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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure IE-2022-14/2728 – measures in Ireland

Measures introduced to support Ukrainian refugees access education

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 28 March 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Access to childcare and education
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Measure added 28 June 2022 (updated 28 February 2023)

Background information

The Government has introduced a number of supports to facilitate Ukrainian students to access education at primary, secondary and third level.

These include the extension / adaptation of existing measures and the introduction of new measures.

A survey of capacity at primary and second level has shown there 40,000 places available for Ukrainian students in schools.

Content of measure

The Department of Education has introduced Regional Education and Language Teams (REALTs) to assist children in finding school places and to support schools to meet the needs of these children as they emerge. REALT will also support schools in the area to meet the needs of these children as they emerge, to advise and support the Department of Education in developing new capacity where required, and to co-ordinate the provision of education services to schools and families across their defined area. Schools can also apply for additional English as an Additional Language (EAL) supports for Ukrainian students in the 2022/23 school year.

In June, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris announced a range of new measures to provide access to further and higher level education for the academic year 2022/2023 to displaced Ukrainian students living in Ireland. The measures mean that displaced Ukrainians will be treated as European students and will not be subjected to international fees.

The national Erasmus grant allocation will also be used to fund financial supports to those who undertake full-time studies in Higher Education Institutions, as well as displaced academic staff.

The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science will also provide direct financial support, for a limited period of one year, in the form of a bursary of circa €6,115 (per person per annum) to be paid to those who attend a SOLAS approved PLC course in the 2022/23 academic year.

Use of measure

According to the Department of Education, as of 13 May 2022, 5,843 Ukrainian pupils have been enrolled in schools across Ireland. Out of that figure 3,968 of these pupils have been accommodated in primary schools while 1,875 students have enrolled in post-primary schools.

A report from the Irish Times on 6 June 2022 stated: "There are 6,797 Ukrainian pupils currently enrolled in Irish schools, the Department of Education has said. Of those pupils, 4,766 have been accommodated in primary schools while 2,031 are enrolled in post-primary schools."

As of 22 December 2023, 13,753 Ukrainian pupils were enrolled in schools in Ireland. Most of these pupils, 8,823 are enrolled in primary schools and a further 4,930 pupils have enrolled in post-primary schools.

Dublin schools cater for the most Ukrainian children across the country with 1,212 enrolled in primary schools and 673 in post primary schools. Meanwhile a report by Unicef has found that 92% of Ukrainian refugee children who have arrived in Ireland are enrolled in Irish schools, one of the highest rates across Europe. Unicef found that 66% of displaced Ukrainian children are not currently enrolled in host countries’ education systems.

Media reports in January 2023 warned that school places for children arriving here from war-torn Ukraine may soon be exhausted and that there may be “significant challenges” in ensuring sufficient school places are available for September 2023, particularly at post-primary level.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Children (minors)
Youth (18-25)
Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown



Views and reactions

The union for primary school teacher, the INTO said it has sought and secured a weekly meeting with the Department of Education to ensure we meet the ongoing challenge of responding to the needs of Ukrainian children. The INTO said it has underscored the need for arriving families to be given clear and simple information.

The union also hosted webinars for members who are welcoming Ukrainian children to their schools. INTO said it recognises the challenges that principals and teachers will face in integrating these vulnerable children into their school communities. The availability of language supports, and social and emotional supports will be crucial to enable schools to provide appropriate assistance.

In a submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Skills, the second level teacher union, ASTI highlighted a number of areas that need to be addressed including school capacity and enrolment policies, language supports, psychological supports, digital supports and teacher registration.


  • 24 March 2022: Webinar: Supporting schools welcoming Ukrainian children (
  • 25 March 2022: Regional Education and Language Teams for Ukrainian families established (
  • 24 April 2022: 40,000 places available for Ukrainian students in schools (
  • 18 May 2022: ASTI Submission - Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Skills - Education and Supports Provision for Displaced Ukrainian Students (
  • 01 June 2022: Provision of education to children arriving from Ukraine (
  • 02 June 2022: Information for schools – Ukraine (
  • 06 June 2022: Almost 7,000 Ukrainian pupils enrolled in Irish schools, says department (
  • 21 June 2022: Minister Harris announces new measures to provide access to further and higher education for displaced Ukrainian students (
  • 03 January 2023: Department of Education confirms 13,753 Ukrainian pupils currently enrolled in Irish schools (
  • 20 January 2023: Govt warned over school capacity for Ukrainian pupils (
  • 24 January 2023: Ireland has one of highest school enrolment rates for Ukrainian children (
  • 01 February 2023: Over 14,000 Ukrainian pupils enrolled in schools nationwide (


Eurofound (2022), Measures introduced to support Ukrainian refugees access education , measure IE-2022-14/2728 (measures in Ireland), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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