Most costly school in State at €24,000 a year to enrol 180 pupils
Exclusive Nord Anglia International School Dublin sets September date opening target
Children attending the Nord Anglia International School in a drum workshop. About €14m has been invested in the school to date. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times
Ireland most expensive school is expecting up to 180 pupils when its doors open next September.
The Nord Anglia International School Dublin, which will charge day pupils up to €24,000 a year, declined to say how many pupils it has signed up already.
Speaking at an open day on Sunday, founding principal Paul Crute said student enrolment was positive and he expected to enrol about 20 pupils in each year, which would deliver a pupil-teacher ratio of about nine to one. About €14 million has been invested in the school so far.
“This group of students is made up of Irish students moving to our international curriculum, students of international executives, and students of expats some living and some relocating back to Ireland,” he said.
According to the school website, pupils are being accepted for nine “year groups” from about three years to 14 years in the autumn.
With 20 pupils in each year this would deliver an enrolment of 180, each paying from €5,900 per term to €8,000 per term depending on tuition and extras.
Many of the families attending the open day were from Asia, but a spokesman said this was not necessarily representative of interest so far.
Previews of what life will be like for those enrolled in the school in south Co Dublin were given to parents and prospective pupils on Sunday.
The event featured a music and dancing session with teachers flown in from The Juilliard School for performing arts in New York.
Nord Anglia which is to open in Leopardstown in September has a “strategic association” with the Juilliard School which allows pupils to develop their creative and dramatic skills “on the world stage” said Mr Crute.
A previous “learning lab” introduction for prospective parents featured a session with Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Pupils in Dublin will be offered the opportunity to get involved in the “adopt a slum” programme in New Delhi, India, said Mr Crute.
Mr Crute said the school would not teach the Irish curriculum, but will opt instead for the International Baccalaureate. The Irish language will be offered.
Mr Crute said the school would attract the children of diplomats and those of foreign executives. He said many of the latter group work for global firms which will pay the school fees bill. “We have strategic partnerships with many global companies,” he added.
When fully open the school will accept pupils aged from three to 18 years. But in September the school will offer places only to those up to about 14 years to allow children to progress through the International Baccalaureate format.
Sports will include basketball, volleyball, martial arts, tennis, fencing and dance. “We are not a rugby school,” said Mr Crute before joking that Ireland “doesn’t need another private, rugby school”.