Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best age to send my child to boarding school?
Every child is different, but as a general rule 9 to 13 years. We would say, the earlier the better.
When is the best time to apply?
We recommend that you start planning 18 months before the proposed entry date.
What is the boarding house like?
A traditional boarding house would have approximately 50 pupils, they have common room areas to cater for everyone’s needs. These may include a television room with a video/DVD player, a study area for prep (homework) and computer access, a games room with table football, pool table. In addition, each House has a kitchen equipped with a kettle, microwave, fridge and toaster so that pupils can make themselves snacks. The school will provide basic provisions. The set-up of houses will vary from school to school, however, most have girls and boys in separate houses according to age.
Do pupils share a room?
Younger pupils are usually in a room with 3 or 4 other pupils; as they progress through the school they will move in to twin rooms with sixth form students (age 16 – 18) having their own study bedroom. Pupils are encouraged to bring pictures and posters from home to decorate their rooms.
How does the school help new boarders to settle in?
Some schools invite new pupils to the school in the summer term before they join, this gives them the opportunity to meet other new pupils, the teachers and visit their new boarding house. At the beginning of term, boarders will arrive the day before the timetabled lessons start; they will usually have a full induction programme and may be paired with a ‘buddy’.
When can I contact my son or daughter?
Boarders have some free time after the end of the school day and between after school activities and meals. They will get a school email address and will have internet access in their boarding houses to enable them to contact home by text, Facetime, What’s App and Skype.
What do boarders do in their spare time?
Boarding life tends to be very structured, however, they will have some free time after school and at weekends; they are encouraged to make use of the excellent facilities on site and take part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, trips and excursions.
What happens if my child feel unwell?
All schools have a registered nurse on site and visiting local GP; parents will be kept informed of their child’s health.
What is an ‘exeat’ weekend?
An exeat is when the school closes for the weekend, pupils leave after school on Friday and boarders return on Sunday evening. Boarders will go and stay with their guardians or with a friend. Most schools have one exeat weekend during each half of term. Some schools do not have compulsory exeat weekends, this will need to be checked with the individual schools
What is ‘prep’?
Prep (short for preparation) is homework! Boarders will all do their prep at the same time, for younger pupils this is supervised and the length of time will depend on the age of the pupil. One of the benefits of being a boarder is that you have the support of friends, older pupils and staff on duty to help if you are unsure about something.
Can pupils wear their own clothes at school?
In the evenings and weekends, and at certain other times, pupils in all year groups wear their own clothes. A suggested clothing list will be provided by the school.
How much are boarding school fees?
Boarding fees on average are €20,000 per annum, payable over 3 terms in September, January and April.
What does the boarding fee include?
The boarding fee includes accommodation, tuition, food and laundry
What additional costs can I expect?
There is a charge for individual lessons for example a musical instrument or perhaps horse riding lessons and Learning Support and English as a Second Language lessons.
How much pocket money will my son/daughter need?
€150 per term is a recommended amount; the school can help to set up a bank account.
My child has mild Dyslexia, can you help?
Yes, many schools have excellent support for children with learning difficulties.
What is a Guardian?
A guardian will act on behalf of the parents, providing holiday and weekend accommodation, attend school functions and are available in an emergency. It is a requirement of schools for all parents resident outside Ireland to appoint a guardian living in Ireland.
Must children have an excellent academic and behaviour record?
No. Each child's situation is considered carefully to find the most appropriate placement; one in which they will be happy and able to achieve their full potential.
How good does my child's English have to be?
We can find a course to suit, from beginner to advanced - either as the main study or as a supplement to the academic programme.
What do I pay for the education service provided by Boarding Schools Ireland?
No fees are charged to parents for the school search.