Enrolment Policy

Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire

Rathpeacon

ENROLMENT POLICY

Ratified by the Board of Management at its meeting of November 17th, 2014.

General Introduction

This Enrolment Policy is set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998
and the Education Welfare Act 2000, Section 19. The Board of Management trusts that in doing so, parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters.

The Chairperson of the Board of Management, Mr. Frank Maguire and/or the Principal, Mrs. Susanna O’Neill, Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire, Rathpeacon, Co. Cork, will be happy to clarify any matter arising from this policy.

School Details

School Name: Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire.

Address: Rathpeacon, Mallow Road, Cork.

Telephone No: 021/4394265 Fax No: 021/4288472

Email: rathmuire.ias@eircom.net

Website: http://www.rathpeaconns.com

Infant Day: 9.10am to 1.50pm

Full Day: 9.10am to 2.50pm

Denominational Character

Scoil Naisiunta Mhuire, Rathpeacon is a Roman Catholic School. Most Reverend William Crean, Bishop of the Diocese of Cloyne, is the Patron.

Ethos

The ethos of our school encourages the values that are at the heart of the Christian Faith. We instil and encourage:
• The love of God in Christ for each individual
• Grace and forgiveness
• Honesty and diligence
• Distinguishing between right and wrong, good and evil
• Peace and reconciliation
• Tolerance of difference
• Kindness and generosity
• Caring and cooperation
• Service and responsibility

The school seeks to develop a sense of Christian values, hand in hand with the curriculum, and to maintain Christian standards of behaviour throughout the school day – in the classroom, the playground and the school community.

The ethos strives to develop a caring, friendly, free, fresh, energetic, creative, thoughtful and tolerant atmosphere. There is a strong but subtle discipline based on respect and on sensible rules that are easily understood.

General Information

Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire, Rathpeacon has thirteen Mainstream Class Teachers and an Administrative Principal.

We also have one full time Resource Teacher, two shared Resource Teachers, two full time Learning Support Teachers, and six Special Needs Assistants. We also have a full time secretary and a part time caretaker.

Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire is a co-educational school with classes from Junior Infants to Sixth Class. The arrangement of classes each year depends on the overall number of pupils in the school, the D.E.S. pupil – teacher ratio and the number of class teachers. While we endeavour to keep classes in a single stream, this is not always possible and ‘mixed’ classes are necessary at certain levels. This has always been the case in Rathpeacon N.S.

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. School policy has regard to the resources and funding available principally from the Department of Education and Skills, and also from voluntary financial contributions of parents.

The school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the D.E.S., which may be amended from time to time, in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act, 1998.
Within the context and parameters of Department regulations and programmes, the right of the Patron set out in the Education Acts of 1998 and 2000 and the funding and resources available, the school supports the principles of:

• Inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational need.
• Equality of access and participation in the school.
• Parental choice in relation to enrolment.
• Respect for diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.

Procedure for Enrolment

The Board will communicate to the school community via school pupils, the school website, school newsletter, and other appropriate media re Applications for Enrolment.

Making an Application:

1. Parents wishing to make an application for enrolment may request an Application for Enrolment Form from the school office.

2. Parents must then return the following to the school office:

• A completed Application for Enrolment Form

• A copy of their child’s Birth or Adoption Certificate

• A copy of the child’s Baptismal Certificate if the child was baptised outside the Blarney/Whitechurch Parish

• Two documents providing proof of home address of the child e.g. recent utility bill (valid within three months of the date of the closing date for applications)

Please note: The Board is entitled to all relevant information on the Application for Enrolment Form. Omission of relevant information may be grounds for refusal of enrolment. All information gathered will be kept in the strictest of confidence.

3. The parents of the applicant will be invited to meet with the Principal.

4. Applications must be returned no later than 3p.m. on the 31st of January of the year the child is to begin school. Any application received after this date will be regarded as a late application.

5. The names of the children for whom fully completed Application for Enrolment Forms and Birth or Adoption Certificates have been returned, will be placed on a class waiting list.

6. After consultation with the Board of Management and taking all criteria and information into consideration, parents will be informed of the Board’s decision in writing within 21 working school days of the closing date for applications in the year the child is to start school.

7. Having received written notification from the Board of Management or Principal that an application has been successful, parents must then return an Acceptance Form, along with a non-refundable fee (which may vary). This fee will be deducted from the annual family contribution when the child takes up their place in the school.

8. Late applications will be considered on the basis of availability of places.

Provision of Key Information by Parents.

Certain information will be required when children are being enrolled. The Board provides a specific Application for Enrolment Form for this purpose. Such information may include:

• Pupil’s name, date of birth and address.
• Names and addresses of pupil’s parents or guardians.
• Contact telephone numbers.
• Contact telephone numbers in case of emergency.
• Details of any medical conditions, of which the school should be aware.
• Religion.
• Previous school attended, if any, and reason for transfer, if applicable.
• Any other relevant information (including any such further information as may be prescribed under the Education Welfare Act 2000 (see appendix).
• A copy of the child’s Birth/Adoption and Baptismal Certificates.
• Proof of the child’s current home address e.g. recent utility bill (within three months)

Data Protection and Freedom of Information
Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire will treat all information and personal data received as confidential. We will only disclose it to other people or bodies in accordance with law.

Decision Making Re Applications for Enrolment

The Board of Management, in accordance with school policy, makes decisions in relation to applications for enrolment. The Board will notify parents of their decision regarding Applications for Enrolment within 21 working school days of the closing date for applications.

While recognising the rights of parents to apply to enrol their children in the school of their choice, the Board of Management is also responsible to respect the rights of the existing school community and in particular the rights of those children already enrolled. This requires balanced judgements which are guided by the principles of Natural/Constitutional Justice and also acting in the best interest of all children concerned. The Board of Management reserve the right to determine the maximum number of children in each separate class and/or classroom, bearing in mind the following:
• Size of available space in classrooms
• Educational needs of children of a particular age
• Multi-grade classes
• Presence of children with special educational and / or behavioural needs.
• D.E.S. maximum class average directives (currently a maximum average of 28 children)
• The Board of Management is bound by D.E.S. Rules for National Schools, which stipulate that pupils can only be enrolled from the age of 4 years upwards though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of 6 years.

The Board will have regard for any relevant Department of Education and Skills guidelines in relation to class size and staffing provisions and/or any other relevant requirements concerning accommodation, including physical space, and the health and welfare of the children.
Equality of access is the key value that determines the enrolment of children to our school. No child is refused admission for reasons of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, language or accent, gender, traveller status, asylum-seekers or refugee status, religious or political beliefs and values, family or social circumstances.

Criteria

In the event that applications for enrolment exceed the number of places available, the following criteria will apply in order as listed below:
1. Ethos considerations (as outlined on pages 1 and 2 of this policy)

2. Age of child – Child must be at least age 4 by August 31st in the year of enrolment.

3. Siblings of present pupils

4. Siblings of past pupils

5. Children of staff members

6. Children of past pupils

7. Children whose homes are in the following catchment areas:

Rathpeacon
Sweeney’s Hill
Monard
Boreen Dearg
Carhoo
Killeendaniel
Kilcully –
Kilbarry – as far as Garvey’s Bridge (including Fr Roger’s Park)
Kilnap – as far as Garvey’s Bridge
Tweedmount
Lower Coolowen
Killeens
Blackstone Bridge
Kilcronan
Rahaniskey
Larchfield
Parklands
Onslow Gardens
Commons Road – as far as Fitz’s Boreen

Note: Where demand exceeds availability of places in Criteria No. 7, the proximity of the child’s home to the school, as determined by the Board of Management, takes precedence. (Refer to map in school office.)

8. Children whose homes are outside of the catchment areas listed above.
Note: Where demand exceeds availability of places in Criteria No. 8, the proximity of the child’s home to the school, as determined by the Board of Management, takes precedence. (Refer to map in school office.)

9. Where the number of qualifying applicants in any category listed above, exceeds availability of places, a lottery, as determined by the Board of Management will apply.

The Board, at its absolute discretion, reserves the right to set other, or alter, the above criteria.

Admission Day/Date:

The school arranges an induction meeting for parents of new entrants and a familiarisation day for new entrants in May/June each year.

The Board of Management specifies that Junior Infants may only be admitted to the school at the beginning of the new school year, but reserves the right to permit enrolment at a later time.

Enrolment of Children with Special Needs

In relation to applications for the enrolment of children with special needs the Board of Management will request a copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological report or where such a report is not available will request that the child be 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 required.

Following receipt of the report, the Board will assess how the school can meet the needs specified in the report. Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it will, prior to enrolment, request the Department of Education and Science to provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child outlined in the psychological and/or medical report. These resources may include for example, access to or the provision of any or a combination of the following: visiting teacher service, Resource Teacher for Special Needs, Special Needs Assistant, specialised equipment of furniture, transport services or other.

The school will meet the parents of the child to discuss the child’s needs and the schools suitability or capability in meeting those needs. Where necessary, other professionals, including Class Teacher, Learning Support Teacher, Special Class Teacher, Resource Teacher for Special Needs or N.E.P.S. Psychologist, may be contacted for advices and possibly to meet with the principal and parents.

The Board of Management may defer acceptance of enrolment, if it deems the school isn’t properly equipped to teach a pupil with special needs, until proper resources have been put in place.

Notwithstanding the availability of such resources, parents of children with special needs who are unsatisfied with the level of educational provision in our school, are advised to consider a special school which is designed and resourced to specifically cater for children with special needs.

Enrolment of Pupils Transferring from Other Schools

Pupils may transfer to the school only at the start of the school year, subject to school policy, available space and in some cases, the approval of the Department of Education and Science. It is a requirement of the Board of Management that information concerning attendance and the child’s educational progress be communicated to the school (in accordance with the terms of the Education Welfare Act 2000).

The Principal, on behalf of the Board of Management, will contact the Principal of the school from which it is requested to transfer to Rathpeacon National School. Parents wishing to transfer will be informed of this policy and of the Principal’s intention to discuss all aspects of the pupil’s behaviour and academic progress. All information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse admission in exceptional circumstances where it feels,
a) A pupil poses a high risk to other pupils, staff or school property
b) A special needs pupil is not in receipt of any provision of resources
c) Parents refuse to accept and sign up to the school’s Code of Behaviour
d) Relevant information has been omitted from the Application for Enrolment Form, or inaccurate or false information has been used.

Code of Behaviour

It is a condition of enrolment that parents accept and sign our Code of Behaviour, a copy of which can be viewed on our school website.
Children enrolled in our school are required to co-operate with and support the school Board of Management Code of Behaviour as well as all other policies on curriculum, organisation and management.
The Board of Management places responsibility on parents/guardians to ensure that their children co-operate in an age appropriate way with the policies of the school.
In accordance with the Department of Education’s Rules for National schools, a child may be suspended in certain circumstances.
The school now appends its Code of Behaviour and complaint procedure to this Enrolment Policy in accordance with the terms of the Education Welfare Act, 2000 and the issue of appropriate guidelines by the National Education Welfare Board.

These policies may be added to and revised from time to time.

Appeals Procedure:

Parents / Guardians who are dissatisfied with an enrolment decision, may appeal to the Board of Management. It must be addressed, in writing, to the Chairperson of the Board, stating the grounds for the appeal, and lodged within ten days of receiving the refusal.

Parents / Guardians who are dissatisfied with the result of this appeal, may appeal to the Department of Education and Skills under Section 29 of the Education Act on the official form provided by the Department. This appeal must be lodged within 42 days of receipt of the refusal from the school to enrol.

Endorsement

The Enrolment Policy was discussed, approved and ratified by the Board of Management at its meeting on Tuesday, June 4th 2002.
It was reviewed and updated at a meeting of the Board of Management on
• Thursday, 6th October 2005
• Tuesday, April 4th, 2006
• Monday, May 29th, 2006
• Wednesday, February 16th,2011.

This current policy was reviewed and ratified by the Board of Management at its meeting of Monday, November 17th, 2014.

Signature of Chairperson: __________________ (Frank Maguire)

Date: __________________________

Appendix

Copies of the following documents as referred to above are available for perusal at the School Administration Office by prior appointment.
1. Education Act 1998
2. Education Welfare Act 2000
3. Application for Enrolment Form
4. Code of Behaviour for Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire, Rathpeacon.
5. Map of the environs of Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire, Rathpeacon.

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