Admission and Enrolment Policy

Admission and Enrolment  Policy

Draft Admission Policy for Cloonakilla NS

Cloonakilla NS

Bealnamulla
Athlone Co. Roscommon

Roll number:18395C

School Patron: Bishop Kevin Doran (Bishop of Elphin)

Introduction

This Admission Policy complies with the requirements of the Education Act 1998, the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and the Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting this policy, the board of management of the school has consulted with school staff, the school patron and with parents of children attending the school.

The policy was approved by the school patron on [ ]. It is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who requests it.

The relevant dates and timelines for Cloonakilla NS admission process are set out in the school’s annual admission notice which is published annually on the school’s website at least one week before the commencement of the admission process for the school year concerned.
This policy must be read in conjunction with the annual admission notice for the school year concerned.
The application form for admission is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy on request to any person who requests it.

2. Characteristic spirit and general objectives of the school

Cloonakilla NS is a Catholic co-educational primary school with a Catholic ethos under the patronage of the Bishop of Elphin. It serves the people in the Bealnamulla/Monksland area and caters for pupils from Junior Infants to 6th class.

“Catholic Ethos” in the context of a Catholic primary school means the ethos and characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church, which aims at promoting:
(a) the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil, including the intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual aspects; and
(b) a living relationship with God and with other people; and
(c) a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and
(d) the formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith,
and which school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, and/or such ethos and/or characteristic spirit as may be determined or interpreted from time to time by the Irish Episcopal Conference.
In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management of Cloonakilla NS shall uphold, and be accountable to the patron for so upholding, the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school.
In addition to the above our Mission Statement espouses the following values:

  • Cloonakilla NS is dedicated to the spiritual, emotional and intellectual development of each pupil
  • While the Catholic ethos permeates the everyday life of the school, we also accept and respect the religious beliefs of others and those of no faith.
  • Cloonakilla NS aim to provide a positive, inclusive learning atmosphere and environment based in the mutual cooperation of those involved in all of its activities.
  • We promote gender equity among staff and pupils and all members are valued equally for the contribution they make to school life.
  • Cloonakilla NS encourages the involvement of parents through home/school communication and through participation in the Parents Association. We also endeavour to build and nurture strong links with our parish community.

3. Admission Statement

Cloonakilla NS will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school on any of the following:

(a) the gender ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
(b) the civil status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
(c) the family status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
(d) the sexual orientation ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
(e) the religion ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
(f) the disability ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
(g) the ground of race of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
(h) the Traveller community ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, or
(i) the ground that the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned has special educational needs

As per section 61 (3) of the Education Act 1998, ‘civil status ground’, ‘disability ground’, ‘discriminate’, ‘family status ground’, ‘gender ground’, ‘ground of race’, ‘religion ground’, ‘sexual orientation ground’ and ‘Traveller community ground’ shall be construed in accordance with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000.

Cloonakilla NS is a school whose objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values and does not discriminate where it refuses to admit as a student a person who is not of the Catholic faith and it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

4. Admission of Students

This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where –

a) the school is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details)

b) a parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student

Cloonakilla NS is a Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of the Catholic faith where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

5. Oversubscription

In the event that the school is oversubscribed, the school will, when deciding on applications for admission, apply the following selection criteria in the order listed below to those applications that are received within the timeline for receipt of applications as set out in the school’s annual admission notice:

Enrolment Criteria
In the event of the number of children seeking enrolment in any given class exceeding the number of places available preceding or during the school year (due to the B.O.M. being unable to provide suitable accommodation, or recruit the required teaching staff), the following criteria will be used to prioritise children for enrolment:

a. Brothers and sisters (including step-siblings resident at the same address) of children currently enrolled
b. Children living within the Parish whose primary residence is within a 4km distance by road from the school. – priority to oldest
c. Children of current staff, including ancillary staff
d. Children whose home address is closest to the school, outside the 4km radius (as measured by road).- priority to oldest

In the event that there are two or more students tied for a place or places in any of the selection criteria categories above (the number of applicants exceeds the number of remaining places), the following arrangements will apply:

In the event that priority is required to be given to children within any one of the above categories, older children will be given priorityexcept in the case of (a) above where priority will be given, in the first instance, to applicant children who have a sibling currently enrolled in Cloonakilla NS.

6. What will not be considered or taken into account

In accordance with section 62(7)(e) of the Education Act, the school will not consider or take into account any of the following in deciding on applications for admission or when placing a student on a waiting list for admission to the school:

(a) a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service, including naíonraí,

(b) the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;

(c) a student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude;

(d) the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents;

(e) a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;

(f) a student’s connection to the school by virtue of a member of his or her family attending or having previously attended the school other than those who have siblings or step-siblings resident at the same address currently enrolled in the school

(g) the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school,

This is subject to the application being received at any time during the period specified for receiving applications set out in the annual admission notice of the school for the school year concerned.
This is also subject to the school making offers based on existing waiting lists (up until 31st January 2025 only).

7.Decisions on applications

All decisions on applications for admission to Clooakilla NS will be based on the following:
• Our school’s admission policy
• The school’s annual admission notice (where applicable)
• The information provided by the applicant in the school’s official application form received during the period specified in our annual admission notice for receiving applications

(Please see section 14 below in relation to applications received outside of the admissions period and section 15 below in relation to applications for places in years other than the intake group.)

Selection criteria that are not included in our school admission policy will not be used to make a decision on an application for a place in our school.

8.Notifying applicants of decisions

Applicants will be informed in writing as to the decision of the school, within the timeline outlined in the annual admissions notice.

If a student is not offered a place in our school, the reasons why they were not offered a place will be communicated in writing to the applicant, including, where applicable, details of the student’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the student’s place on the waiting list for the school year concerned.

Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the school’s decision (see section 18 below for further details).

9.Acceptance of an offer of a place by an applicant

In accepting an offer of admission from Cloonakilla NS you must indicate—

(i) whether or not you have accepted an offer of admission for another school or schools. If you have accepted such an offer, you must also provide details of the offer or offers concerned and

(ii) whether or not you have applied for and awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school or schools, and if so, you must provide details of the other school or schools concerned.

10.Circumstances in which offers may not be made or may be withdrawn

An offer of admission may not be made or may be withdrawn by Cloonakilla NS where—
(i) it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading.
(ii) an applicant fails to confirm acceptance of an offer of admission on or before the date set out in the annual admission notice of the school.
(iii) the parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student; or
(iv) an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 10 above.

11.Sharing of Data with other schools

Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 allows for the sharing of certain information between schools in order to facilitate the efficient admission of students.
Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a list of the students in relation to whom—

(i) an application for admission to the school has been received,

(ii) an offer of admission to the school has been made, or

(iii) an offer of admission to the school has been accepted.

The list may include any or all of the following:

(i) the date on which an application for admission was received by the school;

(ii) the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school;

(iii) the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant;

(iv) a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth and personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005).

12.Waiting list in the event of oversubscription

In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places available, a waiting list of students whose applications for admission to [school name] were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought.

Placement on the waiting list of Cloonakilla NS is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this admission policy. Applicants whose applications are received after the closing date, outlined in the Annual Admission Notice, will be placed at the end of the waiting list in order of the date of receipt of the application.

Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those students on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the students have been placed on the list.

13. Late Applications

All applications for admission received after the closing date as outlined in the annual admission notice will be considered and decided upon in accordance with our school’s admissions policy, the Education Admissions to School Act 2018 and any regulations made under that Act.
Late applicants will be notified of the decision in respect of their application no later than three weeks after the date on which the school received the application. Late applicants will be offered a place if there is place available. In the event that there is no place available, the name of the applicant will be added to the waiting list as set out in Section 13.

14. Procedures for admission of students to other years and during the school year

The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already admitted to the school to classes or years other than the school’s intake group are as follows:
• Application for enrolment is available from the school office on request
• Places will be offered using the enrolment criteria above if there is a space available in the required class. The BOM must take into account DES directives on class size and an additional directive from the DES that pertains to Cloonakilla NS only which states “enrolment must be managed so that it does not exceed Principal + 16 mainstream teachers”.
• In the event of there being no available place pupils will be placed on waiting list. This list will be live for 1 school year.
• Under the terms of the Education Welfare Act (2000), information concerning attendance and the child’s educational progress is to be provided by the school from which the child is transferring.
• If the child has been expelled from the previous school the following documents will be requested from the parents/guardians of the child
(a) A copy of the letter received by the parents/guardians from the previous school clearly stating the reasons for the expulsion
(b) Details of interventions and other agencies involved with the child

Where the BOM is of the view that a student would constitute a danger to the safety and welfare of other pupils or staff, it will refuse to enrol the child. If the child was expelled from another school on these grounds it will be fairly assumed that the child will constitute a similar risk in Cloonakilla NS.

The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already admitted to the school, after the commencement of the school year in which admission is sought, are as follows:

  • Pupils may transfer from other schools during the school year if places are available. The same procedure as outlined above will apply.

15. Declaration in relation to the non-charging of fees

The BOM of Cloonakilla NS or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-
(a) an application for admission of a student to the school, or
(b) the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.

16. Arrangements regarding students not attending religious instruction

This section must be completed by schools that provide religious instruction to students.

The following are the school’s arrangements for students, where the parents or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, who has requested that the student attend the school without attending religious instruction in the school. These arrangements will not result in a reduction in the school day of such students:

A written request should be made to the Principal of the school. A meeting will then be arranged with the parent(s) to discuss how the request will be accommodated by the school. Children from all faiths and no faith are welcome in our school. Children who are not members of the Catholic faith will not be required to particapate in any activities relating to the Catholic faith. During relious education lessons they will be assigned other appropriate work which must be conducted in the classroom during religion lessons. The reason for this is that the school does not have adequate teaching resources to allow these children to leave their class while relious education lessons are underway.

17. Reviews/appeals

Review of decisions by the board of Management
The parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may request the board to review a decision to refuse admission. Such requests must be made in accordance with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998.
The timeline within which such a review must be requested and the other requirements applicable to such reviews are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.
The board will conduct such reviews in accordance with the requirements of the procedures determined under Section 29B and with section 29C of the Education Act 1998.
Note: Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.
Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Right of appeal
Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may appeal a decision of this school to refuse admission.
An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1)(c)(i) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due to the school being oversubscribed.
An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1)(c)(ii) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due a reason other than the school being oversubscribed.
Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)
Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)
Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will be considered and determined by an independent appeals committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.
The timeline within which such an appeal must be made and the other requirements applicable to such appeals are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.