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Admissions Policy

 

Introduction

This policy has been drafted in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998 and the Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting this policy, the Board of Management (BoM) has consulted with school staff, the school patron and parents of children attending the school.

The policy was approved by the school patron on XXXXXXX. It is published on the school website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who requests it.

The relevant dates and timelines for the Scoil Íde admission process are set out in the school’s annual admission notice which is published annually on the school website at least one week before the commencement of the admission process for the school year concerned.

 

Characteristic Spirit and General Objectives of the School

Scoil Íde is a Catholic, co-educational primary school with a Catholic ethos under the patronage of the Bishop of Limerick.

‘Catholic Ethos’ in the context of a Catholic primary school means the ethos characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church, which aims at promoting:

  • The full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil, a living relationship with God and with other people; and
  • Including the intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual aspects; and
  • A philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and
  • The formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith;

And which school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, and/or such ethos and/or characteristic spirit as may be determined or interpreted from time to time by the Irish Episcopal Conference.

In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act 1998, the BoM of Scoil Íde shall uphold, and be accountable to the patron for so upholding the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school.

School Mission Statement

‘Fás agus Foghlaim’ or ‘Growth and Learning’ are the summation of all we try to do with the children who are entrusted to our care. We aim to do the very best we can for every child who comes into our school, to maximise their talents and potential, to give them a solid grounding in basic academic work and to open their eyes and minds to the world that awaits them.

 

Admission Statement

Scoil Íde will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school on any of the following:

  • the gender ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the civil status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the family status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the sexual orientation ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the religion ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the disability ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the ground of race of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the Traveller community ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, or 
  • the ground that the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned has special educational needs

As per section 61 (3) of the Education Act 1998, ‘civil status ground’, ‘disability ground’, ‘discriminate’, ‘family status ground’, ‘gender ground’, ‘ground of race’, ‘religion ground’, ‘sexual orientation ground’ and ‘Traveller community ground’ shall be construed in accordance with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000.

 

Admission of Students

This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where –

  • the school is oversubscribed (please see 5 below for further details)
  • a parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student

 

Oversubscription

In the event that the school is oversubscribed, the school will, when deciding on applications for admission, apply the following selection criteria in the order listed below to those applications that are received within the timeline for receipt of applications as set out in the school’s annual admission notice. Only children who are four years of age on the 31st August prior to starting school will be considered for a Junior Infant place. Places will be allocated using the below criteria subject to keeping classes within class size regulations of the Department of Education and Skills and health and safety considerations.

Selection Criteria

Category 1

  • Siblings of children currently attending Scoil Íde
  • Children residing in St. Nicholas’ Parish
  • Close family of staff members

Places will be offered in descending order of age (i.e. oldest children take precedence)

Category 2

If any places remain, they will be allocated to other applicants through a lottery system whereby a number will be pulled from an envelope and allocated to each child on the list, starting at the top and moving down the list. This will be witnessed by the Chairperson of the Parents' Association.

In the event that there are two or more students tied for a place or places in any of the selection criteria categories above (the number of applicants exceeds the number of remaining places), the following arrangements will apply:

Priority will be given to the eldest child in accordance with the above criteria.

Any remaining places may be offered to late applicants in accordance with the procedures above.

Decisions in relation to applications are made by the BoM in accordance with school policy. The BoM will notify parents of their decision within 21 days of the closing date for receipt of applications.

The school authorities will enter into correspondence with only the parents/guardians of applicants.

 

What will not be considered or taken into account

  • a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service, including naíonraí, 
  • the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school; 
  • a student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude;
  • the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents;
  • a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission; 
  • the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school

This is subject to the application being received at any time during the period specified for receiving applications set out in the annual admission notice of the school for the school year concerned.

 

  • Decisions on applications

All decisions on applications for admission to Scoil Íde will be based on the following:

  • Our school’s admission policy
  • The school’s annual admission notice
  • The information provided by the applicant in the school’s official application form received during the period specified in our annual admission notice for receiving applications

(Please see section 13 below in relation to applications received outside of the admissions period and section 14 below in relation to applications for places in years other than the intake group.)

Selection criteria that are not included in our school admission policy will not be used to make a decision on an application for a place in our school.

 

Notifying applicants of decisions

Applicants will be informed in writing as to the decision of the school, within the timeline outlined in the annual admissions notice. 

If a student is not offered a place in our school, the reasons why they were not offered a place will be communicated in writing to the applicant, including, where applicable, details of the student’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the student’s place on the waiting list for the school year concerned.  

Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the school’s decision (see section 17 below for further details).

 

  • Acceptance of an offer of a place by an applicant

In accepting an offer of admission from Scoil Íde you must indicate—

(i) whether or not you have accepted an offer of admission for another school or schools. If you have accepted such an offer, you must also provide details of the offer or offers concerned and

(ii) whether or not you have applied for and awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school or schools, and if so, you must provide details of the other school or schools concerned.

Circumstances in which offers may not be made or withdrawn

An offer of admission may not be made or may be withdrawn by Scoil Íde where—it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading.

  • an applicant fails to confirm acceptance of an offer of admission on or before the date set out in the annual admission notice of the school.
  • the parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student; or
  • an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 9 above.

 

Sharing of data with other schools

Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 allows for the sharing of certain information between schools in order to facilitate the efficient admission of students. 

Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a list of the students in relation to whom—

(i) an application for admission to the school has been received,

      (ii) an offer of admission to the school has been made, or

(iii) an offer of admission to the school has been accepted.

The list may include any or all of the following:


(i) the date on which an application for admission was received by the school;

(ii) the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school;

(iii) the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant;

(iv) a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth and personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005).

 

Waiting list in the event of oversubscription

In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places available, a waiting list of students whose applications for admission to Scoil Íde were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought.

Placement on the waiting list of Scoil Íde is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this admission policy.  

Applicants whose applications are received after the closing date, outlined in the Annual Admission Notice, will be placed at the end of the waiting list in order of the date of receipt of the application.

Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those students on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the students have been placed on the list.

 

Late Applications

All applications for admission received after the closing date as outlined in the annual admission notice will be considered and decided upon in accordance with our school’s admissions policy, the Education Admissions to School Act 2018 and any regulations made under that Act. 

Late applicants will be notified of the decision in respect of their application no later than three weeks after the date on which the school received the application.  Late applicants will be offered a place if there is place available.  In the event that there is no place available, the name of the applicant will be added to the waiting list as set out in section 12.

 

Procedures for admissions of students to other years and during the school year

Applications for enrolment during the school year will be considered subject to school policy, available space and the provision of information concerning attendance and the child’s educational progress.

Such applications will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis but will normally only be considered for admission on the first day of each new term unless the applicant is a new resident in St. Nicholas’ Parish.

The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already admitted to the school, after the commencement of the school year in which admission is sought, are as follows:

Parents/Guardians must fill in the online Application Form giving the reason for changing schools in writing. Progress records as well as any record of special educational needs will be sought from the former school (Section 20 Education Welfare Act). The closing date for applications from Senior Infants to Sixth class is June 1st. Places will be allocated in accordance with the criteria stated in section 5.

 

Before registration will proceed, parents are required to provide the school with:

  • Acceptance of Offer Form
  • Child’s Birth Certificate
  • Proof of address of parent/guardian in the form of a utility bill
  • A declaration regarding special educational needs (if applicable)
  • Details required by Primary Online Database be provided which include: family details including mother’s maiden name, PPSN, child’s nationality, home language, year of arrival in Ireland (if applicable), parents’ religion, ethnic/cultural background. Parental Consent is required before religion & ethnic/cultural background is shared with the Department of Education.

In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places available, a waiting list of students whose applications for admission to Scoil Íde were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought.


Placement on the waiting list of Scoil Íde is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this admission policy. 

 

Exceptional Cases

The Board of Management of Scoil Íde reserves the right to refuse enrolment or, to rescind an offer of enrolment to any child, in exceptional cases.  Such an exceptional case could arise where either:

  • The child has special needs such that, even with additional resources available from the Department of Education and Skills, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the student with an appropriate education, or
  • In the opinion of the Board of Management, the student poses an unacceptable risk to other students, to school staff or to school property.

 

Declaration in relation to the non-charging of fees

The BoM of Scoil Íde or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-

  • an application for admission of a student to the school, or
  • the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.

 

Arrangements regarding students not attending religious instruction

Our school is of a Catholic ethos and, in keeping with that ethos, children of all or no other faith are welcome to apply to this school.

We respect the decision of parents to withdraw their child/children from taking part in the religious education curriculum, religious ceremonies, school Masses, etc.  

The following are the school’s arrangements for students, where the parent(s)/guardian(s) have requested that the student attend the school without attending religious instruction (etc.) in the school. These arrangements will not result in a reduction in the school day of such students.

To promote inclusion, pupils will remain in the class during all lessons.

Pupils will be permitted to work independently to complete project work, read, write or engage in another educational activity which will be respectful of the work of the class at that time.

 

Reviews/Appeals

Review of decisions by the board of Management

The parents/guardians of the student, may request the board to review a decision to refuse admission. Such requests must be made in accordance with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998.    

The timeline within which such a review must be requested and the other requirements applicable to such reviews are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

The board will conduct such reviews in accordance with the requirements of the procedures determined under Section 29B and with section 29C of the Education Act 1998.

Note:  Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.   

 

Right of appeal

Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parents/guardians of the student, may appeal a decision of this school to refuse admission.  

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (i) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due to the school being oversubscribed.

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (ii) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due a reason other than the school being oversubscribed.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)

Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will be considered and determined by an independent appeals committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.    

The timeline within which such an appeal must be made and the other requirements applicable to such appeals are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

The policy was ratified by the Board of Management of Scoil Íde on 11th March 2020.

 


Signed: Maureen Hobbins                       Signed: Grace Burke

Chairperson of Board of Management            Principal/Secretary to the Board of Management

 

Date:  11th March 2020                            Date:  11th March 2020



The contents of this policy have been approved by St. Senan’s Education Office on 24th March 2020, acting on behalf of the Patron.