Applying for a School Place

Procedures for Pre-school, Primary, Post Primary and Senior High (Dickson Plan 14+) Admissions.

Important Information

In the menus below, you will find the information on how to find a school, admissions criteria, and how to apply for a place in a pre-school/school.

Find a Pre-School/School in your area

Use the 'Search Schools’ tool below to search for pre-schools/schools in your area and read or download their admissions criteria.

Other sources of information which may be useful to you include:

Search School

Read the Published Admissions Criteria

All pre-schools/schools have admissions criteria. If they receive more applications than they have places available, they use these criteria to decide who to offer places to.

Before starting to complete your child’s application you should read carefully the published admissions criteria for each pre-school/school that you wish to nominate as a preference. 

You should complete your application providing all the relevant details/preference reasons about how your child meets the pre-schools/schools admissions criteria.

When making an application it is recommended that you should list at least four pre-schools/schools in the order of your preference, as there is no guarantee your child will be accepted into the first preference. 

For more information see our guides Applying for a Pre-School PlaceApplying for a Primary 1 Place and Applying for a Post Primary Year 8 Place.

Search Admissions Criteria

Check Supporting Documents

Birth Certificate

All schools will require a birth certificate to verify a child’s name and date of birth. Either a full (long) or short birth certificate may be used. An amended birth certificate or an adoption certificate, where appropriate, is acceptable. If a birth certificate is not available you should contact the school to determine what alternatives may be acceptable e.g. a biometric card, passport, medical card etc.

Other Supporting Documents

Check the admissions criteria for each of the pre-schools/schools you have listed to confirm the supporting documents required. Some pre-schools/schools ask for additional documentation to support or verify information on your child’s application, such as, proof of address. This documentation may be requested at the time of application, during the process or at the notification of outcome of the application.

If verifying documents are being requested at the time of application you will need to provide the information for any preference(s) listed.

If you do not supply the documents requested this could lead to the withdrawal of an offer of a place, or the inability of a pre-school/school to offer a place to your child.

If a preschool/school has asked for verifying documents which you do not have, you should email or phone the pre-school/school directly to ascertain what they will accept as an alternative.

For more information see our guides Applying for a Pre-School PlaceApplying for a Primary 1 Place and Applying for a Post Primary Year 8 Place.

Socially Disadvantaged Circumstances (applicable to Pre-school)

For information on what socially disadvantaged circumstances (SDC) means when applying for a funded pre-school place and how to provide proof of benefit entitlement visit Applying for a Pre-School Place – SDC information under Supporting Documents section.

Making an Application

The EA Connect Portal to submit an application is now closed.  For further information read the admissions guides for Applying for a Pre-School PlaceApplying for a Primary 1 Place or Applying for a Post Primary Place.

Special Educational Needs

If your child is undergoing statutory assessment you still need to apply for a pre-school/school place.

However, DO NOT complete an application if your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs. Your child’s placement will be arranged through the EA’s 
Special Educational Needs Department.

Transport Eligibility

Check whether transport assistance will be available for your child for Primary or Post Primary School by using our Transport Eligibility Checker.

The guides below contain more specific information with regards to each of the application processes for Pre-School, Primary,  Post Primary, Senior High Schools (14+) and also for Transfers between Schools.

Last updated: 22/02/2024