than it has places available must admit all of those applicants.
- How schools will select children for admission if they have too many applicants. In this situation schools have to use admissions criteria to choose which children to admit. In deciding whether or not to apply to a school, it is important to have a good understanding of that school’s admissions criteria.
- For schools which use an entrance test you will need to consider the lowest score, grade or band which was accepted by the school in previous years. This can change from year to year depending on the number of applications the school receives.
- Whether transport assistance will be available to the school. Information on eligibility for transport assistance can be found on this website.