ADMISSIONS POLICY OF ST. COEN’S PRIMARY SCHOOL

Introduction

The Board of Management of St.Coen’s Primary School hereby sets out its Admission Policy pursuant to Section 15 of the Education Act, 1998 and The Education Act,2018. The Chairperson of the Board of Management and the Principal Teacher will be happy to clarify any matters arising from this policy.

Mission Statement

St.Coen’s is a Roman Catholic primary school under the patronage of the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin. As a Roman Catholic school, the school aims to promote the full and harmonious development of each pupil: cognitive, intellectual, physical, social, creative, cultural, moral and spiritual including a living relationship with God and a philosophy of life inspired by the life of Christ. The school emphasises the human person as a child of God called to work with other persons in creating an inclusive community in service of the common good; where knowledge is sought and respected while faith is nurtured and challenged. Children of all faiths and of none are welcome to enrol.

Rationale

The 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, Mission Statement 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.

Aims

The Enrolment Policy of St.Coen’s supports the following aims within the context and parameters of Department regulations and programmes, the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act, 1998 and funding and resources available:

  • Inclusiveness
  • Equality of access and participation in the school
  • Parental choice in relation to enrolment
  • Respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society

General Information

  • St. Coen’s primary school is a co-educational school teaching classes from Junior Infants to Sixth class. The school has a principal, ten mainstream class teachers, four SEN teachers and two classes for children on the autistic spectrum. There are also seven Special Needs Assistance employed in the school.
  • The school operates under the Rules for National Schools and Departmental Circulars and is funded by grants and resourced by teachers and other staff provided by the Department of Education and Skills. The school is subject to the Education Act (1998), the Education Welfare Act (2000), the Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act (2004) and all relevant equality legislation. St.Coen’s follows the curricular programmes laid down by the Department of Education and Skills.
  • The school also follows the Religious programme as prescribed by the Education Secretariat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin

Application Procedures

  • Application Forms are available from the school office.
  • Parents seeking to enrol children should return a completed application form with birth Certificate attached as proof of the child having reached the age of four on the first day of the academic year (usually the first of September).
  • The completion of an application form does not confer an automatic right to a place in the school.

Procedures for Enrolment of Junior Infants

  • A notice of the dates for Enrolment will be placed in the school newsletter, in a local newspaper and will be announced in the Parish prior to the enrolment dates each year.
  • Parents will be requested to fill out an Enrolment Form attaching a Birth Certificate to it.
  • Parents will be informed of the outcome of their completed application within 21days of the closing date.
  • A completed application form includes all required information.

The required information comprises:

  • An Enrolment Form, fully completed
  • A copy of the birth or adoption certificate of the child for whom a place is being sought

Pupil Transfer to classes from Junior Infants to Sixth Class

  • Parents should complete an application form available on request from the school secretary.
  • A completed application form and birth certificate should be returned to the office.
  • Generally applications will be considered for pupils at the start of the school year.
  • The Board of Management specifies that pupils may be considered for transfer to the school at any time subject to relevant factors, school policy, available space and in some cases the approval of the Department of Education and Skills.

Internal Pupil Transfer

If there are
A. Children in Mainstream classes eligible for enrolment in ASD Primary class.
B. Children in ASD Primary class eligible for enrolment in Mainstream classes.
C. Children in ASD (Early Intervention) eligible for enrolment in the ASD primary class.

These children will receive priority over children in categories 1-4 under Enrolment Criteria below as places become available. All internal pupil transfers are subject to psychological recommendation.

In the event of inability to enrol a child/children from category B in a general class at the beginning of a year, or mid-year, such children will receive priority, for subsequent school year over other children on the class application list for enrolment.

Application Procedure for Enrolments in ASD unit

  • Each child must have a full Multi- Disciplinary Assessment which must specify Autism.
  • The parents/guardians must complete a school enrolment form.
  • All relevant reports and assessments must be given to the school prior to enrolment.
  • Copies of reports may be sent to NEPS and other relevant professionals seeking their professional opinion.
  • Copies of all reports will be sent to the SENO for Co.Wicklow.
  • Final decisions regarding enrolments are made by the Board of Management in consultation with our Service Providers.
  • The Board of Management Policy states that the school will accommodate a maximum of one primary class and one Early Intervention class for children with autism.
  • The Department of Education and Skills states that the ratio for each class is in maximum of six children to one teacher.
  • This policy states that the parents/guardians of the prospective candidate for the class must meet the class teacher, the school principal and any other relevant parties before the child starts school.
  • Offers of enrolment are made in writing by the chairperson of the Board of Management or the principal on behalf of the Board. Written acceptance is required.
  • Written confirmation of intention to seek enrolment is required twice a year (November and May) to keep application active. If correspondence is not received within a specified time frame, a child’s name will be removed from application list for enrolment.

It is a condition of enrolment that the parents/guardians confirm in writing that the school code of behaviour is acceptable to them and that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the child.

Enrolment Criteria

The Board of Management in so far as practicable will enrol children on application taking due consideration of all relevant factors including space available, Department of Education Guidelines in relation to class size and staffing provisions, size of available classrooms, the educational needs of children of a particular age, multigrade classes and the presence of children with special educational and behavioural needs.

The behaviour and attendance record of a child seeking to transfer school will be taken into consideration.

In the event of the number of children seeking enrolment exceeding the number of places available and subject to the other relevant provisions of this Enrolment Policy, places are allocated in the following order:

  1. Priority for infants will be given to children on the grounds of age living within the parish of Wicklow.
  2. Sisters and brothers of pupils currently in the school.
  3. Children of current staff, including ancillary staff.
  4. Children living within the parish of Wicklow.

Enrolment of Children with Special Needs

Children with Special Needs are welcome to enrol in the school and every effort is made to provide them with an appropriate education as well as to include them in every aspect of school life. Children enrolling in St. Coen’s will be allocated resources in accordance with the level of resources provided by the Department of Education and Board of Management may request a copy of the child’s medical and /or psychological report or request that the child be assessed immediately. The purpose of the assessment is to assist the school in establishing the educational and other relevant needs of the child and to profile the support services required. The BOM will endeavour to have all resources and support in place before the child is admitted to the school. These resources may include for example, access to an SEN teacher, Special Needs Assistant, specialised equipment or furniture.

The school will meet with the parents/guardians of the child to be enrolled to discuss the school’s suitability for the child. If necessary a case conference will be called including parents/guardians, class teacher, learning support teacher, resource teacher, SENO and psychologist or/and social worker as appropriate.

Children of other faiths or no faith

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 the ethos of the school permeates the day, children of other faiths or none, 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 alternative arrangements will be made in order to facilitate this. It will not be possible however to provide religious instruction in other faiths.

Exceptional Circumstances

The school reserves the right to refuse enrolment to a pupil in very exceptional cases. Such an exceptional case could arise where either:

  1. The pupil has special needs such that, even with additional resources available from the Department of Education and Science, the school cannot meet such needs and /or provide the pupil with an appropriate education.
  2. In the opinion of the Board of Management, the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to themselves, to other pupils, to school staff or to school property. (see Appeals Procedure)

Appeals Procedure

In line with Section 28 of the Education Act 1998, parents who are dissatisfied with an enrolment decision may appeal to the Board of Management. This appeal 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, if unhappy with the result of this appeal, may appeal to the Department of Education and Science under Section 29 of the Education Act on the official form provided by the Department. An appeal form will be issued by the school to the parents/guardians. This appeal must be lodged within 42 days of receipt of the refusal from the school to enrol.