Search for the best international schools in Ireland; you can find a list of selected schools at the bottom of this page. Use the search filters to select only girls' or boys' schools, prep schools, senior schools or sixth forms; or you can search for schools that offer a particular curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate,the UK national curriculum, a US-style model or the International Primary Curriculum.
The Republic of Ireland’s small international school sector is centred on Dublin. There are schools offering the curriculums of France, Germany and the International Baccalaureate Office as well as a cluster of Montessori primary schools and kindergartens.
Ireland has four IB World Schools, of which three teach in English and two are authorised to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma: St Andrew’s College in Dublin, and Villiers School in Limerick, after the latter gained authorisation in March 2017.
Colegio Internacional SEK Dublin, which follows the middle years programme, teaches in English and Spanish, while International School of Dublin, teaches the primary years programme in English and offers Spanish as a foreign language.
The Nord Anglia Education group, which operates more than 50 international schools around the world, is building a new through-train school in Dublin that is due to open in September 2018. Nord Anglia International School Dublin, which plans to offer all three stages of the IB curriculum, will admit students aged up to 14 for the 2018-19 academic year.
Ireland also has more than 50 independent schools that teach in English and follow the Irish national curriculum, including prestigious boarding schools St Columba’s College, The King’s Hospital and Sutton Park School, with the latter also offering American SATs. Such schools are attracting growing numbers of international students.
Education is compulsory for 10 years from age six to 16. In practice, children usually start school at age four or five. State schools are free at all levels and most teach in English, while Irish language classes are mandatory throughout. Primary school continues to age 12 or 13, when pupils enter the three-year secondary school junior cycle.
The 10-subject Junior Certificate is taken by all students at age 15 to 16. A transitional year may precede the two-year senior cycle leading to the Leaving Certificate, which is taken at age 18 or 19. Senior students have to study at least five subjects including Irish and usually take seven. Some private schools exempt international students from mandatory Irish classes.
Ireland has four public universities, including the federal National University of Ireland, which has four campuses. Net enrolment was 95 per cent in primary schools in 2015 and 100 per cent in secondary schools in 2012, with gross secondary enrolment standing at 127 per cent in 2015. Gross tertiary enrolment was 84 per cent in 2015.