Enrolment Policy

ENROLMENT POLICY

The Board of Management of Scoil Mhuire Convent Primary School sets out below its policy of Admissions in accordance with the provision of the Education Act, 1998.

Scoil Mhuire Convent Primary School enrols girls and boys into Junior Infants, senior infants and 1st classes and girls only in 2nd - 6th classes. Scoil Mhuire depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and it operates where feasible, within the regulations laid down, from time to time, by the Department. All our school policies must have regard to the funding and resources made available to the school and must consider at all times the health and safety of all pupils. In September 2011 an extension with two classrooms of size 80 metre squared were built (in line with DES recommendations). Taking into consideration the size of some classrooms and the DES recommendation that classes have a maximum of 28 children, the BoM will consider the school full when it has 476 children (17 mainstream teachers x 28). 

Equality of access is the key value that determines the enrolment of children to our school. We are very proud of our intercultural context, with children from over 20 different cultural backgrounds. While the BoM asks parents to "respect the integrity of the school calendar by not planning holidays when the school is open" there are occasions when a family chooses to take their children out of the school for an extended period. When the BoM is informed 'in writing' that a child has transferred to another school within the state or reliably 'by word of mouth' that a child has emigrated, he/she is taken off the school roll. 

Our school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the DES which may be amended from time to time, in accordance with Section 9 and 30 of the Education Act 1998.

Application Procedures

Procedures for enrolment of Junior Infants for the next school year:

Closing date for applications is the last day of February in the year of enrolment. 

An Open Evening for parents considering enrolling their children in the school in the current year and/or the following year, takes place late in January or early in February. The school community is informed of the dates, time and venue of the Open Day/Enrolment through the:

·        Parish Newsletter

·        Informing pupils already in the school

·        Notice in the Roscommon People/ Herald

·        Notice displayed in the school.

Parents fill in an application form, along with consent forms for transfer of information from pre-school to primary school, School trips, Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE), forwarding child details to Health Board for immunisation purposes, work/photo on school website etc. Parents are also requested to present a Birth Certificate. Each form is dated and numbered as it is received. Filling in an application form does not guarantee a place in the school.  While parents are encouraged to fill in an application form on or before the 28th February, parents will be allowed to enrol their children at a later date pending acceptance by the BOM.

Facilitating transfer into Junior Infants from home and/or Pre-school

The principal meets with all pre-school directors/managers in early March to discuss the needs of entrants into Junior Infants for September that year with the purpose of easing transition from pre-school to primary school. Parents give prior permission in writing to the principal to discuss their child's progress with the pre-school director. A teacher meets for a short interview with the parent(s)/guardian in April/May. Assessments/special needs, the children may have are discussed. Parents are asked to have the children accompany them as an introduction to the new school environment. If a special need comes to light at this meeting, which has not been noted on the application form, admission of the child may be deferred to allow the BoM time to assess and apply for resources necessary, to meet the needs of the child.

In early June parents of new entrants are invited to attend an information evening. Parents are given an information booklet on the school at this meeting giving details of school uniform, books, Code of Behaviour, time-tabling etc.

Decision Making

Decisions in relation to applications are guided by the principles of natural justice and acting in the best interest of all children and are made by the Board of Management in accordance with school policy. Scoil Mhuire is bound by the rules for National Schools which states that a child may not be allowed to attend or be enrolled in a National School before the fourth anniversary of his birth. (Rule 64.1) In the interest of balanced integration, at least two thirds (299) of the 448 places will be offered to Roman Catholic children, with up to one third (149) of the available places being offered to children of other faiths or none.

Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Boards of Management in accordance with school policy. Places will be offered using the criteria set below. With regard to Junior Infants, age is also taken into account with older children being given preference over younger children. Applicants for Senior Infants to Sixth classes will be taken on a 'first come first served basis' as vacancies arise in individual classrooms keeping within the limits stated above and the criteria listed below, depending on the needs of the child (see Enrolment of Special Needs children, below.)

Criteria used in decision making by the BOM in relation to enrolment are, in order:

·        Health, welfare and needs of all children.

·        Physical space in relation to class size, staffing provision and accommodation.

·        Catholic children resident within the boundary of the parish

·        Children applying for places who have siblings already in the school will be facilitated within the limits stated above and depending on the needs of the child (see Enrolment of Special Needs children, below)

·        Children of staff working in the school and applying for places will be facilitated keeping within the  limits stated above and depending on the needs of the child (see Enrolment of Special Needs children, below)

·        Non-catholic children resident within the boundary of the parish.

·        All other applicants.

If the number of applicants for Junior Infants exceeds the number of places available a 'cut-off birth date' will apply. Intake numbers in Junior Infants will depend on whole school enrolment and subsequently may fluctuate from year to year.

In accordance with the Educational Welfare Act 2000, the BOM will notify parents of their decision within twenty-one days of the closing date for applications (the last day of February). For applications received after the closing date, parents will be notified of the decision of the BoM within 21 days of receipt of the application. Parents will also be informed of their right to appeal this decision under Section 29 of the Education Act.

Admission Day

Junior Infant pupils are encouraged to attend school from the 1st day of the new school year. Children who are four after September 30th will be admitted to the Junior Infant class the following school year. Admission to the Junior Infant class takes place once a year (August/September), except when a child is transferring from another school.

Enrolment of Children with Special Needs

The criteria used in decision making with regard to enrolment apply to all children including children with special needs. No child will be refused enrolment in Scoil Mhuire because of a disability or 'special need'. 

Parents are asked on the application form to list, detail and attach any reports/assessments/needs their child has had since the time they were born, or any concerns they may have about their child's behaviour or needs. The child's admission to the school may be deferred until the BoM has time to assess how the school could meet the needs specified in reports and until resources are in place to meet the child's needs.

Having received an application form, the school will meet with the parents, to discuss the child’s needs and the school’s suitability or capability in meeting those needs. The Board of Management of Scoil Mhuire, through the principal, will request a copy of all the child’s medical and/or psychological report/s. If reports are not available the Board will request that the child be assessed immediately. Reports are requested to assist the school in establishing the educational and caring needs of the child relevant to his/her disability or special education needs and to profile the support services required. Following receipt of the report, the Principal on behalf of the BoM will assess how the school could meet the needs specified in the report. If necessary, a full case conference involving all parties may be held. Following consultation and examination of reports if the BoM using balanced judgements, which are guided by the principles of natural justice and acting in the best interest of all children, deems that the school is unable to meet the needs of the child, it may decide to defer admission of the enrolled child until the resources the child needs are in place in the school, for example a ramp to allow wheelchair access. Every effort will be made to install the resources the child needs quickly in school with the intention of admitting the child as speedily as possible.

Where the Board deems that resources are required, the principal, on behalf of the BoM will apply to the Special Education Needs officer (SENO) for the resources required to meet the needs of the child as outlined in the psychological or medical report. These resources may include for example, access to or the provision of any or a combination of the following: teacher for special needs, special needs assistant, specialised equipment or furniture, transport services or other. The BoM in consultation with the DES may arrange home tuition for the enrolled child until the resources they need are available in the school. 

Pupils Transferring from another school

In keeping with the Education Welfare Act 2000, a parent may transfer his/her child from one National School to another, at any time of the year, either with the consent of the Minister or when the transfer is made because of a change in the ordinary residence of the child. This is also subject to school policy and available space. When the application for enrolment is made the Principal shall ascertain from the parent whether the pupil was previously enrolled in another National School. In order to assess the needs of the child, the principal will seek all reports relating to that child from the principal of the school where the child previously attended. Parents are asked to give their permission to the principal of Scoil Mhuire, to seek such information on the enrolment application form.

Code of Behaviour

The school Code of Behaviour contains the procedures for Suspension and expulsion of pupils and parents can request a copy of this from the school secretary.

Medication

Parents are asked to inform the school in writing if their child suffers from any long term or short term illness and if their child is on medication. No teacher can be required to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil. A teacher who, with the consent of the BOM, does take on the responsibility for administering medicines takes on a heavy duty of care to discharge the responsibility correctly. Parents contact the BOM in writing in relation to the administration of medication [Appendix A].

Review

 

This policy will be reviewed annually by the Board of Management and updated if necessary.

The Board of Management of Scoil Mhuire Convent Primary School sets out below its policy of Admissions in accordance with the provision of the Education Act, 1998.