Enrolment Policy - Kilmessan NS

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Enrolment Policy

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St. Joseph’s Mixed N.S. Kilmessan

Enrolment Policy

This enrolment policy for St. Joseph’s Mixed National School, Kilmessan, Co. Meath has been set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the Education Welfare Act 2000, relevant health and safety legislation, equality legislation and the directives of the School Patron.  The current policy was revised by School Management and approved by the School Patron on the 6th May 2015.

Equality of access is the core value that determines our policy regarding the enrolment of children in St. Joseph’s School.   All children have an equal right to education.  No child will be refused admission for reasons of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, language/accent, gender, traveller status, asylum seeker/refugee status, political beliefs, family or social circumstances.

While recognising the right of parents to enrol their child in a school of their choice, the management of St. Joseph’s School reserves the right to determine maximum class size, to ensure the safety of existing pupils and to set the criteria used to determine how applications for Junior Infants and all other classes through the school are prioritised when the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available.

The Staffing and Organisation of St. Joseph’s Mixed N.S.
St. Joseph’s Mixed N.S. is a Roman Catholic co-educational school under the patronage of the Bishop of Meath, Dr. Michael Smith.   It aims at promoting the full harmonious development of all aspects of the person – intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual, including a living relationship with God and others. The school models and promotes a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.   The school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and promotes the formation of pupils in the Roman Catholic Faith.

The school currently has 7 mainstream classroom teachers, an administrative Principal, a Learning Support teacher, a Resource teacher & a part-time teacher (shared) covering hours for both Learning Support & Resource Teaching.   There are also 1 full-time & 2 part-time Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) providing assistance to a number of pupils in the school.

What factors influenced our policy on enrolment?
The following is a list of factors taken into consideration by the Management of St. Joseph’s Mixed N.S. in revising its enrolment policy and procedures:
i) Availability of space in classrooms and recreational  areas
ii) Availability of Grants and resources.   (The School depends on grants and resources from The Department of Education and Skills and operates in accordance with regulations and circular letters issued from time to time by the D.E.S.).
iii) Educational needs of the existing pupils
iv) The presence of pupils with special educational and behavioural needs.
v) Directives from the Department of Education and Skills (DES) on recommended class size and minimum age for school enrolment.   (In keeping with the Department’s current recommended pupil-teacher ratio every class will be deemed to have reached capacity when there are 30 students in that class.   In order to attain an optimum pupil teacher ratio, St. Joseph’s Mixed N.S.  reserves the right not to enrol any new pupils into a class which already has 31 or more pupils enrolled.   St. Joseph’s Mixed N.S. will only enrol children into Junior Infants if they have reached their 4th Birthday before the 1st June of the year of enrolment. This age stipulation may only be waived if a place/number of places remain unfilled after all other applications have been processed and all applicants have been accommodated.   In such circumstances, any remaining places will be allocated in descending order of age beginning with the oldest).
vi) Directives from the School Patron.

The Application Process
A) Those seeking to enrol their child can obtain an Enrolment Application Form from the school.   This form should be completed and returned to the school with the following documentation;
(i) Copy of child’s Birth Certificate.  
(ii)  In the case of Catholic applicants, a Baptism Certificate.  
(iii)  Children transferring from other schools must submit records from the previous school concerning attendance and progress.
Applications for Junior Infants must be returned before the published closing date.   School Management is not obliged to consider applications which are late, incomplete or do not include the required documentation.   Intentionally submitting inaccurate information on the application form will render it null and void.  The submission of an application form does not confer a right to enrolment.
B) School Management will process all applications received during enrolment week (on a date to be decided, usually in February) and apply the enrolment criteria outlined below when necessary.  For the year 2016/2017 the closing date for enrolment is Friday February 26th.
C) Written notification of the decision will be issued to parents within 21 days of the closing date.
D) Parents of children who have been offered a place must inform the school in writing, within seven working days, that they wish to accept the offer.   Failure to do so may result in the re-allocation of the place.

What criteria are used to prioritise applicants?
The criteria below are listed in order of the priority afforded to each category.   They will be used to prioritise enrolment applications when the number of applications received exceeds the number of places available in any given class.   In the event of the number of applicants in any of the categories 1-6 below outnumbering the remaining available places, the age of applicants will be used  to determine priority (i.e. places will be offered beginning with the oldest applicant and proceeding in order of age from the oldest to the youngest until all remaining available places have been filled).   Children who are refused admission to a given class should be placed on a waiting list for that class.   All waiting lists will be categorised and prioritised in accordance with the criteria listed below and those falling into each category will be prioritised, beginning with the oldest and proceeding in order of age to the youngest.

1. Brothers/sisters of currently enrolled students
2. Children of current staff members
3. Roman Catholic children living within the parish boundary*
4. Roman Catholic Children residing outside the parish boundary who do not have a Catholic school in their own parish*
5. All other children living within the parish boundary
6. All other children living outside the parish boundary

*A baptismal cert must be submitted with the application form in the case of Roman Catholics

Children with Special Needs
Children with Special Needs will be resourced in accordance with the level of resources provided by the Department of Education and Science.   In the event of an application for a child with special needs, the Board will request a copy of the child’s medical/psychological reports or a professional assessment of the child’s needs.   In exceptional circumstances, the Board reserves the right to refuse enrolment where it deems that:
(i) The presence of the applicant in the school would impede the education of other pupils (each child has a right to an education without infringement) or would pose a threat to the safety of staff and/or students.
(ii) The applicant’s needs are such that, even with additional resources, the school could not meet his/her needs or provide an appropriate education for him/her.

Appeal Procedures
Parents who are unhappy with an enrolment decision may appeal to the School Board of Management.   A letter stating the reason for the appeal should be forwarded to the Chairperson within seven working days of receiving the letter of refusal.   The appeal will be discussed at a Board meeting and a final decision issued within twenty-one working days.   If unhappy with the result of this internal appeal, parents may then appeal to the Department of Education and Skills on the official Section 29 Appeal Application Form.  This application must be submitted to the Department within 42 days of receipt of the final decision of the Board of Management.

N.B. This enrolment policy will be reviewed and revised periodically.

This policy was reviewed on   6th May 2015

Signature of Chairperson B.O.M. Fr T. Toner

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