CotF Partner: St. Andrews College

St Andrew's College

Founded as a boy's secondary school in 1894, St Andrew's student numbers have increased to nearly 1100 boys and girls.
It is is situated in Booterstown, south of Dublin.

St. Andrew's College Homepage

      Originally founded as a boy's secondary school in 1894 by a group of Presbyterian laymen, St Andrew's College recently celebrated its centenary. It was on 8 January 1894, that the College opened its doors at 21 St Stephen's Green in the centre of Victorian Dublin. This was the first ofits three locations.

      Under its first headmaster, the young and energetic W W Haslett from Ulster, it grew rapidly from its original intake of 64 students. BY the end of 1894, there were 203 boys in the school.

      From the first, the school was non-sectarian in character. Only in the opening year were Presbyterians in the majority. During the last years of the Union, numbers grew, reaching a peak of 380 by 1922. However, along with many Protestant institutions, it went through a period of crisis during the early years of the Irish Free State (1920s and 1930s), following the turmoil of revolution, civil war and reconstruction. Numbers plummetted and closure seemed imminent. However, a move to new premises at the beginning of 1937 at 47-51 Wellington Place, Clyde Road and a determined effort by past pupils and parents to stave off closure or amalgamation saw a revival in the fortunes of the College.

      As student numbers increased, the Board of Management bought successive houses in Wellington Place, a pleasant and tree-lined street, a tram ride from the city centre. Sports continued to take place at the playing fields at Donnybrook which had been leased by the College from the Pembroke Estate since the beginning of the century. An important addition to the facilities while the College was at Clyde Road was the outdoor swimming pool at the playing fields, which was built by the students themselves during the Emergency (Second World War).

      In the late 1960s, education in Ireland was dramatically affected by the government's decision to take financial responsibility to provide all children with second-level education. This 'wind of change' came just as the feasibility of expansion at Clyde Road was being considered. It became increasingly obvious that pressure of numbers necessitated a further move to allow for expansion and for sports facilities on site.

      The outcome was the development of a new site at Booterstown with its own playing fields. The building was designed by Paul Koralek, an architect based in London, incorporating new approaches to educational design. This new campus opened in January 1973 and became co-educational, accepting its first group of girls in the following September. Originally planned for 400 students, including Preparatory and Boys Boarding departments, the building has had many extensions added since, including a Sports Hall in 1990 and a Sixth Form centre in 1993. While St Andrew's no longer has boarders, its student numbers have increased to nearly 1100.

      The College during its hundred year history has always drawn from a wide range of religious denominations and in recent years has enrolled a substantial proportion of international students. In recognition of this, the College, since the 1980s, has had dual accreditation as an International School by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the European Council of International Schools.

      While the first few pupils of 1894 would find it hard to recognise the College today as it prepares for the 21st century under its seventh headmaster, Mr Arthur Godsil, its history shows that the College fully justifies its motto 'Ardens sed virens': burning but flourishing.