Enrolment Policy

 Urbleshanny National School.

Scoil Náisiúnta Iorball Sionnaigh.

Enrolment Policy.

Roll No: 16923O

Introduction

The Board of Management of S.N. Iorball Sionnaigh hereby sets out its Enrolment and Admission Policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998 and the Board trusts that by so doing, parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters. The Chairperson of the Board of Management or the Principal Teacher will be happy to clarify any matters arising from this policy.

Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management of the school.

General School Information 

Name of School: Urbleshanny National School Scotstown, Co. Monaghan.

Telephone No. 047 89594 

Most Reverend Liam S. Mac Daid, Bishop of Clogher is the Patron of the school.

At present, the teaching staff is comprised of 11 class Teachers, 1 Principal Teacher, 2 Learning Support Teachers, 1 Resource Teacher and 1 Classroom Assistant. The full range of classes is taught in the school and classes are of mixed gender.

The school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills and it operates within the regulations laid down, from time to time, by the Department. The school Policy has regard to the resources and funding available.

Class starts at 9.20 a.m. and finishes at 3.00 p.m.  Infant Classes finish at 2.00 p.m. Infant pupils, should vacate the school premises at 2 p.m. sharp.

Rationale 

This policy aims to ensure that the appropriate procedures are in place to enable the school

  • To make decisions on all applications in an open and transparent manner consistent with the ethos of the school and legislative requirements.
  • To make an accurate and appropriate assessment of the capacity of the school to cater for the needs of applicants in the light of the resources available to it and
  • To put in place a framework which will ensure effective and productive relations between students, parents and teachers where a student is admitted to the school. 

Legal Framework

Section 9 (j) of the Education Act 1998 specifies, that “A recognized school shall ….Subject to this Act and in particular section 15 (2) (d), establish and maintain an admissions policy which provides for maximum accessibility to the school”.

Section 15 (2) (d) states the Board of Management shall “publish …. The policy of the school concerning admission to and participation in the school and ensure that policy principles of equality and the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parents’ choice are respected”.

Section 27 (1) states that “A board shall establish and maintain procedures for the purposes of informing students in a school of the activities of the school” and (2) that “the procedures established and maintained under subsection (1) shall facilitate the involvement of the students in the operation of the School having regard to the age and experience of the students, in association with their parents and teachers”.

The Education Welfare Act, 2000 [Section 19 (1)] requires that a Board of Management shall not refuse to admit a child except where such refusal is in accordance with the school’s Admission  Policy.  Section 19 (2) requires that parents must provide relevant information to the school while Section 19 (3) requires that the Board of Management, shall as soon as possible (but no later than 21 days) after receiving such information “make a decision in respect of the application concerned and inform the parent in writing thereof”

The Equal Status Act, 2000 [Sections 5 & 7 (2)] prohibits discrimination on the grounds of “gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Travelling Community” regarding admission, assess to programmes, participation in the school or regarding expulsion or any other sanction.  There are limited exceptions regarding single-sex schools and schools promoting particular religious values [Section 7 (3)].

Goals

The school shall have in place appropriate channels of communication and procedures

  • To inform parents about the school, its programmes, activities, and procedures.
  • To enable applications for admission to the school to be handled in an open, transparent manner.
  • To put in place criteria under which applications shall be considered
  • To ensure that these criteria are informed by our Ethos, our Mission Statement & current legislation.
  • To specify what information is required by the school at the time of application. 

Context, Resources, School Organisation & Curriculum 

The school supports the principle of equality for all students regarding access to and participation in the school.  The school respects the diversity of traditions, values, beliefs, languages and ways of life in society.  The school acknowledges the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parent’s choice, subject to the resources available to the school including classroom accommodation, class size, teaching resources and financial resources and subject to the capacity of the school to provide for the needs of any applicant or student.  It will make every effort to secure those resources – where the resources cannot be secured the school may refuse admission.  The school is staffed in accordance with the standard pupil – teacher ratios sanctioned by the Department and any additional teaching hours sanctioned by the Department in respect of curricular concessions, special needs, special programmes etc.  The school operates within the regulations laid down by the Department from time to time.

The capacity of the school to implement its desired curriculum, its broad range of educational programmes, its breadth of extra-curricular activities, its school plan and policies are dependent on the resources it receives.  Consequently, in determining its activities and programme for any school year the school must have due regard to the teaching, management and administrative resources and the accommodation, equipment and funding available to it. 

Roles and responsibilities in developing and implementing this policy: 

Roles of Board of Management

  • To ensure that a policy is in place and that it is reviewed.
  • To appraise this policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementations and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate.
  • To decide on appeals by parents or students with respect to any decision(s) made by the Principal/Board.
  • To prepare (and submit to the Education Welfare Board) a statement of Strategies regarding Attendance.  The Statement of Strategy will have regard to guidelines issued by the Education Welfare Board and will set out the measures the Board of Management proposes to adopt

a)For the purposes of fostering and appreciation of learning among students attending the school and

b)Encouraging regular attendance at the school on the part of all students.

Role of the Principal

  • To formulate draft policy in consultation with the teaching staff, parents, Board and Trustees.
  • To monitor its implementation and to ensure that it is reviewed by the review date.
  • To implement the policy and to support other teaching staff in their implementation of the policy.
  • To apply for and acquire such resources as are available in accordance with government policies.
  • To ensure, within the constraints of available resources, that alternative programmes are devised where necessary and practicable to meet the needs of students.
  • To appraise the policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementation and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate.
  • To ensure a register of all students attending the school is established and maintained.
  • To ensure that a record of attendance or non-attendance is maintained for each student registered at this school and, in the case of non-attendance, the reason for same.
  • Prior to registering a child, to provide the parents of an applicant with a copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour and ensure that the parent confirm in writing their acceptance of the Code of an assurance that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with the Code by the child.
  • To provide, on request, to any parent of a child registered in the school with a copy of the Code of Behaviour.
  • Where a child is refused admission, to advise the parents of their right of appeal to the Trustees and the Department of Education setting out Title and Address of each and advising of time limits.

Role of Teaching staff

  • To co-operate with the implementation of this policy.
  • To take the needs of all students into account in the way in which they select textbooks, plan and teach their lessons and conduct assessments.
  • To bring concerns about Special Needs curricular matters and information to the attention of the Principal, Deputy Principal, Special Needs Teacher.
  • To keep parents informed through the regular Parent / Teacher Meetings and School Reports and by meeting parents from time to time as required.
  • To appraise this policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementation and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate. 

Role of Students

  • To co-operate fully with the school in the implementations of the policy.

Role of Parents

  • To support the policy and to co-operate fully with the school in its implementation.
  • To bring to the attention of the school authorities any concern they may have in relation to the school’s provision for the educational needs of their child.
  • To appraise this policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementation and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate. 

Policy Considerations 

The Board of Management of Urbleshanny National School reserves the right of admission if such admissions contravene Departmental guidelines on class size, etc.

The school will not refuse a child on the basis of ethnicity, special education needs, disability, traveller status, refugee status, political or religious beliefs, family or social circumstances, provided the necessary supports are in place in the school.

The school will maintain a list of refused applicants for each class, their place on that list having been determined under the criteria outlined.

The Board of Management respects parental choice in relation to enrolment, provided the enrolment criteria are fulfilled.

The Board of Management of Urbleshanny National School, in its Policy of Admissions/Enrolment, respects the rights of the existing school community and the children already enrolled. Consequently, the Board of Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each class, bearing in mind:

  • Health & Safety Concerns regarding Staff and Children
  • Available classroom space
  • Multi-grade classes
  • Educational needs of the children
  • Presence of children with special needs
  • Department of Education & Skills class size directives
  • Appropriate Supports and Resources are available
  • Time of school year 

Procedures – Application, Enrolment Criteria & Decision / Appeals 

  • Failure to fully complete forms may result in refusal to admit a student.
  • Further relevant information may be sought at a later stage.
  • In applying the criteria for enrolment, the school will take into account Gender Balance Male / Female and limitations in the size of classes.

Admission to the school is, of course, subject to the resources available to the school including classroom accommodation, class size, teaching resources and financial resources, and subject to the capacity of the school to provide for the needs of those who apply for admission.  Where the school lacks the necessary resources to meet the needs of any applicant or student, it will make every effort to secure those resources-where the resources cannot be secured, the school reserves the unfettered right to refuse admission.  It is the responsibility of parents / guardians of any child to inform the school of any such needs on the enrolment application form for the child’s own welfare.  In this context the school authorities will have equal regard for the welfare of all the students and their right to an education in an atmosphere that is not detrimental to their physical, emotional, moral, social or intellectual development.  Failure to fully complete the application form, failure to supply any relevant information requested by the school or failure to make reasonable arrangements to meet with the school authorities to discuss the application may result in a child being refused admission to the school.

Junior Infant Enrolment Procedure.

The school will notify its intention to enrol new students by way of an advertisement in the local newspaper and also place a notice in the Tydavnet Parish bulletin. Application forms are available from the school secretary. The registration process is initiated on receipt by the school of a completed application form. This form must be signed and dated by both parents or guardians. Telephone calls or personal school visits concerning enrolment will be facilitated, but are not in themselves enrolment applications.

A copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour is also included about which the parents must sign an acceptance slip and return this to the school. The acknowledgement of an application merely confirms that it will be assessed under the criteria outlined, and does not confer any further status on that application. Failure to sign and return the acceptance slip regarding the school’s Code of Behaviour will be taken as a refusal to continue the process of enrolment.

Entry in the School Record of Applications means that an application will be considered in February of the relevant enrolment year, and will be evaluated on the basis of the criteria outlined in this policy.

Following this evaluation, the Principal will make a recommendation to the Board, listing proposed enrolments for the forthcoming year. Once an enrolment list is approved by the Board, all applicants will be notified in writing of the outcome within 21 days of the closing date of applications, and if refused admission will be notified of their entitlement to appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998. Such an appeal must be addressed, in writing, to the Chairperson of the Board of Management, stating the grounds for appeal and lodged within 10 days of receiving the refusal. Then, the filling of the Registration Form by successful applicants completes the enrolment procedure. 

Please note:

Applications for admission to Junior Infant Class should be made at the very latest by the 1st March of the year in which it is expected that the child will start school. Pupils may not commence Junior Infants prior to their fourth birthday, and all applicant children must reach four years of age on or before September 30th of the school commencement year, i.e. must be four before the 30th September 2016.

Junior Infant Enrolment Criteria 

If the number of children on the Waiting List exceeds the number of places available, the following prioritising criteria are used:

Priority Criterion
1 Priority is given to brothers and sisters of children already in the school or who have attended the school in the past. If the class is oversubscribed on the basis of this criterion, then places will be allocated on the basis of age, starting with the oldest applicant, until all places are allocated.

 

2 Families whose primary residence is in the immediate areas of Urbleshanny N.S., starting closest to the school and radiating outwards from the school within the original (historically) catchment area of the school. If the class is oversubscribed within the application of this particular criterion, then the furthest from the school will be eliminated first.

 

3 Children of current school staff.

 

4 Children of parents who are past pupils of the school. If the class is oversubscribed within the application of this particular criterion, then those whose primary residence is furthest from the school will be eliminated first.

 

5 If space is still available, class numbers are completed from the Waiting List, which is compiled and ordered according to the date of the original application.  The criteria are listed in order of priority when spaces are allocated under criterion 1 and space is still available, then criterion 2 comes into play and so on.  This prioritization proceeds until all places have been allocated.

 

 

Criteria for Enrolment to Senior Infants to 6th Classes

 

It is not the policy of this school to enrol pupils who are currently enrolled in another primary school in the parish.  However, pupils may apply to enrol if they have recently moved to the area. The following criteria will be applied if there is a surplus of applications for available places in the Senior Infants to 6 classes.

Priority

 

Criterion

 

1. Children who parents are in the process of moving to the area.

 

2

 

Children of current School staff.

 

3

 

Children of parents who are past pupils of the school.

 

 

All children enrolled are expected to comply with and support the school’s Code of Behaviour, as well as the school’s designated policies on Curriculum, Organisation and Management.

Children of other faiths or no faiths.

Bearing in mind the Catholic ethos of the school, every effort will be made so that the school is as inclusive as possible.  While Catholic education and ethos permeates every aspect of the school day, children of other faiths or no faith, where request is made in writing, will be excused from attendance at formal religious instruction classes and specifically catholic liturgies.  As far as is possible, in consultation with parents, suitable arrangements will be made in order to facilitate this. It will not be possible, however to provide instruction in other faiths.

Evaluation

The Board of Management will monitor the implementation of all aspects of the Policy and review and amend the Policy as required, with particular emphasis placed upon

  • Effective management placed on application process.
  • Clarity and transparency relating to the process.
  • Applicants informed in good time re the status of their application, particularly in the case of refusal to enrol.
  • Positive Parental feedback. 

Monitoring Procedures

The implementations of this policy will be monitored by the Board of Management at the appropriate time.  It will also be referred by the Principal for consideration by the full staff at the same time.  The Principal will report to the Board of Management regarding the process of enrolment in March each year and regularly thereafter until enrolment is complete.  Where the Principal refuses admission to any applicant, by the authority delegated to her by the Board in line with this policy, any such refusal shall be communicated to the Board at the earliest opportunity.

Review Procedure

The policy will be reviewed regularly in the light of experience.  It will be reviewed by the full staff and Board of Management every two years.  Any staff member, board member, parent, guardian or who is unhappy with the content or the implementation of any school policy may request a review at any time and such a request will be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Ratification

Having sought the approval of Most Rev Liam S.Mac Daid, Bishop of Clogher, the patron of the school, this policy was accepted by the Board of Management of Urbleshanny N.S. at a meeting held on 29th March 2012.

Policy reviewed on Jan 30th 2014.

Policy reviewed Feb 5th 2015.

Signed:   Rev Brian Early

Chairperson BOM.