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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 Preference System is now closed for the 12 new primary schools to be established in 2019.

The Government recently announced 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 has closed, the Department will complete assessment reports for the NSEG on each of the four areas.

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.

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.