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Online Patronage Process System (OPPS)

Department of Education and Skills Logo
Online Patronage Process System (OPPS)
What is a School Patron?

The patron is the body that establishes and operates the school.

The patron appoints the Board of Management of the school.

The patron is responsible for the school’s characteristic spirit and ethos.

The responsibilities are set out in law under the 1998 Education Act.


Second Level School Models:

Community Colleges are established by the local Education and Training Board (ETB) which is also the sole patron of the school. Community Colleges are funded by the Department of Education and Skills through the ETBs and deliver the post-primary curriculum determined by the Minister for Education and Skills supported by syllabuses, guidelines for teachers, circulars to schools and prescribed material for the examinations.

Community Schools are established either by one or more private or religious patrons coming together with an ETB patron or as the result of the amalgamation of voluntary secondary and ETB schools. Community Schools are funded by the Department of Education and Skills and deliver the post-primary curriculum determined by the Minister for Education and Skills supported by syllabuses, guidelines for teachers, circulars to schools and prescribed material for the examinations.

Voluntary Secondary Schools are privately owned and managed post-primary schools, usually under the patronage of an individual body such as a religious community, a charitable trust or a private charitable company. Voluntary Secondary Schools and are funded by the Department of Education and Skills and deliver the post-primary curriculum determined by the Minister for Education and Skills supported by syllabuses, guidelines for teachers, circulars to schools and prescribed material for the examinations.