Admission and Enrolment Policy

Admission and Enrolment  Policy

The Board of Management of Cloonakilla National School hereby sets out its Admission and Enrolment Policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the Education Welfare Act 2000 and the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004. The Chairperson of the B.O.M. or the Principal will be happy to clarify any matters arising from this policy.  Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the B.O.M.

General School Information 

Name of School:                              Cloonakilla National School

Name of Principal:                        Mrs Mary O’Rourke

Name of Chairperson BOM:          Fr. John Deignan

Telephone No:                                  090 6492569

School Website:

Teaching Staff

  • Principal
  • 16 Mainstream teachers
  • 5 Special Educational Needs teachers

Non-Teaching Staff

  • 5 Special Needs Assistants
  • 1 Secretary
  • 1 Caretaker

Opening/Closing times

Cloonakilla NS opens at 9.20am and finishes at 3.00pm. Children assemble in front school yard before /after school. The school yard is supervised from 9.10 – 9.20 each morning and from 3pm – 3.10 each evening. Please note that the BOM do not take responsibility for children/persons who are on the premises outside of these times. 

Infant classes finish at 2.00pm

On wet days children are permitted to assemble in the school hall at 9.10am.

Cloonakilla N.S. is a mixed, vertical school (Junior Infants to 6th​ Class). It is a Catholic School under the patronage of the Bishop of Elphin. While meeting the responsibilities of its Catholic ethos, Cloonakilla N.S. welcomes children of all denominations.

Our school is staffed in accordance with the standard pupil-teacher ratios sanctioned by the D.E.S. and any additional teaching ratios sanctioned by the D.E.S. in respect of special needs. The school operates within the regulations laid down by the Department from time to time. The capacity of the school to implement its desired curriculum is dependent on the resources it receives. Consequently, in determining its activities and programme for any school year the school must have due regard to the teaching, management and administrative resources and the accommodation, equipment and funding available to it. 

Policy Considerations

The B.O.M. of Cloonakilla N.S. reserves the right of admission if such admissions contravene D.E.S. guidelines on class size (ratio 26:1). Equality of access is the key value that determines the enrolment of children in our school. No child is refused admission for reasons of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, gender, traveller status, asylum seeker/refugee status, religious/political beliefs and values, family or social circumstances provided the necessary supports are in place in the school.

While recognising the rights of parents to enrol their child in the school of their choice, the Board of Management has also responsibility to respect the rights of the existing school community and, in particular, the children already enrolled. This requires balanced judgements which are guided by the principles of natural justice and acting in the best interests of the children. 

 Assisting the school in such circumstances, the B.O.M. reserves the right to determine the maximum no. of children in each classroom bearing in mind: 

  • size of/available space in classrooms
  • educational needs of children
  • multi-grade classes
  • presence of children with special educational/behavioural needs
  • DES maximum class average directives
  • Health & Safety concerns regarding staff and children
  • Time of school year


  • Application
  • Enrolment Criteria
  • Appeals

 Junior Infant Enrolment procedures

  1. Parents may place their child on list by telephoning the school office or calling to the school. The following information must be submitted and recorded in the School Record of Application.

Name and Date of Birth of child:


Name and Contact No of Parent:

  1. In mid January parents will receive an Application for Enrolment Form for completion which must be returned to the school within a 10 day period.
  2. The application will be assessed in line with the enrolment criteria. Within 7 days those who meet the criteria will receive an Enrolment Form for completion. This form should also be accompanied by required documentation as outlined in cover letter. These must be returned to the school by a date in mid February. Failure to enclose ALL required documentation will render your application null and void.

Those who do not meet the enrolment criteria will be notified by letter and their names will be placed on a waiting list.

  1. On receipt of completed Enrolment Form and required documentation parents will then be furnished with confirmation of enrolment.
  2. Parents and children are invited to visit the school on a specific date in April. The Principal will address the parents and the children are given an opportunity to familiarise themselves with their new classroom.

N.B. Applications for admission to Junior Infant Classes must be made at the very latest by the end of February of the year in which it is expected that the child will start school.The BOM reserves the right to fix February 28/29 as a cut off date for receipt of applications for Junior Infants.

Enrolment of Children with Special Needs

Parents/guardian(s) are asked on the application form to list, detail and attach any reports/assessments/needs their child has had since the time they were born, or any concerns they may have about their child’s behaviour or needs. If the Board of Management becomes aware in September (or earlier than September) that parent(s) did not disclose fully the needs of their child on the application form or have withheld reports, the child’s admission to the school may be deferred until the BoM has time to assess how the school could meet the needs specified in reports and/or until resources are in place to meet the child’s needs.These resources may include access to or the provision of any or a combination of the following:

  • Visiting Teacher service
  • Access to SEN Teacher
  • Special Needs Assistant
  • Specialised equipment or furniture
  • Transport services

The Principal and SEN Teacher will meet parents of the child to discuss the child’s needs and the schools’ suitability in meeting those needs. 

A.3: Application for admission in Senior Infants-6​th​ Class

  • Application forms/Enrolment forms are available from the school secretary
  • Failure to fully complete form and submit relevant documentation will result in refusal to admit the applicant.

B: 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:

  1. Brothers and sisters (including step-siblings resident at the same address) of children already enrolled or who have attended the school in the past.
  2. Children living within the Parish whose primary residence is ​within a 4km distance by road from the school. ​– priority to oldest
  3. Children whose home address is closest to the school, outside the 4km radius (as measured by road).​– priority to oldest
  4. In the event of being unable to enrol a child/children from categories a, b or c in a given class at the beginning of the year, or mid-year, such children will receive priority (in order of a, b, c) for the subsequent school year over other children on the class waiting list.

Other pupils are enrolled during the school year if newly resident in the area and if there is a place available at the class level sought. They must complete application as outlined above. Pupils wishing to transfer from other National Schools are enrolled subject to the rules governing National Schools, as well as our own enrolment policy and local arrangements with other schools. Pupils who have completed sixth class in another school will not be enrolled in our school.

Children with special needs will be resourced in accordance with the level of resources provided by the DES to the Board of Management.

Children enrolled in our school are required to co-operate with and support the school/Board of Management’s Code of Behaviour as well as all the other policies on curriculum, organisation and management. The Board places Parents/Guardians responsible for ensuring their children’s co-operation with said policies in an age-appropriate manner.

Right of Refusal

In considering all applications the BOM reserves the right to delay or refuse enrolment on grounds where:

  • Places are not available at the class level sought
  • The school cannot meet the needs of the applicant and provide an appropriate education for the applicant
  • No-availability of appropriate accommodation
  • Circumstances are such that the enrolment of the applicant poses an unacceptable risk to other students or school staff

In accordance with the DES’s rules for National Schools, a child may be suspended.

Please note

Only children who have completed the above stages will be guaranteed a place. 

A child may not attend or enrol in Cloonakilla National School before his/her fourth birthday. Entry to Junior Infants will not take place during school year in such a way that will entail a child does not spend two full school years in Infants classes prior to progressing to First class.


The Principal must ensure a register of all children attending the school is established and maintained. A record of attendance or non-attendance is maintained for each child registered at the school. Children are required to provide class teacher with written explanation for non-attendance. The National Education Welfare Board is informed if a child has been absent for more than 20 days in the school year.

C: Appeals Procedure

In line with section 29 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 the 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.

Transfer to/from other Primary Schools

At any time of the year, a parent may transfer his//her child from one school to another, either with the consent of the Minister of Education or when the transfer is made due to a change in the ordinary residence of the child.Transfer will only be accomodated if there is a place available at the class level sought by the applicant.

Child Protection Procedures

The Board of Management of Cloonakilla NS ​implements fully the DES Child Protection Procedures for Primary &Post Primary Schools 2017. Our Child Safeguarding Statement and Risk Assessment Policy can be viewed on the school website.

Data Protection

Our Data Protection Policy has been reviewed in line with the Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2018 and the EU General Data Personal Regulation(GDPR). 


The Board of Management will monitor the implementation of all aspects of the policy and review and amend the policy as required. The principal will inform the Board at regular intervals regarding the process of enrolment. Where the Principal refuses admission to any applicant, by the authority delegated to her by the Board in line with this policy, any such refusal must be communicated to the Board at the earliest opportunity​.

Review Procedure

This policy will be reviewed regularly in the event of changing population trends in the area. The review will in September 2019.

Signed:​ _Fr John Deignan​ ____​                                         Date:_______________ 


Board of Management, Cloonakilla National School