Enrolment Policy

General Introduction

This enrolment policy is being set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act (1998). The Board of Management trusts that by so doing parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters. The Chairperson of the Board of Management, Mrs. Mary Fay,  Edenderry, Co. Offaly and the School Principal, Mr. Kevin Duffy, Scoil Bhríde Primary School, Phone 046-9773451, will be happy to clarify any matters arising from this policy.

Scoil Bhríde Primary School is situated on the Carrick Road, Edenderry, Co. Offaly. Scoil Bhríde is a mainstream co-educational primary school with special pre-school and Junior ASD classes under the patronage of the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin. Our school has a Catholic ethos and welcomes pupils of all religions and none. The school aims to promote the full and harmonious development of all pupils: cognitive, intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual, including a living relationship with God and other people and promotes a Christian philosophy of life.

The school caters for mainstream pupils from Junior Infants to Sixth Class and pupils with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorders from Pre-School to Sixth Class. A copy of the school’s Policy on Special Educational Needs is attached to this Enrolment Policy.

School Name: Scoil Bhríde Primary School

School Address: Killane, Edendery, Co. Offaly

Telephone: 045 9773451

Denominational Character: Roman Catholic

Name of Patron: Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin

Total Number of Teachers in the school

School Year 2014/2015: 1 Principal, 7 SEN Teachers, 18 Mainstream class teachers, 6 Special ASD Class Teachers.

 

Range of Classes Taught: full range of classes, co-educational, from Junior Infants to 6th class, in addition one co-educational ASD Early Intervention class, and 2 special classes for children with ADS. Each ASD class caters for 6 pupils.

The school depends on grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills and operates within the rules and regulations laid down from time to time by the Department of Education and Skills. This enrolment policy will have regard to available funding and resources.

The school follows the curricular programmes and guidelines prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills, 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 of Education and Skills regulations and programmes, the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act (1998) and the funding and resources available, the enrolment policy of Scoil Bhríde Primary 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, and
  • respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.

 

Opening  hours:

8.50 a.m. – 1.30 pm Infant Classes and Early Intervention Class

8.50 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. First – sixth class (Mainstream and ASD)

 

Application Procedure

  • Application for enrolment in Mainstream Junior Infant Class – children commencing school:

 

During the month of October and up to mid-November of the new school year, the Principal will communicate generally to parents/guardians in the school community through School Newsletters, Parish Newsletters and any other appropriate media to inform them that applications are being accepted for the following school year. Applicants must complete the official Scoil Bhríde PS Enrolment Application Form. Parents/guardians are requested to provide the following information:

  • Pupil’s name, gender, address, date of birth, religion, nationality and address;
  • Names, addresses and occupations of pupil’s parents/guardians;
  • Contact telephone numbers;
  • Contact names and telephone numbers in case of emergency;
  • Details of any medical conditions the school should be aware of;
  • Names of siblings in our school;
  • Previous schools attended, if any, and reasons for transfer, if applicable;
  • Copy of child’s Birth/Baptismal Certificate;
  • Any other reports parents feel are appropriate/relevant; and
  • Any other relevant information (including any such further information as may be prescribed under the Education Welfare Act (2000) or Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act (2004).

The Board of Management has determined that the closing date for completed written applications for enrolment in the mainstream Junior Infant classes will be November 15th of the school year prior to commencement. However, should places exceed the number of applications received; the closing date for additional applications will be 31st of July of the school year prior to commencement.  The Board will notify parents of its decision within 21 days of the respective closing dates.

Pupils, commencing school will, as a rule, only be admitted to Junior Infant classes during the month of September. Other children may be admitted to a Junior Infant Class during the school year provided they are transferring from another school (see 2 below).

 

  • Application for enrolment in mainstream classes – children continuing their education/ transferring from other schools:

 

The Board of Management has determined that the School Principal will accept completed written applications for enrolment in the mainstream classes of children transferring from other schools throughout the year. Applicants must complete the official Scoil Bhríde PS Enrolment Application Form. Parents/guardians are requested to provide the following information:

  • Pupil’s name, gender, address, date of birth, religion, nationality and address;
  • Names, addresses and occupations of pupil’s parents/guardians;
  • Contact telephone numbers;
  • Contact names and telephone numbers in case of emergency;
  • Details of any medical conditions the school should be aware of;
  • Names of siblings in our school;
  • Previous schools attended, if any, and reasons for transfer, if applicable;
  • Any relevant reports/communications from previous schools;
  • Copy of child’s Birth/Baptismal Certificate;
  • Any other reports parents feel are appropriate/relevant; and
  • Any other relevant information (including any such further information as may be prescribed under the Education Welfare Act (2000) or Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act (2004).
  • Application for enrolment of Pupils with Special Needs to Mainstream Classes

 

The Board of Management has determined that the School Principal will accept written applications for enrolment of children with SEN to mainstream classes in line with the relevant procedures as outlined in paragraphs 1 and 2 above. In addition, in the case of applications for the enrolment of children with special needs, the Board of Management may request copies of any relevant medical or psychological reports as are available to establish the educational needs of the child relevant to her/his disability/special needs and to profile, and make application for, the support services required.

Following receipt of such a report the Board of Management shall assess how Scoil Bhríde Primary School can meet the needs specified in the report. If further resources are required the Board of Management will, request the Principal to consult with the relevant Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO) and request the Department of Education and Skills to provide the required resources. Examples of resources may be any of the following or a combination thereof: – visiting teacher service, resource teacher for special needs, special needs assistant, specialised equipment or furniture, transport or other resources and/or services. Parents will be notified of the Department’s/SENOs response when it is received.

Prior to enrolment, the school Principal and Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCO) will meet with the parents/guardians of the child to discuss the child’s needs and the suitability and capability of Scoil Bhríde Primary School to meet those needs. If necessary, a full case conference may be called which may include parents, principal, SENCO, class teacher, learning support teacher, special class teacher, resource teacher, psychologist and/or other medical/psychological/psychiatric personnel involved/to be involved with the child (EPSEN, 2004).

 

3a. Application for enrolment of Pupils in the ASD Early Intervention and ASD Special Classes

     An ASD Early Intervention Unit is a structured pre-school for children with a diagnosis of autism and a recommendation for placement in such a structured pre-school environment.

An ASD Special Class is a structured learning environment with a pupil teacher ratio of 6:1 for children with a diagnosis of ASD and a recommendation for placement in a Special Class.

Criteria for enrolment.

Each child wishing to enrol in the ASD Early Intervention or special class must have a definite diagnosis of Autism. Children with a general learning disability which is characterised as being greater than a mild learning disability will not be accepted in the ASD Early Intervention and ASD Special Classes. Under guidelines from the Department of Education and Skills the maximum number of places in an ASD Early Intervention or ASD special class setting is 6. All children wishing to be enrolled in the Early Intervention Class must be at least 3 years old by September 30th of the year they commence Early Intervention. All children aged 6 years must be enrolled in a primary school i.e. special or mainstream class in a primary school, they cannot remain in the pre-school setting i.e. the Early Intervention Class.

Application Procedure for ASD Early Intervention Unit

The Board of Management has determined that the application process for enrolment for the ASD pre-school class will begin with a referral from the HSE Early Intervention Team or a telephone call or visit in person from parents/guardians. The facilities and services offered by Scoil Bhríde are explained to parents/guardians, as is our policy on Special Education Needs – including integration and inclusion of pupils from the ASD Early Intervention classes into mainstream school activities. Parents/guardians wishing to make an application for a place in the Early Intervention Unit must then complete the official Enrolment Application Form. This application must be accompanied by an educational psychological assessment and diagnostic report and any other relevant reports e.g. occupational therapy/speech therapy reports. Applications will be acknowledged and parents informed of whether places are available within 21 days of receipt of an application. If places are not available, applications are recorded and placed in an Applications File. Only fully completed applications will be processed as and when places in the Early Intervention Unit become available.

Application Procedures for ASD Special Classes

The Board of Management has determined that the application process for enrolment for the ASD special classes will begin with a referral from the HSE Early Intervention Team or a telephone call or visit in person from parents/guardians, or in the case of children having attended the ASD Early Intervention Unit, a meeting with parents is organised to discuss the child’s transition from the pre-school to a primary school setting.

Parents should note that a place in the Early Intervention Unit does not guarantee a place in an ASD special class in Scoil Bhríde PS.

 

Application procedures for children who have attended the Early Intervention Unit in Scoil Bhríde

During the month of October and up to mid-November of the new school year, the Principal will communicate generally to parents/guardians in the school community through School Newsletters, Parish Newsletters and any other appropriate media to inform them that applications are being accepted for the following school year.

Parents of children who have attended the Early Intervention Unit and who wish to seek a place in Scoil Bhríde PS must make an application for their child as per the procedures outlined above. They must complete the Enrolment Application Form, as outlined at paragraph 1 above. This application must be accompanied by an up to date educational psychological assessment (assessment within last 9 months and including a recommendation relating to the child’s transition to a primary school setting. The report should recommend placement in an ASD Special Class) and diagnostic report and any other relevant reports e.g. occupational therapy/speech therapy reports. Fully completed applications should be made by 15th November prior to the commencement of the next school year. Only fully completed applications will be processed.

Applications will be acknowledged and parents informed of the Board’s decision within 21 days of the closing date. If places are not available, applications are recorded and placed in an Applications File. Only fully completed applications will be processed as and when places in the Early Intervention Unit become available. The Board reserves the right to request an up to date psychological report if a period of more than 12 months has elapsed since the application was made.

 

Application procedures for children who have not attended the Early Intervention Unit in Scoil Bhríde

During the month of October and up to mid-November of the new school year, the Principal will communicate generally to parents/guardians in the school community through School Newsletters, Parish Newsletters and any other appropriate media to inform them that applications are being accepted for the following school year.

Parents seeking to make an application to enrol their child in an ASD Special Class who have not attended Scoil Bhríde’s Early Intervention Unit may contact the Principal to have the facilities and services offered by Scoil Bhríde explained to them. The Principal or the Special Needs Coordinator will also explain the school’s Special Educational Needs Policy including procedures relating to the integration into mainstream school activities of pupils attending the ASD special classes.

Parents/guardians wishing to make an application for a place in the special ASD class must then complete the Enrolment Application Form, as relevant, at paragraph 1 or 2 above. This application must be accompanied by an up to date educational psychological assessment (assessment within last 9 months and including a recommendation relating to the child’s transition/placement for primary school. The report should recommend placement in an ASD Special class) and diagnostic report and any other relevant reports e.g. occupational therapy/speech therapy reports. Fully completed applications should be made by November 15th prior to the commencement of the next school year. Only fully completed applications will be processed.  Applications will be acknowledged and parents informed of the Board’s decision within 21 days of the closing date. If places are not available, applications are recorded and placed in an Applications File. Only fully completed applications will be processed as and when places in the Special Class become available.

As it is likely that applications will outnumber places available, Enrolment Applications will be held in the Applications File. The Board reserves the right to request an up to date psychological report if a period of more than 12 months has elapsed since the application was made.

 

Processing of Applications

Provision of Key Information by Parents

All applications will only be processed on the basis of a fully completed Enrolment Application Form with accompanying documents as requested, for example, Birth Certificate/Baptismal Certificate, relevant psychological/medical reports, if applicable. Evidence of residency may be required in the form of a household utility bill, driver’s licence etc. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to submit all requested documents. Applications will only be fully processed when all requested documents have been submitted.

Decision Making

Enrolment to mainstream classes

Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Principal on behalf of Board of Management in accordance with this Enrolment Policy. The Principal will notify parents of the Board’s decision within 21 days from the closing date for applications i.e. 15th November or in the case where places exceed applications, within 21 days from July 31st.

The Board will have regard for 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 any other relevant factors including the educational needs and rights of children already enrolled, multi-grade classes, the presence of children with special educational/behavioural needs and the health and welfare of children and staff.

The Board is bound by the Department of Education and Skills Rules for National Schools which provides that pupils may only be enrolled from the ages of 3 years and upwards for the Early Intervention Pre-School Class for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and 4 years of age upwards for mainstream classes (by September 30th of the year that they commence Junior Infants) although compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of 6 years.

In the event that applications exceed the number of spaces available, the Board of Management has determined that the following criteria will apply, in the following order of priority:

  • children who have/had brothers/sisters attending the school
  • Catholic children of the parish community resident in the parish
  • All other children who live within the parish
  • Catholic children who live outside the parish
  • All other children who live outside the parish


Enrolment to ASD Early Intervention and ASD Special Classes

Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management in accordance with this Enrolment Policy. The Principal will notify parents without delay (within 21 days of the closing date/or receipt of application if after 15th November) as to whether their application has been successful or whether their child’s name is on a waiting list.

All fully completed applications for places in ASD Early Intervention and/or special classes are recorded and placed in the Applications File. When places become available, the SENCO will contact parents to confirm if they still want their child’s application to be considered. The Principal and SENCO will then consult with the Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO) informing him/her of the applications on file. As outlined in paragraph 3 each child wishing to enrol in the ASD Early Intervention or ASD Special Class must have a definite diagnosis of Autism and a recommendation for placement in the appropriate setting i.e. either ASD Early Intervention Unit or ASD Special Class.

Please note that the fulfilling of the enrolment criteria does not necessarily ensure enrolment if:

  1. Sufficient places are not available
  2. Sufficient classroom space is not available

 

Allocation of places in the ASD Early Intervention Unit does not guarantee a place in the ASD Special Class or in the Mainstream Class when the child reaches the stage of commencing primary school or the age of 6 years, which ever is the former.

As places in the ASD Early Intervention and the ASD Special Classes are limited, allocation of a place in the ASD Early Intervention and/or Special ASD Class does not guarantee a place in the ASD Early Intervention or Special Class for siblings.

In the event that applications exceed the number of spaces available, the Board of Management has determined that the following criteria will apply in the following order of priority

  • Diagnosis of ASD and recommendation for the specific setting
  • Age of the pupil in year they are commencing Early Intervention / ASD Class
  • children who have/had brothers/sisters attending the school
  • Catholic children of the parish community resident in the parish
  • All other children who live within the parish
  • Catholic children who live in neighbouring parishes
  • Non-Catholic children who live in neighbouring parishes
  • Catholic children from other areas
  • Non-catholic children from other areas
  • If places are still available the additional criteria of current and past access to placements in pre-school/school settings, age, and/or proximity to our school may be taken into account in prioritising children

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

  • The student 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 student with an appropriate education, or
  • In the opinion of the Board of Management, the student poses an unacceptable risk to other students, to school staff or to school property.

It is accepted that children with special educational needs may display difficult, defiant or oppositional behaviours. All efforts will be made by the school to manage such behaviour using various intervention strategies. Parents are expected to co-operate in this.

Appeals Procedure

Parents, who are dissatisfied with an enrolment decision, may appeal to the Board of Management.  Appeals 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 (1998) (as amended by Section 4 of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007) on the official form provided by the Department.  Details on appealing decisions under Section 29 of the Education Act (1998) (as amended by Section 4 of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007 are available on the Department’s website at www.education.ie.

Information Day

A meeting will be held, usually in the last week of May, for the parents of newly enrolled children to commence school in September. Children will be invited to spend some time in their classroom and meet the teachers, while the parental information meeting takes place. School starts for all children on the first day of the new school year.

Transfer of Pupils

Pupils may transfer to the school at any time subject to this Enrolment Policy as outlined at paragraph 2 above, the provisions of the Education Welfare Act (2000) and in some cases the approval of the Department of Education and Skills.

Code of Behaviour

Children enrolled in Scoil Bhríde Primary School are required to co-operate with the school’s Code of Behaviour and other policies on curriculum, organisation and management. Parents / guardians are responsible for ensuring that their children co-operate with these policies in an age appropriate manner. The school’s Code of Behaviour is attached. Parents enrolling their child in Scoil Bhríde are required to sign the Code of Behaviour to ensure compliance of the Code by the pupil.

Monitoring and Review

The Board of Management reserves the right to review and amend the contents of this policy as may be deemed necessary and appropriate.

Board of Management Ratification

This policy is hereby ratified by the Board of Management of Scoil Bhríde Primary School.

Signed: _____________________________________ Date: ________________________

Mrs. Mary Fay (Chairperson BOM)

 

Download Enrolment Policy Document