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My son was number 70 on the list, at three months old

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WORTH THE WAIT: Digital project manager Kieran Farrell put his four-year-old son Diego's name down for his preferred school when he was three months old

WORTH THE WAIT: Digital project manager Kieran Farrell put his four-year-old son Diego's name down for his preferred school when he was three months old

WORTH THE WAIT: Digital project manager Kieran Farrell put his four-year-old son Diego's name down for his preferred school when he was three months old

Kieran Farrell (33) put his four-year-old son's name down in five schools – and then the stressful wait began.

He first put Diego's name down for a primary school place when he was three months old.

Diego, whose birthday is in April, was 70th on the list at that point for the Rathfarnham Educate Together school.

"We put his name down in five schools, but we had our preference, the Educate Together school next door," said Mr Farrell.

"When I called in January last year, he was at number 93. This was because people who had been offered places the previous year had wanted to defer them."

By March last year, Mr Farrell and his wife Betty Alfaro Oblitas (33) still did not have any replies.

 

HOWEVER, THEY FINALLY LEARNED AROUND APRIL THAT THEIR SON HAD SECURED A PLACE IN THE SCHOOL THEY WANTED.

"We were amazed and we were delighted and we jumped at it," said Mr Farrell.

"Originally we had been humming and hawing about whether we should start him at four-and-a-half or whether it was better to wait until five-and-a-half.

"We started him at four-and-a-half because we were so relieved after all the stress we had gone through.

"When we got the place, we said, 'Let's take the place now because we are not going through this again next year'."

They had been wondering whether they would be able to get a place in a school or not last September, "or would we need to put him back in the creche for another year".

"Putting any child in the creche for another year full-time, if both parents are working, you would be paying between €5,000 and €10,000," said Mr Farrell.

On his popular blog GoDadGo, the digital project manager wrote about the entire process last February under the heading "Hell is Primary School Enrolment in Ireland!" when he feared Diego might not get into any school, as most had already sent out their offers.

He told the Herald after the article went up online that he had received feedback from people in similar situations who were feeling that they were "in limbo".

Diego is now in junior infants and is enjoying school, his father said.

hnews@herald.ie


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