What are Community National Schools

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About Community National Schools

Community National Schools (CNSs) are state, co-educational, multi-denominational primary schools underpinned by five core values: Excellence in Education, Care, Equality, Community and Respect. CNSs are under the patronage of the local Education and Training Boards (ETBs). CNSs give equal opportunities to all children.  In the communities they serve and strive to provide high quality education through respectful, positive, supportive and responsive learning environments.

Community National Schools are part of the State’s response to an increasing diversity in Irish society. There is a growing demand amongst parents for the State to provide more choice of school types other than single-denominational models. There is also a growing demand in Ireland for publicly-managed primary schools as up until now they have been publicly-funded but privately-managed. The development of Community National Schools answers both demands and represents a very exciting and welcome evolution in Irish education. With a long history of excellence in primary education acknowledged world-wide, the Irish State is yet again breaking ground with this new model of primary school that recognises and celebrates the identity of all children equally.

As ETB schools, Community National Schools benefit greatly from a broad range of supports and services from the local ETB. ETBs provide governance, educational, administrative, financial, Human Resources and Information Technology (IT) supports to schools. This has a direct impact on the children and families attending these schools, as it allows school leadership to focus on their primary task of leading teaching and learning.This ensures the highest standard of excellence in our schools. ETBs can also provide a valuable service to the parents of children attending CNSs through their adult education programmes.

Cork ETB has two Community National Schools – visit their websites below to see all our schools have to offer you and your child.

Scoil Chlíodhna CNS Carrigtwohill

Scoil Aonghusa CNS Mallow

Make sure to visit www.cns.ie for even more information about Community National Schools.

What will my child experience in a Community National School?

Community National Schools strive to provide all students with equal opportunities to engage with the curriculum and school life. In all aspects of school life all members of our school communities are treated equitably regardless of their race, gender, religion/belief, age, family status, civil status, membership of the Traveller community, sexual orientation, ability or socio-economic status. Our schools provide a safe physical and social environment that reinforces a sense of belonging to the school community and wider society. They strive to enable every student to realise their full potential regardless of any aspect of their identity or background. Our schools promote a fully inclusive education that recognises the plurality of identities, beliefs and values held by students, parents and staff.


Like all primary schools in Ireland, Community National Schools follow the Primary School Curriculum (DES, 1999). As CNSs have a mutli-denominational ethos, children also engage in multi-belief and values education curriculum, Goodness Me, Goodness You! (GMGY). To read more on the Goodness Me, Goodness You curriculum, then click here (PDF).

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Government of Ireland
Co-Funded by the European Union
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