Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) welcomes the opening of four new Community National Schools (CNSs) this September. CNSs are multi-denominational schools under the patronage of local Education and Training Boards (ETBs). Two of the schools in Swords, Co. Dublin and Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath are newly-established schools. The other two schools in Tallaght, Dublin 24 and Glenroe in Co. Limerick are as a result of the transfer of patronage from religious patrons to ETBs. There are now 27 multi-denominational Community National Schools across the country.

Nessa White, General Secretary of ETBI said “We are delighted to see the growth in the CNS model this September. I would like to wish the four school communities, principals and ETBs all the very best in the opening of the schools and in the years ahead.”

The Programme for Government has committed to expanding the number of multi-denominational primary schools to 400 by 2030. This will mean an increase of approximately 250 multi-denominational primary schools. The Programme for Government explicitly names CNSs as the alternative to religious-run schools. Nessa White also stated “We look forward to working with the Department of Education on realising the aims set out in the Programme for Government in terms of increasing the choice of schools available to parents at primary level. We believe that CNSs, underpinned by the core values of excellence in education, care, equality, community and respect are an attractive model for existing schools in the context of transferring patronage as the ethos is reflective of a more pluralist Ireland.”

ETBs will also be competing for the patronage of eight new primary schools in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow, Kilkenny and Cork in the coming months. These schools will open in September 2021. For more information about Community National Schools visit