About CNS

What are Community National Schools?

Community National Schools (CNSs) were established in 2008 as a new model of primary school patronage. The model was established in recognition of the changing face of modern Ireland (DES, 2007). As such, Community National Schools have a multi-denominational ethos which is underpinned by five core values; Excellence in Education, Care, Equality, Community and Respect.

Registered Charity Number: 20083595

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. As CNSs have a multi-denominational ethos, children also engage in a multi-belief and values education curriculum, Goodness Me, Goodness You! (GMGY).

Where can I find out more information about Community National Schools?

For more information on the CNS model, view/download the brochure below or visit www.cns.ie 

Interview: John Gunnell Reconfiguring to the CNS


In September 2022, Nenagh will become the town with the first “thriving” school to reconfigure to the ETB and change from being a Catholic School to being a Community National School. John Gunnell is currently the principal of St. Mary’s Junior Boys’ National School, soon to be Nenagh CNS.

I’ve covered the politics behind the reconfiguration, but I’m also interested in what it’s like for a school community to go through the process. I was very grateful to John for agreeing to chat to me about the move and he offered some interesting insight, which may be of interest to any school thinking of moving away from their patronage.

RTÉ News


The Irish Times