Admissions Policy (English)

Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh

Enrolment Policy


This school was founded in response to a demand from parents of students attending All-Irish primary schools for second level All-Irish education.  The Board of Management of Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh acknowledges its responsibility to families attending All-Irish schools as distinct to favouring one educational institution over another.

An Foras Patrúnachta, the patron body and the Board of Management of Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh compiled this enrolment policy.  This policy is in accordance with guidelines from the Department of Education and Skills and fulfils all statutory requirements.

Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh is an All-Irish multi-denominational school under the patronage of An Foras Pátrúnachta.  An Foras Pátrúntacha has as its objective the provision of Irish medium education of the highest standard to the students of its schools.

The school is a non-fee paying school financed by the Department of Education and Skills.


Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh is an All-Irish multi-denominational school.  All students are welcome subject to the criteria referenced in this policy.


The provision of the curriculum is in accordance with syllabi from the Department of Education and Skills under section 30 of the Education Act 1998 and the school complies with its obligations under section 9 of the same act.

Code of Behaviour

Every parent of an applicant to Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh is given a copy of the school’s Code of Positive Behaviour to read and accept before a student is offered a place in the school.

The Application Process

Applications are accepted from 1st September when the applicant is in 5th class up until 30th September when the applicant is in 6th class.  Parents are informed within 21 days of that date whether or not their application has been successful.  Applications received after the deadline will only be considered if there is space in the classes.  In all cases only fully completed application forms will be considered.


A place is offered to a student who is of the required age stipulated by the Department of Education and Skills.  Places, up to a maximum of 90 are offered to students upon receipt of a fully completed application form received by the deadline of 30th September of the student’s sixth class of the appropriate entrance year.  Successful applicants will be offered places within 21 days of this date.  Parents/Guardians of applicants will be informed of the outcome of the process in writing.

Siblings (ie twins or triplets) are viewed, as far as the order in which places are offered,  as one applicant, so that if one sibling is offered a place the other sibling(s) are also offered places.

Reference is made below to particular named schools.  In order to be considered a pupil from one of these named schools s/he  must have attended the school for at least two full school years.

Offers of places are made in the following order;

In the event of surplus applicants at any of the stages below a raffle will be held at that stage of the process.

If the demand for places exceeds the limit of available spaces (a maximum of 90 shall not be exceeded but could be capped at less from year to year) the Board of Management will offer places in the following order:

Stage 1.

Siblings of students currently attending Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh.

Stage 2. 

A child of a staff member of Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh.

Stage 3.

Siblings of students who have attended Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh.

Stage 4.

Pupils who have attended any one of na Gaelscoileanna named below, to which Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh is the closest All-Irish second level school.  (The schools listed below are listed in order of proximity to other All-Irish second level schools and not in order of priority).

  • Scoil Naithí
  • Scoil Mológa
  • Gaelscoil na Fuinseoige
  • Gaelscoil Chnoc Liamhna

Stage 5.

Pupils who have attended any one of na Gaelscoileanna named below because there are less than 2km in the difference between their proximity to Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh and other All-Irish second level schools.

  • Gaelscoil Lios na nÓg
  • Scoil Bhríde
  • Gaelscoil Thaobh na Coille
  • Gaelscoil na Giúise
  • Gaelscoil Inse Chóir
  • Gaelscoil Shliabh Rua

Stage 6.

Pupils who have attended Gaelscoileanna for which Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh is not the closest All-Irish second level school and any Gaeltacht school.

Stage 7.

Students from other schools.  Account will be taken of the proximity of the school to Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh and priority will be given to pupils from the schools closest in proximity.  In accordance with good language planning and linguistic practice students who have not attended an All-Irish school will be accepted but the amount of students in this category will not exceed 15% of the total enrolment of the relevant incoming First Years.

Waiting List

Students who have not been offered a place within 21 days will be placed on a waiting list.  The waiting list will be compiled based on the 7 stages above.  The waiting list will remain in place until 1st September of the entrance year in question.

Accepting a Place:

A place, once offered must be accepted in writing by a parent/guardian of the successful applicant.  If the place is not accepted in writing by the date stipulated on the letter of offer the offer may be withdrawn. 

Exceptional Cases

In exceptional circumstances the Board of Management may make a decision regarding an application for a place in Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh without reference to the above selection criteria.  This would only be done if extenuating circumstances existed and that if the Board and the Principal deemed that this decision would be beneficial to the applicant/school.

Transfers from other Schools

Only when there are less than 24 students in a particular class will applications to other year groups be considered.  If a place is available the applicant will be interviewed to ascertain if his/her competency in Irish is of a high enough standard to be accepted in the class.  If a student leaves the school his/her place cannot be kept.  Parents of a successful applicant will be informed that Gaelcholáiste an Phiarsaigh is an All-Irish multi-denominational school and that the offer of a place is conditional upon their acceptance of this.

Role of the Principal in Offers

The Board of Management may delegate authority to the Principal to make offers according to this policy.  The Principal may not however make a decision about exceptional cases.  Exceptional cases must be decided at Board level.


Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 parents may appeal a decision made by a Board of Management regarding:

  • The exclusion of a student from a school
  • The suspension of a student
  • A refusal by a school to enrol a student.

This right of appeal must be brought to the Board of Management in the first instance.  This should be done as soon as the parents have received notification of a decision that they would like to appeal from the Board of Management.  If this appeal is not upheld the parents have a right to appeal the decision to the Department of Education and Skills.  This must be done within 20 school days of the notification of the appeal to the Board of Management not being upheld.

If there are any discrepancies/differences between the Irish and English versions of this policy priority will be given to interpretation of the Irish version.  This policy will be reviewed regularly.

May 2018.