International school in Bray plans to quadruple student numbers

School charging annual tuition fees from €15,000 a year announces €3m investment programme

The exclusive SEK International School in Co Wicklow has announced a €3 million investment programme to develop its 60-acre parkland campus between Bray and Greystones.

The school, part of the wider SEK group of international schools, was established here in 1981 mainly to cater for international students.

However, on foot of increased interest from local parents it will accept its first Irish pupils from next year.

It currently has more than 60 students studying International Baccalaureate programmes and charges an annual tuition fee of €15,000.*


The new investment will pay for a part overhaul of the existing campus with several new buildings, including new student residences, “and future plans for more classrooms and sports facilities”.

The academic staff is also be expanded to cater for the growth in student numbers to 250 students over the next five years.

"The expansion programme is being driven by increasing demand from parents, based in Ireland and overseas, seeking an internationally recognised qualification and a curriculum that is taught in English," it said.

SEK International School Dublin – the school's official title – is the first school in Ireland to be authorised by the International Baccalaureate Organisation to teach the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and the Diploma Programme.

‘Growing multinational community’

"Dublin is an international city with a vibrant and growing multinational community, many of whom are familiar with the International Baccalaureate, and the opportunities it offers students," Chris Charleson, director of SEK International Schools, said.

“Increasingly we are also seeing Irish families wanting an alternative to the traditional Irish education system,” he said.

“SEK Dublin, which has been educating students in Ireland for over 40 years, gives parents the security and confidence that we understand the Irish context, offer a genuine alternative for aspirational parents, and we are here to stay,” he added.

The investment is also linked to the international expansion plans of the SEK Group. The group is currently undertaking a marketing drive throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia, focused on attracting international students and families to SEK Dublin.

“The school’s location, within the only English-speaking country in the euro zone, is highly attractive to families seeking to educate their children in a multicultural and safe environment,” it said.

The school’s MYP programme is followed by students aged 11 to 16 and encourages them to make practical connections between their studies and the real world.

* This article was corrected on Friday, December 6th, 2019.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times