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Revealed: The counties that have welcomed the most Ukrainian refugees into schools

Counties in west and south receiving most of the refugees

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Ukrainian pupil Mark Kichiak (centre) starting school in third class at Duncannon National School in Co Wexford last month. Photo: Mary Browne

Ukrainian pupil Mark Kichiak (centre) starting school in third class at Duncannon National School in Co Wexford last month. Photo: Mary Browne

Ukrainian pupil Mark Kichiak (centre) starting school in third class at Duncannon National School in Co Wexford last month. Photo: Mary Browne

Almost 6,000 Ukrainian pupils are now enrolled in Irish schools, with the biggest concentration of the refugee students in counties Clare and Kerry.

The numbers continue to grow steadily as more families arrive from their war-torn homeland and others, who came earlier, settle into accommodation and seek education.

New Department of Education data gives a county-by-county breakdown of Ukrainian pupil numbers, in both primary and post-primary schools.

Based on enrolments last Friday, 5,843 Ukrainian refugees were attending school in Ireland – 3,968 in primary schools and 1,875 pupils in post-primary schools, a 2:1 ratio between primary and post-primary.

While the 1,100 pupils enrolled in Dublin schools represent the largest figure for any single county, some counties with smaller populations have proportionately higher new enrolments.

When compared with the size of their county populations, Clare and Kerry have the most Ukrainian pupils in their schools, at 441 and 535 respectively.

Monaghan has the smallest number of new arrivals enrolled in its schools, with 12 at primary level and seven at post-primary level.

One small rural school in Clare has doubled its enrolments.

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Popular tourist counties along the west, south-west, south and south-east coasts have become home to relatively large numbers of Ukrainian families because of the availability of hotel accommodation.

In parallel with that, the Department of Education is also working with other departments and agencies to try to place children in areas where schools have spare capacity.

Before the Ukrainian families started seeking refuge in Ireland in early March, following the Russian invasion of their country, there were about 25,000 spare places in primary schools and about 15,000-18,000 in post-primary schools.

Some 600 of 4,000 schools, across the primary and post-primary sectors, are receiving additional resources to support the new arrivals, such as class teachers and English language teachers.

To assist with the transition of the refugees into schools, 16 regional education and language teams (REALT) are up and running.

These are hosted by the regional education and training boards (ETBs) and staffed by education personnel.

The teams help families to secure a school place and to provide supports such as laptops. REALT teams also support schools to meet the needs of the children as they arise and advise the Department of Education in developing new capacity where required.

The teams include professionals and representatives of the child and family agency Tusla, school psychological services, special education needs specialists and school management bodies.

Part of their remit is to ensure clear information flows are in place between schools, local education support services and national support structures in relation to people arriving from Ukraine.

Information for parents in Ukrainian and Russian on accessing school places is also available on gov.ie/Ukraine.


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