Boarding FAQ

Q: What age can my daughter start to board at?

A: We welcome girls to start boarding with us from age 11 and attend our Junior School. 

Q: How early do I need to register my daughter and are there waiting lists?

A: You are welcome to register your daughter with us years in advance of her actually joining.

Offers for Senior School are made two years prior to entry into First Year. Girls who attend Rathdown Junior School are guaranteed a place in the Senior School. Entry into all other years is considered on a case by case basis depending on availability of places.

Q: Is there an entrance exam?

A: No, there is not. If your daughter is interested in sitting the Scholarship exam for incoming 1st Year students more information is available here.

Q: Do students have individual rooms?

A: Our younger girls will share with up to five other girls in dormitories in Hillcourt House.  In the Fifth and Sixth, girls move to single rooms in Innismore House.

Q: How big are the classes?

A: Class sizes vary from year to year.

  • In the Junior School, the maximum class size is 24. Depending on numbers the P5 and/ or P6 class can be split.
  • In the Senior School, the class sizes vary depending on the subject choices with a maximum of 24 in core subjects in the Junior Cycle and reducing to less than 10 in many Senior Cycle subjects.

Q: Do I need a guardian?

A: Students who do not have a family member in the country are legally required to have a guardian and we will not accept a student to the school unless they have one.

The guardian must be resident in Ireland and, ideally, within a one-hour journey of the school, in order for them to be called upon easily in the event of sickness etc. The role of the guardian is mainly to take charge of your daughter and be your representative during your absence. It is the responsibility of the student’s family to arrange and inform the school of the guardian’s contact details. The school can assist you by informing you of a number of guardians (please note that these are not recommendations). Family friends and relatives based in Ireland are also acceptable guardians once they are over the age of 25.

Q: When can we come and have a tour of the school?

A: Outside of current Covid-19 restrictions you are very welcome on any day Monday to Friday. Our Registrar, Anne Pierpoint, will be happy to arrange an appointment for you.

We will take you around the school so that you can see the facilities and classes in action and after the tour, we will arrange a meeting for you with other key members of staff. A typical visit to the school will last approximately 1-2 hours. You are very welcome to bring your daughter(s) with you on this visit.
To arrange a tour please email the Registrar or call +353 (0)1 285 3133 or fill out our Enquiry form.

Q: How do I apply for a place for my daughter?

A: If you come to visit our school and make that all-important decision to join us, we ask you to start the application process by completing our Application form, sending the registration fee of €65 by cheque or bank transfer or Online Payment. Don't hesitate to email the Registrar or call +353 (0)1 285 3133 and we'll do everything we can to help. Full details of our Application Process are available on Join Our Junior School or Join Our Senior School

Q: When should I register my Daughter?

A: We recommend you register your daughter for entry as early as possible. We accept registrations at any time throughout the year but earlier applications are given priority.

Q: Do you have Open Days?

A: Yes, although we would ordinarily like to invite you to visit us either on an Open Day, Taster Day or Private Visit unfortunately due to the current Covid restrictions we are unable to offer this facility.  As an alternative we hope you will find the Virtual Tour of interest.  We welcome individual family visits at any time throughout the year depending on the current Covid-19 restrictions. Please contact the Registrar or call +353 (0)1 285 3133 or fill out our Enquiry form for more information.


Q: can we pay the fees in instalments?

A: Yes, you may pay the fees bill over a series of 10 Instalments through a variable Direct Debit Mandate.

The Direct Debit method of payment is FREE OF CHARGE. We will also collect “extras” in an additional monthly debit following the month of billing.

Alternatively, you can opt to pay by half-yearly instalments. While the full year fee will be billed in July for the following academic year, you may pay in one instalment before the 10th August, or in two instalments due on the 10th August and 1st February.

Boarders "Extras", Junior Prep, and Extended Day charges will be billed on a monthly basis, and an invoice will be issued to those accounts which have incurred charges.

Q: Can my daughter apply for a Scholarship?

A: Scholarships are available to girls joining the Senior School (First Year). There are deadlines for applications; please refer to the Scholarship page for further information. In addition, to the academic scholarships available, Rathdown likes to encourage and recognise excellence in our students especially in the areas of sport, music and art. Rathdown has a fund to support those with exceptional talents and to help them fulfil their potential. Access to this fund is gained through discussion with the Senior School Principal. Please contact the Registrar or call +353 (0)1 285 3133 for more information.