AN 800-pupil international school is to open in south Dublin in September 2018, it was confirmed today.
The school will cater for both local and expatriate pupils, aged between three and 18, on a campus in refitted former Microsoft office block at South County Business Park, Leopardstown.
It is a partnership between Nord Anglia Education, which runs 43 international schools globally, and Irish entrepreneur Barry O’Callaghan, who started the educational software company, Riverdeep.
There is a growing market in international education at second-level, much of it driven by families in places such as Asia who want an English-speaking education for their children.
International schools are also often favoured by multinational executives, many more of whom are expected in Ireland as a consequence of Brexit.
The availability of school places is a critical issue for companies asking senior executives to relocate, and payment of private school fees are generally included in the remuneration package.
Nord Anglia, which has its headquarters in Hong Kong, has links with world-leading third-level institutions such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, King’s College London and the New York performing arts conservatory, Juilliard.
The company says the Dublin campus will feature extensive facilities, including specialist arts and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) facilities to support the delivery of its collaborations with Juilliard and MIT, respectively.
Nord Anglia Head of Brand, Sarah Doyle, said they were still developing their curriculum offering and could not confirm whether the International Baccalaureate would be the only programme available for students. She said their education team in Oxford was fine-tuning the offering for Dublin and the standard practice was develop an offer best suited to the needs of each market.
She could not state what the fees would be. However, they are expected to be far in excess of charges at other fee-paying day schools in Dublin.
Schools operated by Nord Anglia across Europe generally charge in the region of €20,000 a year for second-level day pupils.
The school is not yet open for applications but it is inviting interested parties to register on its website for updates.
Barry O’Callaghan said he believed the partnership could be the beginning of systemic educational innovation for Irish education.
“As a leading, global education company, not only will they bring international educational expertise into the Irish market together with a host of world leading academic partners, but they are also a significant multinational company who are committing meaningful capital and resource to the Irish market which in turn will lead to the creation of significant jobs over the coming years," he said.
Nord Anglia chief executive, Andrew Fitzmaurice, CEO said, as one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, Ireland is an increasingly attractive destination for families, fuelling demand for international education from both expatriate and local parents alike