Enrolment Policy

Enrolment Policy of St. Mary’s N.S., Arva

Introductory Statement:
The Staff and representatives of parents of St. Mary’s N.S drafted the following policy and agreed it in line with current recommendations and guidelines relating to enrolment procedures.

Mission Statement:
St. Mary’s N.S., a Roman Catholic School endeavours to promote the full and harmonious development of all pupils cognitive, intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual well being, including a living relationship with God and other people. However, at the same time, we will not discriminate by admitting children of one particular religious denomination in preference to others.

This Enrolment Policy has been formulated in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998 in order to assist parents in relation to enrolment matters.
Aims: To put in place clear procedures for all parents who wish to enrol a child in St. Mary’s N.S. To identify other policy areas which need to be amended in light of the Enrolment Policy. To ensure St. Mary’s N.S. does not discriminate if it admits children of one particular religious denomination/criteria in preference to others.

General Information:
This enrolment policy is set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act (1998). The Board of Management trusts that by doing so parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters. The Chairperson of the Board of Management of St. Mary’s N.S., Arva, Co. Cavan and the Principal Teacher, Maebh Rehill, (049) 4335560 will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from the school policy.

School Name: St. Mary’s N.S.
School Address: Arva, Co. Cavan
Telephone Number: 049 4335560

Denominational Character: Roman Catholic Name of Patron: Bishop Leo O’Reilly
Total Number of Teachers in the School: There are five mainstream class teachers including the Principal; two Learning Support/Resource Teachers including one shared with Cortober N.S., employed in the school.
Range of classes taught: The school caters for the full range of classes from Junior Infants to Sixth Class. It is an inclusive mixed school and caters for children of all abilities.
Funding: The school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Science 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.
Curriculum: The school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Science, 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 rights of the patron as set out in the Education Act (1998), 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; and respect for diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.
Application Procedure: Parent(s) who wish to enrol pupils in Junior Infants will be required to contact the school by person or telephone. The school will then post an enrolment form to the parent(s) who will return it to the school. The Board will begin this enrolment process in the Second Term of each school year. The Board will communicate generally to the school community through appropriate channels eg.general letter home to all parent(s), local newspaper and parish bulletin. Parent(s) of children enrolled in Junior Infants will be invited to an Induction Day in the school in June each year. Certain information will be required when children are being enrolled. A specific enrolment application form may also be provided by the Board for this purpose. Such information may include: Pupil’s name, age and address; Names and addresses of pupil’s parents/guardians; Contact telephone numbers; Contact telephone numbers in case of emergency; Details of any medical conditions which the school should be aware of; Religion; Previous schools attended, if any, and reasons for transfer, if applicable; 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 Educational Needs Act (2004). Children will be enrolled in September provided that there is space available. Junior Infants are enrolled in September provided the child has reached his/her 4th birthday before 30th September. Normally, Junior Infants will not be enrolled during the year unless transferring from another school. This is for educational reasons as the curriculum is progressive and it is necessary for the child to complete a full year. Decisions in relation to application for enrolment are made by the Board of Management. Parents will be informed of acceptance of the child to the school within 21 days of application. No child is refused admission for reasons of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, language/accent, gender, traveller status, asylum-seeker/refugee status, religious/political beliefs and values, family or social circumstances. The completion of an application form or the placement of a child’s name on a list however early, does not confer an automatic right to a place in the school. Children enrolled in St. Mary’s N.S. are required to co-operate with and support the School’s Code of Behaviour as well as all other policies. Parent(s)/Guardians are responsible for ensuring that their child(ren) co-operate with these policies in an age appropriate way. A School Booklet including details of practices and procedures in the school will be issued to all parent(s) on the Induction Day. Each parent will be requested to ensure that the School Code of Behaviour and Ethos Statement will be adhered to.

In the case of pupils applying for enrolment in other streams, the Board of Management will provide for enrolment at any time. The Board will exercise caution when taking applications throughout the year and will give a decision to the applicant parent/guardian within 21 days of the application being made.
Decision Making Process: Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management in accordance with school policy. The Board will notify parents of their decision within 21 days of receiving such information. As a general principle and in so far as practicable having regard to the school’s enrolment policy, children will be enrolled on application, provided that there is space available. (See note below on Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004). The Board will have regard for relevant Department of Education and Science 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 children. The Board is bound by the Department of Education and Science’s Rules for National Schools which provides that pupils may only be enrolled from the age of 4 years and upwards, though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of 6 years.
Enrolment Criteria: In the event of the number of children seeking enrolment exceeding the number of places available the following criteria will be used to prioritise children for enrolment:
1. Brothers and sisters of children, already enrolled (including stepsiblings, resident at same address). 2. Catholic children living within the parish boundary. 3. Catholic children living outside the parish boundary who do not have a Catholic school within their own parish boundary. 4. All children who live within the parish boundaries but are not Catholic. 5. Catholic children from outside the parish. 6. All Children who apply to the school and are not Catholics and not resident in the parish. 7. Children of current staff, including ancillary staff.
In the event that there are more applicants within any category than there Are available places, priority will be given to children within the particular category in order of age, starting with the oldest.
St. Mary’s N.S. will ensure that criteria used will not directly or indirectly discriminate against an individual applicant or any group of applicants.

Enrolment of children with Special Needs: Children with special educational needs are welcome to enrol in the school and every effort will be made to provide them with an appropriate education as well as to include them in every aspect of school life. The child enrolling in St. Mary’s N.S. will be resourced in accordance with the level of resources provided by the Department of Education and Science to the Board of Management.
The Board of Management may request copies of relevant reports or request that the child be assessed immediately in order to assist the school in establishing the educational needs of the child and to profile the support services required. The Board of Management will endeavour to have all resources and supports in place before the child is admitted to the school. This may include visiting teacher service, resource teacher, special needs assistants, specialised equipment, furniture or transport services.
Refusal to enrol on the grounds of ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ The Board of Management reserves in it’s enrolment policy the right to refuse enrolment in exceptional circumstances, e.g. in the opinion of the Board of Management, the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to other pupils, school staff and/or school property. The Board will only seek to rely on this clause in rare and exceptional circumstances. St. Mary’s N.S. is aware of the right of a parent/guardian to appeal the decision of the B.O.M.
Right of Appeal: When the Board of Management has made the decision about the refusal to enrol, the Chairperson will inform the parent(s)/guardian in writing within 21 days from the date of application. This letter will note the decision to refuse enrolment and the right of parent(s)/guardians to appeal a decision of the Board of Management. The Board of Management will prepare a response for the Appeals Committee which will be presented by the Chairperson/Principal if necessary. Following a decision of the Supreme Court, the Board of Management note that, in an appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, an Appeals Committee can substitute its decision for the of the B.O.M. and may make such recommendations to the Secretary General of the DES as it considers appropriate.
Pupil Transfer: Pupil’s may transfer to the school at any time subject to this enrolment policy and available space. The Board of Management is aware that the enrolment, which determines the teaching allocation of a school year, is determined by the enrolment as of 30th September in the previous school year. St. Mary’s N.S. note that the legal obligation to share information in relation to attendance and educational progress has effect only when the child has been put on the register of the second school and not before. Any sharing of information prior to registration could be in breach of Data Protection Legislation.
Code of Behaviour: A copy of the Code of Behaviour Policy is attached to this policy.
Review: The Chairperson of the Board of Management and the Principal reviewed this policy in March 2013.
Approval Patron: This policy was sent to the patron for approval on 31st March 2011.
Ratification: On receipt of approval from the patron the revised policy was ratified on
………………………………………….. Paradigm Brady, Chairperson, Board of Management
…………………………………………. Edel Cadam Principal Board of Management
Communication/Circulation of Policy: Revised copies/updates of the Enrolment Policy are issued in hard copy on request to parent(s)/guardian(s).