Department of Education and Skills Logo

Online Patronage Process System (OPPS)

Department of Education and Skills Logo
Online Patronage Process System (OPPS)
Patronage header image - secondary school lesson
Patronage of New Primary Schools (2019)

Please note: The Online Patronage Process System for the 12 new primary schools to be established in 2019 has now commenced for patrons and prospective patrons. Updates in relation to the primary patronage process for 2019 will be announced on this website and the Department’s website at (

On 8th November 2018, the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, T.D., invited school patron bodies/prospective school patron bodies to apply for the patronage of 12 new primary schools to be established in September 2019.

The invitation follows on from the announcement on 13th April 2018 for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four year period from 2019 to 2022. These planned new schools were decided following on from a nationwide, forward-planning exercise carried out by the Department into the future need for primary and post-primary schools across the country.

Parental preferences for each patron, from parents/guardians of children who reside in the school planning areas concerned, together with the extent of diversity currently available in these areas, are key to decisions in relation to the outcome of this process.

A new Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) has been developed to provide objective information to all parents and guardians which will allow them to make an informed choice in expressing a preference for their preferred model of patronage for their child’s education.

The patronage process for new schools is overseen by an external independent advisory group, the New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). Once the online system for patronage preferences closes, the Department completes assessment reports for the NSEG on each area.

Following their consideration of the Department’s assessment reports, the NSEG submits a report with recommendations to the Minister for consideration and final decision. The assessment reports and the NSEG recommendations for all such patronage processes are available on the Department's website.

There will be further patronage processes for the remainder of the new schools announced by the Minister. Updates in relation to further patronage processes will be announced on the OPPS website and the Department’s website (

Please note that an expression of a parental preference for patronage of a school is not an application for enrolment. Once the school has been established, you must apply directly to the school in relation to your child’s enrolment.