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Our daughter is ready for school but has no place


Aisling O'Donoghue with her three-year-old daughter Niamh

Aisling O'Donoghue with her three-year-old daughter Niamh

Aisling O'Donoghue with her three-year-old daughter Niamh

BLACKROCK mum Aisling O'Donoghue received a letter from her local national school to say there are no places available for her daughter Niamh this year.

Niamh who is three and in montessori, turns four in May, and her mum had originally hoped that she could start school in September.

"We applied for a place for her at our local national school, Carysfort National School, where her two brothers attend but have received a letter to say there are no places for her this year," Aisling said.

"We are now going to start her in September 2015, and she will do her second year in montessori," said Aisling the owner of online retailer babytravelshop.ie.

A letter was sent by the school in December which stated that unfortunately, due to applications far in excess of places, the board of management has had to prioritise places by using the criteria laid down under its enrolment policy. This means that parish children, siblings and staff children are given priority.

There was also a cut-off date, based on the date of birth of the child.

The cut-off date of birth this year was January 27, 2010, and all children born after this date were being refused.

However, their names were being placed on a waiting list, and parents would be contacted immediately if a place became available, the letter said.

Niamh's birthday is in May, so she had not turned four by the cut-off date.



"We only applied for one school because my two other sons Fionn (8) and Cian (6) and are also in Carysfort National School," she said.

However, Aisling (41) said she would be confident Niamh will get in next year under the criteria, as they live in the area, her siblings are in the school, and she will have turned five by then.

"We feel that she is definitely ready, but she is in a lovely montessori," Aisling said. "However, it means we will have to pay for the montessori next year."

The mum-of-three said that apart from the montessori costs, there will also be additional childminder costs, as Niamh will continue to finish at 12pm, instead of the later primary school finish time.