In the early 19th century hedge schools or pay schools were the most common schools in Ireland. In 1834 there were three pay schools in Ballylinan. Richard Lyndon taught in one of the schools, Thomas Casey in another and the third school in Ballylinan was a Protestant school.
Between 1821 and 1857 Fr Hickey submitted the first application for a school. A Michael Grace of Ballylinan village promised a site for the school which could be purchased for £7. The school building would consist of two rooms. The building was completed by the summer of 1843 and teaching commenced in both boys and girls schools. In 1900 both schools amalgamated.
In the early 1930s, after the condemnation of the old school by the Public Authorities, the decision to build a new school was taken. The site was procured from John Hovenden. The foundation stone was laid by Most Rev. M. Cullen, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin in July 1934. The school boasted a modern central heating system and “a perfect system of sanitation and drainage”. The total cost for the new school was £5600; £3600 of which was granted by the Department of Education. The remaining £2000 was raised by running the Ballylinan Carnival in 1935, 1937 and 1939. The first child registered in the new school was Patrick Conway on the 1st April 1936. The staff at this stage consisted of Thomas Roche, Jane Roche, Mary Fleckney and Laurance Dunne and there were some 240 pupils on the rolls. In 1945, Thomas Roche retired and was replaced by Stan Reynolds as Principal.
In the early 1970’s the ‘New’ school was renovated. At this stage, Frank McNulty, Stan Reynolds successor, and the Principal and the Assistants were Florrie Armstrong, Mary Murphy and Sile Graham. The sanitation was updated and the toilets were moved into the main buildings. The modern heating systen which had been installed in the 1930’s was replaced by an oil fired system. The glass and wooden partitions which divided the classrooms were removed and replaced by soilid walls. The staff room was also dated from this period. With the improvements in the pupil-teacher ratio, the number of teachers increased. In 1979 with the appointment of Clare Cotter, a prefabricated classroom was built to accommodate the expanded staff. In 1985 Frank McNulty was appointed Principal of Athy C.B.S. and Enda Condron succeeded him as Principal of Ballylinan National School.The present Principal is Mr. Fran Moloney, was appointed in 1988. In January, 1995 Mary Murphy retired after 25 years of service in Ballylinan and was replaced by her daughter Mary. With the appointment of Louise Nolan as a Learning Support Teacher in September, 1994 the number of teachers in Ballylinan rose to six. Ms Nolan was replaced by Marie McGlinchey in December 1998. Mrs Florrie Armstrong retired in 1998 after serving in the school for 34 years. Mrs Blathnaid McDermott joined the staff in September 2000, followed by Ms Gereldine Curran in April 2001. Mrs Sile Graham retired in June 2001 after serving 30 years in the school.
On the morning of the 30th April 2013 the new school was opened and pupils, staff and parents made the short journey to the schools new location.
The school is located in Ballylinan approximately 7km from Athy.