Ireland’s only boarding school for primary children to reopen

Fundraising drive leads to restart of private school where fees range from €7,000 to €14,000

Ireland’s only boarding school for primary school children is set to reopen after closing earlier this year due to financial problems exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following a fundraising drive by past-pupils which generated more than €250,000, Headfort School in Kells, Co Meath will open to children aged from four to 13 years of age in September.

The school’s backers say they have secured 60 “firm commitments” for pupils with fees set at €7,000 per annum for day pupils rising to €14,000 for boarders.

Junior infant to second class will involve a Montessori-style approach to learning, while children may board from third class upwards at the school’s Georgian mansion.


"Flexi" boarding - up to two nights a week - and sleepovers will be available to day pupils, according to the new school prospectus.

Pupils will also have access to a range of extra-curricular activities including cricket, golf and riding. Some children may also choose to stable their ponies at the school which has 60 acres of grounds and a cross-country course, the prospectus adds.

Ronnie Culliton, chairman of the Headfort School board, said the school has set an enrolment target of 80 pupils and a fundraising goal of €400,000.

“We felt when we sat down and discussed things two weeks ago that we had enough to justify formally opening the doors of the school but we are trying to push harder to get more enrolments,” he said.

The school, which was founded by Lord and Lady Headfort in 1949 closed suddenly last March due to financial challenges exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.The school does not receive State support and all running costs, including paying for additional Covid-19 safety measures, will be covered by privately-sourced income.