Located in Killarney, in the South West of Ireland, St. Oliver’s National School  is a mixed gender, full-stream, Catholic primary school that is proud of the diversity of the school.


The 749 pupils from 561 families come from all social classes and their parents from 47 different nations. 62 pupils from the Traveler Community come to classes each day. The school has a Catholic ethos but welcomes families of all faiths – and  currently 76 children of Muslim faith attend. The school also has the highest number of pupils with low incidence Special Education Needs in Ireland.

Yet despite this diversity of background, ethnicity and ability – in fact the Principal would contend because of this diversity – their Numeracy and Literacy scores exceed the national average and their recent Inspection Reports from their Whole School Evaluation (2013) ranked the school as “excellent and outstanding”.  The school has been chosen as a Changemaker School by Ashoka Ireland, an International Social Entrepreneur Group, one of only four in 2014. They have been awarded a Yellow Flag for Cultural Diversity and hold seven Green Flags for Environmental Awareness.

Grand Circle Foundation funded furnishings and play therapy for 40 students, which is not funded by the government. The school community contributed additional funds to ensure all students would continue to receive the support they need for their emotional well-being.