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Education system


Northern Ireland has a very high standard of education with over 60% of young people leaving secondary education going on to university or college.  All children receive an education between the ages of 4 and 16, the compulsory age for attendance, but the system also meets the needs of those who choose to stay on until the age of 18.

  • NI Direct website contains a wealth of information relating to education system in Northern Ireland.  For further information please visit – Education, learning and skills
  • Special Education Needs provision is matched to individual needs. It may be made in special schools, special units attached to mainstream schools or in mainstream classes themselves.  For further information please visit Department of Education – .
  • Integrated Education brings together in one school, children, parents, teachers and governors from both Catholic and Protestant traditions.  For further information please visit Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education –

See also


Education is compulsory for children in Ireland from the ages of six to 16 or until students have completed three years of second-level education.  The Irish education system is made up of primary, second, third-level and further education. State-funded education is available at all levels, unless you choose to send your child to a private institution.  Pre-school education is usually provided by privately funded childcare facilities or providers. Some pre-school initiatives focused on children at risk are funded by the Department of Education and Skills.

  • Special needs education for students with disabilities – Educational provision for students with special educational needs ranges from additional support in mainstream schools to specialist support in special schools.  For further information please visit – Overview of the Irish education system

See also:

Page last checked: September 2017

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