Belvedere College - Social Diversity Programme

Social Diversity Programme

Social Diversity Programme

What is the Social Diversity Programme (SDP)?

The SDP was established in 1986 out of a desire for the College to be more socially inclusive. The basis of the program is to offer a six year secondary Jesuit education to students who would not otherwise attend the College due to social and financial barriers. Approximately 10% of the student body attends the school with the support of the SDP. Applicants are not selected on academic, sporting or musical ability but must meet the criteria outlined in the SDP application form.

How do you apply?

Applicants should fulfil the criteria as outlined in the SDP application form  and the Social Diversity Programme (Bursary Information). Applications forms should be completed and returned along with relevant documentation by 31st March of the year preceding the student’s entry into secondary school. Following a review of application forms, applicants will be contacted to arrange an interview in either their home or in the school. Interviews normally take place in September/October/November with bursaries being allocated before Christmas.

How are bursaries allocated?

Bursaries are allocated to applicants that clearly fulfil the criteria as outlined in the SDP application form. The fulfilment of criteria by individual applicants is ascertained during the interview and through the submission of relevant documentation. Although consideration is given to the personal circumstances of the applicant, bursaries are not allocated on compassionate grounds but rather according to the educational needs of the applicant and the degree to which they fulfil the social diversity criteria. Given the high ratio of applicants to available places, it is likely that an element of random selection will be applied during the allocation process.

SDP Feeder School List

What is expected of students attending the school on SDP bursaries?

Any student accepted into the College under the SDP is accepted as a full participant in the total life of the school. As such the parent(s)/guardian(s) are accorded the same rights/access as fee paying parent(s)/guardian(s) and are encouraged to be full participants in their son’s education. All students of the College are expected to work hard and to become involved in the many co-curricular activities on offer. The normal monitoring processes pertain to SDP students as do to fee-paying students and, in order to facilitate a seamless integration, the identity of SDP students is revealed on a “need-to-know” basis. Thus the Form Tutor, Year Head, Pastoral and Career Guidance teams are informed while other teachers are encouraged to make no distinction between SDP and fee-paying students.

For more information on SDP Applications contact us on 01 8586600

How can you support the programme?

Since 1988 the College has been actively engaged in a fund-raising campaign for the SDP. Initially funded through the sale of school property and subsequently through donations, the SDP is not subsidised by fee-paying parents. With an annual running cost of approximately €651,000, financial support is urgently required to ensure the continuation of the SDP. 

"The Scholarship" a two-part documentary by Loosehorse Television Productions was broadcast on RTE 1. The series focused on the Social Diversity Programme.
You can view Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE

If you would like to learn more about how you can support the Programme, please contact Ms. Roisin O' Donughue by emailing

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