Families living in the border area are to be consulted about the option of sending their children to primary and second level schools in the neighbouring jurisdiction.
A decision to carry out the survey has been agreed by the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, and his counterpart in the Northern Ireland executive, John O'Dowd.
Education Minister in the North John O’Dowd said that a questionnaire will be circulated through schools and community groups to assess the level of demand so that the provision of future services can be planned in a co-ordinated way.
The survey will concentrate on primary and second level pupils, living within six miles of the border.
It is hoped to have the information gathered and analysed in time for a North/South meeting of ministers in the autumn.
Two schools in Ballyshannon, and Bundoran, have been approached to form a partnership.
Part of the plans could see pupils make the choice between studying for GCSEs and A levels in Northern Ireland or Junior and Leaving Certificates in the Republic.