The Irish Education System

Children attend primary school between the ages of 4 and 12. Primary schools are also known as national schools. Primary education is also referred to as first level education. Primary school covers eight years - a two-year infant cycle followed by six years from first to sixth class. Children move to the next class at the end of each school year.

Is your child aged 4 – 12?

Do you have questions about your child and school?
If so we can support you!

Who are National Parents Council Primary (NPC)?

National Parents Council Primary (NPC) is the nation-wide organisation representing parents of children attending early and primary education. NPC is recognised by the Government and the Education Act 1998 as the body representing you as parents. Our aim is to improve and enrich the education of all children and support parents to get involved in their children's learning at home, in the community and at school.

Parent associations are the structure in Irish primary education through which parents can make a valuable contribution to their children’s education.

NPC Services

NPC services are aimed at empowering parents so that they can support their children in all aspects of education.


The NPC helpline is a national confidential service for parents. The helpline staff listen, and give information and support to parents to help them make the best possible decisions for and with their children. In 2007 there were 2,246 calls to the NPC’s helpline

Training and Development

The NPC Training and Development programme is a national programme of training, development and support for parents. The purpose is to empower parents to play an active part in their child’s education at every level. In 2007 over 4,000 parents participated in NPC training. Training programmes were delivered in twenty-eight different centres covering all counties.


The NPC’s website www.npc.ie aims to provide parents with information regarding primary education. The site also allows parents an opportunity to give NPC their views regarding primary education issues.

As well as the three service areas above the NPC are active in
1. Advocating and representing parents. NPC consult with parents and bring parents views to bear on education policy.
2. Facilitating and supporting the development of Parents Associations. NPC facilitates and supports parents to develop associations in their schools and supports the organisation of county level and local area level support networks for parents.

Your questions about your child and school answered>>

Contact us

If your questions aren’t answered here, please email us at helpline@npc.ie or Tel: 01 8874477