Many schools have a web site that is hosted by a service such as EduBlogs, WordPress, Scoilnet, Weebly and so on. Unfortunately, the bad news is that you cannot access G Suite for Education without owning a domain of your own. By using one of these services you are effectively using their domain, hence your web address is likely to be something like www.SCHOOL_NAME.WEB_SERVICE.com, e.g. www.stpats.edublogs.com. Edublogs is the domain in this case and because the school doesn’t own this domain, it can’t use it to register a G Suite for Education account.
To solve it, you need to buy a domain of your own. You do this through a company that sells domains. Blacknight and LetsHost.ie are two of the most popular services. Simply pick a domain name, e.g. stpats.ie and this is now your domain. It’s a good idea to map your existing website to this domain and depending on your service this can be straightforward or a complete nightmare! However, most services will outline how to do this if you check their help pages.
Finally, once you have your domain, you’ll have to prove to Google that you are indeed an educational institution. To be honest, the easiest way to do this is sign up then ring the phone number on the support page and take it from there. Google hasn’t figured out the Irish education system. In fairness to them, who could blame them!
Last Update: December 8, 2018