School Enrolment Policy
Introductory Statement and Rationale:
The Enrolment/Admission Policy of the Board of Management of Scoil Náisiúnta Muire gan Smál is set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998. It is envisaged that it will assist prospective parents in relation to enrolment matters while protecting the rights of the present school community should there be a conflict of interest.
Scoil Náisiúnta Muire gan Smál aims at promoting the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil: intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual, including a living relationship with God and with other people.school models and promotes a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As a Catholic school, we provide Religious Education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and we promote the formation of the pupils in the Catholic Faith.
Scoil Náisiúnta Muire gan Smál is a Catholic primary school. The school operates under the auspices of the Department of Education and Skills and under the patronage of the Archbishop of Armagh. The school currently has a teaching staff of fourteen, including an administrative principal, ten mainstream classroom teachers and four special education teachers. One special needs assistant, a secretary and caretaker are also employed in the school. Scoil Náisiúnta Muire gan Smál is a co-educational school with classes ranging from Junior Infants to 6 Class.
The school follows the curriculum prescribed by the Department of Education and Science. Within the context and parameters of the Department’s regulations and programmes, the rights of the Patron as set out by the Education Act 1998, and the funding and resources available, the school supports the principles of:
Inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with disability or other special educational needs
Equality of access and participation
Parental choice in relation to the school, having regard to the characteristic spirit of the school
Respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life
Our school follows the curricular programme as prescribed by the DES which may from time to time be amended in accordance with Section 9 and 30 of the Education Act 1998.
Equality of access is the key value in determining the enrolment of our school. Refusal of admission will not be made on grounds of gender, disability, special education needs, ethnicity, religion, family or social circumstances.
The parents and guardians of all pupils at Scoil Náisiúnta Muire gan Smál, by accepting places in the school, are deemed to accept the code of behaviour and ethos of the school on behalf of their children as well as all other policies on curriculum, organisation and management. These policies may be amended and revised from time to time.
Failure to abide by the policies approved by the Board of Management or the Rules for National Schools and subsequent DES circulars may result in the child being suspended or expelled.
Parents/Guardians who wish to enrol their child in Scoil Náisiúnta Muire gan Smál must first register their child with the school. This can be done by completing an Intention to Enrol Form which is available in the school office. In January of the year in which the child is due to start, a more detailed Enrolment Application Form will be sent out to the parents/guardians of each child who has been registered. This must be completed and returned, with the child’s Birth Certificate and Baptismal Certificate (if applicable), in order for the child to be considered for enrolment. The return of the Enrolment Application Form does not guarantee a place in the school.
The Board of Management shall, each year, set the enrolment date for new pupils and places will be allocated subsequently.
Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management in accordance with this school policy. As a general rule all children will be enrolled on application provided accommodation is available.
Should accommodation be limited the Board of Management will use the following criteria, to allocate school places in the following order:
Children residing within the Termonfechin Parish boundary
Siblings of children already enrolled
Children of current school staff
Children residing outside the Termonfechin Parish boundary
Children of past pupils.
Where numbers exceed places available in any given year, age may be used as a criterion for admission.
As a rule the Department of Education & Skills Guidelines on class size will be observed. Where any given class size has reached DES guideline numbers, the Board of Management reserves the right to refuse admission. The Board of Management will revise its enrolment policy regularly and the criteria for admission may be amended in response to prevailing circumstances.
Enrolment of children with Special Needs
The Board shall require a copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological report. Where a report is not available, the Board shall require that the parents have the child assessed immediately.
The purpose of the assessment report is to assist the school in establishing the educational and training needs of the child relevant to his/her disability or special needs and to profile the support services provided. Following receipt of the report, the Board shall assess how the school could meet the needs specified in the report.
Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it shall apply for provision of necessary resources. These resources may include, for example, access to, or the provision of, any or all of the following: Resource Teacher for special needs, Special Needs Assistant, specialised equipment or furniture, transport, and / or other services. The school shall meet with the parents of the child to discuss the child’s needs and the school’s suitability or capability in meeting those needs.
Every effort will be made to enrol special needs children if at all possible. However some parents may be advised to consider enrolling their child in a special school specifically resourced for their own child’s particular needs.
The Board of Management shall insist that the Department of Education and Skills provide the resources required to meet the educational and learning needs of the child as outlined in the relevant psychological or medical report prior to the child actually starting in the school.
Enrolment of pupils transferring from another primary school
Pupils may transfer to the school at any time, subject to school policy, available space, and in relevant cases with the approval of the Department of Education and Skills. All reports and relevant documentation from previous school must be forwarded in advance of enrolment.
The school reserves the right to refuse enrolment to any pupil in exceptional circumstances, for example where
a 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 pupil with an appropriate education, or
in the opinion of the Board of Management, the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to school staff, school property, other pupils or their education.
If a decision is communicated, by the school principal, to a parent/guardian indicating that the school is unable to accept a pupil, that parent/guardian can request a copy of the enrolment policy and enquire as to what section/sections of the policy justify the refusal.
If unhappy with the explanation, the parent can appeal the decision directly in writing to the Chairperson of the Board of Management within two weeks of that decision being communicated to the parent(s)/guardian)s). The Board of Management then considers the appeal and advises the parent of its decision.
The Board of Management, in informing a parent of its decision, should advise parents of the right to appeal to the Secretary General, Department of Education & Skills. This appeal must be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the Board was notified to the parent. The appeal forms may be had from Primary Administration, Tullamore, Co. Offaly or on www.education.ie. The appeal will be processed by the Appeals’ Administration Unit and the parents will be informed of its decision in due course.
This School Enrolment Policy for Scoil Náisiúnta Muire gan Smál was ratified by the Board of Management on
Chairperson B.O.M: _________________________________
Fr. Aidan Murphy