New Schools



Comprehensive information in relation to new schools can be found on our sister website. Please visit:

An Foras Pátrúnachta is supporting the iMeasc campaign for the passing of legislation to ensure provision of Irish-medium education. For more information, please visit:


Click on the purple buttons below to get further information

Who are An Foras Pátrúnachta?

An Foras Pátrúnachta is the largest patron of Irish medium schools in Ireland at both primary and secondary level. There are 15,000 students attending our 65 primary schools and 5 secondary schools and the number of students benefiting from our method of education is constantly growing. Details of our current schools are available here.

Irish medium schools have been the fastest growing sector of education in Ireland in recent years. An Foras Pátrúnachta has been at the heart of that growth.

Did you know?

There are Multi-denominational, Inter-denominational and Catholic gaelscoileanna under An Foras Pátrúnachta.

How do I register my interest in a new Gaelscoil?

There are currently no campaigns active

Did you know?

Irish-medium schools follow the same curriculum and receive the same state funding

What is Irish-medium education?

Immersion education is the system of education of an Irish-Medium school. The benefits of Immersion education are recognised internationally. In Immersion education schools the pupils are immersed in Irish from their first day in school. The teacher will speak only Irish to the pupils until their second term in Senior Infants. This system has been proven worldwide to be the most effective for language acquisition.

What is the model of immersion education used in schools under An Foras Pátrúnachta?

The class teacher will speak and teach through Irish only to the pupils from the beginning of Naíonáin Bheaga (Junior Infants) until the Christmas break in Naíonáin Mhóra (Senior Infants). After the Christmas break, English is introduced to the curriculum, but until then, the children will only hear their teacher speak Irish to them. Comprehensive studies (MET, 1998) have found that the most effective method of acquiring a language is through immersion.

 It is policy in all schools under An Foras Pátrúnachta that immersion education is implemented and practised.

The speaking of Irish by the teachers and students is central to what a Gaelscoil is. Encouragement and enticement is the most desirable way of promoting Irish in the school by use of strategies such as praise, prizes and rewards. This positive culture has contributed to the success and popularity of Gaelscoileanna.

Why do parents choose an Irish-Medium School?

  • It is extremely important to them that their children are fluent as Gaeilge.
  • They recognise that children get a particular perspective on our culture and others.
  • Due to the pride developed in children in their language, their culture and in themselves.
  • An ability to speak, read and write fluently in two languages.
  • The excellent education children receive in Irish medium schools.
  • Raising of self-esteem and sense of identity


Did you know?

Children in gaelscoileanna are the happiest children in Ireland  🙂  (ESRI 2012)

Advantages and research

Benefits of full immersion Education

According to research on bilingual education, the following are the results for students who go through the system:

  • Better performance academically (Gallagher & Hanna, 2002).
  • Easier to learn a third and a fourth language (Cenoz & Valencia 1994).
  • An understanding and openness to other cultures (Gallagher & Hanna, 2002).
  • Improvement in cognitive functioning in creativity and communication (Bialystok et al. 2005).
  • Higher scores in English and Maths (Education Research Centre, 2011)
  • Enhanced awareness of identity, culture and sense of community (Baker, 2003)
  • Increased Self Esteem (Baker, 2003)
  • Bilingual Education enriches academic productivity, creative talents andself-esteem in students (NMABE, 2006; Cummins, 2000)
  • Improved communication and social skills (Cummins, 2000)

There is more information on the advantages in an international context here

Did you know?

Not only will immersion not have a negative effect on their development of English but children in Irish-medium schools are way above the national average in English reading. They also perform above average in Maths. (Educational Research Centre 2011)

What people say

“My child loves going to the Gaelscoil. She is really happy there, it is fantastic to hear her speaking Irish playing with her friends. In Gaelscoileanna the staff choose to be there and their passion for education and Irish has really benefited my daughter. The principal couldn’t be more helpful either!”

– Anna, Dublin

“As a parent I wanted my children to speak Irish & I always regretted not having Irish myself. I really enjoyed helping them with their homework. Looking back, it was the best decision I made for my children and their future.” 

– Tom, Cork

Past pupils

“I received both my primary and secondary education through Irish and am now studying in a third level college. The benefits for me were enormous and I can now speak two languages fluently”

– Sorcha, 3rd Level Student, NUI Maynooth.

“I attended a naíonra until I was 5 years old and progressed onto the Irish medium primary school”. “I thought I was a right smarty pants because I had more Irish than the adults in my life! My cousins child now attends a Irish medium school, her face completely lights up when I speck to her in Irish.”

“As I was preparing for the Leaving Cert, my Mum gave me the choice to transfer to an English speaking school. I decided against. I wanted to continue in Irish. My school had a great atmosphere ,there was always music being played and céilís held. I felt I was in a very special place.”

“I still go to the Gaeltacht during the summer with my friends to have the craic and ‘an Ghaeilge a labhairt’” 

–Sinéad, 3rd Level Student, Dublin Business School.

I can’t speak Irish, how will I help with homework?

It is not a problem. 96% of parents in our schools have little or no Irish. The teachers understand that. Your child will be bilingual and will be more than able to translate the material. There are many great resources able to help you learn Irish if you wish but the only requirement is a supportive attitude.

Special needs

Provision from the Department of Education

In general, educational provision for children with special needs is made:

  • In special schools;
  • In special classes attached to ordinary schools;
  • In integrated settings in mainstream classes.

The nature and level of the educational response is based on the child’s professionally-assessed disability. Where placement in an integrated setting is considered to be the appropriate response, provision will normally take the form of resource teaching or special needs assistant support, or both.

Children with more severe levels of disability may require placement in a special school or special class attached to a mainstream primary school. Each such facility is dedicated to a particular disability group and each operates at a specially reduced pupil teacher ratio.

Pupils attending these facilities attract special rates of capitation funding and are entitled to avail of the special school transport service and the school bus escort service.

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE)

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) was set up to improve the delivery of education services to persons with special educational needs arising from disabilities with particular emphasis on children. The Council deals with over 20,000 applications a year and deliver decisions to schools within a 6 to 8 week period.

Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs)

SENOs are appointed by the NCSE to provide a direct local service to the parents of children with special educational needs and to schools within geographical areas.This involves identifying the needs of children and deciding on the level of resources schools require to provide them with an appropriate education service.

A SENO deals with applications for additional teaching and Special Needs Assistant support for children with special educational needs from all schools. The SENO also assists with applications for transport and Assistive Technology. A SENO can advise schools and parents on the facilities, services, and resources available to assist children with Special Educational Needs.

Information Booklets published by the NSCE


Information for Parents of Children with Special Needs

To download please click on the image


Information for Parents of Deaf Children

To download please click on the image.

Categories of disabilities

Appendix 1 of Circular Sp Ed 02/05 lists the categories of disabilities which qualify for resources and the number of hours resource teaching support entitled to.


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