Enrolment Policy

Enrolment Policy

Bunscoil Bhríde, Rathangan, Co. Kildare

December 2015

Introduction

The Board of Management of Bunscoil Bhríde hereby sets out its Enrolment Policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998. The Chairperson of the Board of Management 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 Board of Management of the school.

 

General School Information

Bunscoil Bhríde is a Catholic primary school under the patronage of the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.

At present, the teaching staff is comprised of an administrative principal, eleven mainstream class teachers, three Special Education Teachers, two full-time Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) and one part-time SNA.

The school enrols girls from Junior Infants to Sixth Class.

The school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills (D.E.S.) and it operates within the regulations laid down by the D.E.S.. Our school follows the Revised Curriculum for Primary Schools (1999) produced by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment in conjunction with the D.E.S. The school day begins at 9.20 a.m. and finishes at 3.00 p.m.

 

Mission Statement:

Bunscoil Bhríde is a co-educational, Catholic Mercy Primary School, which strives to provide a well ordered, caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and addressed.

While Bunscoil Bhríde is a school with a Catholic ethos, it also has due recognition for all other religions.

In Bunscoil Bhríde we work at creating a Christian atmosphere that promotes the dignity and individuality of every pupil enabling her to reach her potential in a happy learning environment.

We aim:

1. To nurture a Christian atmosphere that cultivates good relationships based on respect between staff, pupils, parents and the local community. In this atmosphere each pupil feels valued and respected.

2. To promote respect for individual pupils’ needs, abilities and uniqueness, enabling pupils to be well adjusted with healthy self-esteem.

3. To provide a full comprehensive range of curricular experience and activities to equip the pupil to avail of further education for adult life in society.

4. To awaken in the pupils a sense of responsibility and civic pride in their home, school and work.

5. To achieve a balanced approach to work and leisure in a happy atmosphere that fosters a healthy lifestyle.

6. To develop in pupils an awareness and appreciation of our culture and heritage and of their responsibility in the preservation of the environment.

7. To nurture in the students sensitivity to those who have special needs.

8. To develop in the students a sense of justice that will enable them to act justly, to challenge unjust structures and to promote the well-being of society.

9. To nurture in the students a sense of their cultural identity, an appreciation of the diversity of cultures which exists on the Island of Ireland, a positive attitude to responsible citizenship within the European community and a respect for people of other races, tradition and creeds

 

How to achieve aims:

We strive to achieve these aims by;

a. Formal teaching

b. Informal activities

c. The climate of trust, co-operation and responsibility of the school

 

Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí

(Praise the youth and they will flourish)


 

Rationale:

This policy aims to ensure that the appropriate procedures are in place to enable the school:

1. To make decisions on all applications in an open and transparent manner consistent with the ethos, the Mission Statement of the school and legislative requirements

2. To make an accurate and appropriate assessment of the capacity of the school to cater for the needs of applicants in the light of the resources available to it

3. To put in place a framework that will ensure effective and productive relations between students, parents and teachers where a student is admitted to the school.

 

Legal Framework:

Section 9 (j) of the Education Act 1998 specifies, that “A recognized school shall ….Subject to this Act and in particular section 15 (2) (d), establish and maintain an Admission’s Policy which provides for maximum accessibility to the school”.

Section 15 (2) (d) states the Board of Management shall “publish …. The policy of the school concerning admission to and participation in the school and ensure that principles of equality and the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parents’ choice are respected”.

Section 27 (1) states that “A board shall establish and maintain procedures for the purposes of informing students in a school of the activities of the school” and (2) that “the procedures established and maintained under subsection (1) shall facilitate the involvement of the students in the operation of the School having regard to the age and experience of the students, in association with their parents and teachers”.

The Education Welfare Act, 2000 [Section 19 (1)] requires that a Board of Management shall not refuse to admit a child except where such refusal is in accordance with the school’s Admission Policy. Section 19 (2) requires that parents must provide relevant information to the school while Section 19 (3) requires that the

Board of Management, shall as soon as possible (but no later than 21 days) after receiving such information “make a decision in respect of the application concerned and inform the parent in writing thereof”

The Equal Status Act, 2000 [Sections 5 & 7 (2)] prohibits discrimination on the grounds of “gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Travelling Community” regarding admission, access to programmes, participation in the school or regarding expulsion or any other sanction.

There are limited exceptions regarding single-sex schools and schools promoting particular religious values [Section 7 (3)].

 

Goals:

The school shall have in place appropriate channels of communication and procedures:

  • To inform parents about the school, it’s programmes, activities, and procedures

  • To enable applications for admission to the school to be handled in an open, transparent manner

  • To put in place criteria under which applications shall be considered

  • To ensure that these criteria are informed by our Ethos, our Mission Statement and current legislation

  • To specify what information is required by the school at the time of application.

 

 

 

Context, Resources, School Organisation & Curriculum

The school supports the principle of equality for all students regarding access to and participation in the school. It respects the diversity of traditions, values, beliefs, languages and ways of life in society. It acknowledges the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parents’ choice, subject to the

resources available, including classroom accommodation, class size, teaching resources and financial resources, and subject to the capacity of the school to provide for the needs of any applicant or student. It will make every effort to secure those resources. Where the resources cannot be secured the school may refuse admission. The school is staffed in accordance with the standard pupil – teacher ratios sanctioned by the D.E.S. and any additional teaching hours sanctioned by the D.E.S. in respect of curricular concessions, special needs, special programmes etc., and operates within the regulations laid down by the D.E.S..

The capacity of the school to implement its desired curriculum, its broad range of educational programmes, its breadth of extra-curricular activities, its School Plan and policies, 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.

 

Roles and responsibilities in developing and implementing this policy:

 

Roles of Board of Management

  • To ensure that a policy is in place and that it is reviewed

  • To appraise this policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementation and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate.

  • To decide on appeals by parents or students with respect to any decision(s) made by the principal/Board.

  • To prepare an attendance policy, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Education Welfare Board

 

Role of the principal

  • To formulate / draft policy in consultation with the teaching staff, students, parents, Board of Management and trustees

  • To monitor its implementation and to ensure that it is reviewed by the review date

  • To implement the policy and to support other teaching staff in their implementation of the policy

  • To apply for and acquire such resources as are available in accordance with government policies

  • To ensure, within the constraints of available resources, that alternative programmes are devised where necessary and practicable to meet the needs of students

  • To appraise the policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementation and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate

  • To ensure a register of all students attending the school is established and maintained

  • To ensure that a record of attendance or non-attendance is maintained for each student registered at this school and, in the case of non-attendance, the reason for same

  • Prior to registering a child, to provide the parents of an applicant with a copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour and ensure that the parent confirms in writing their acceptance of the Code, an assurance that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with the Code by the child

  • To provide, on request, a copy of the Code of Behaviour to any parent of a child registered in the school

  • Where a child is refused admission, to advise the parents of their right of appeal to the D.E.S.

 

Role of Teaching Staff:

  • To co-operate with the implementation of this policy

  • To take the needs of all students into account in the way in which they select textbooks, plan and teach their lessons and conduct assessments

  • To bring concerns about Special Needs curricular matters and information to the attention of the Principal / Deputy Principal / Special Needs Teacher

  • To keep parents informed through the regular parent-teacher meetings and school reports and by meeting parents from time to time as required.

  • To appraise this policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementation and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate

 

Role of Students:

  • To co-operate fully with the school in the implementation of the school policy

  • To offer suggestions for improving the service to students with special needs

 

Role of Parents:

  • To support the school policy and to co-operate fully with the school in its implementation

  • To bring to the attention of the school authorities any concern they may have in relation to the school’s provision for the educational needs of their child

  • To appraise this policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementation and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate

 

Policy Considerations:

The Board of Management reserves the right of admission if such admissions contravene Departmental guidelines on class size, etc.

The school will not refuse a child on the basis of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, traveller status, refugee status, political or religious beliefs, family or social circumstances, provided the necessary supports are in place in the school.

The school will maintain a list of refused applicants for each class, their place on that list having been determined under the criteria outlined.

The Board of Management respects parental choice in relation to enrolment, provided the enrolment criteria are fulfilled.

The Board of Management respects the rights of the existing school community and the children already enrolled. Consequently, the Board of Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each class, bearing in mind:

  • Health and safety concerns regarding staff and children

  • Available classroom space

  • Multi-grade classes

  • Educational needs of the children

  • Presence of children with special needs

  • D.E.S. class size directives (currently 27 children to one teacher).

  • Appropriate supports and resources are available

  • Time of school year

 

Procedures – Application, Enrolment Criteria & Decision / Appeals:

  • Enrolment into Junior Infants for the following September will take place in January of each year. Enrolment forms will be available during the month of January from the school, in the local pre-schools and on the school website www.bunscoilbhride.ie

  • Failure to fully complete forms may result in refusal to admit a student

Admission to the school is, of course, subject to the resources available to the school including classroom accommodation, class size, teaching resources and financial resources, and subject to the capacity of the school to provide for the needs of those who apply for admission. Where the school lacks the necessary resources to meet the needs of any applicant or student, it will make every effort to secure those resources.

Where the resources cannot be secured, the school reserves the unfettered right to refuse admission. It is the responsibility of parents / guardians of any child to inform the school of any such needs on the enrolment application form for the child’s own welfare. In this context the school authorities will have equal regard for the welfare of all the students and their right to an education in an atmosphere that is not detrimental to their physical, emotional, moral, social or intellectual development.

Failure to fully complete the application form, failure to supply any relevant information requested by the school, or failure to make reasonable arrangements to meet with the school authorities to discuss the application may result in a child being refused admission to the school.

 

  • Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 provides for the right of appeal against a decision to refuse enrolment. The appeals procedure is set out on the D.E.S. website www.education.ie and in D.E.S. Circular 22/2002.

 

Application for immediate admission in the current school year:

  • Application forms for enrolment during the school year are available from the school secretary or principal.

  • Failure to fully complete forms will result in refusal to admit the applicant

  • The behaviour record of a student in their previous school shall be considered

 

Enrolment Procedure:

The registration process is initiated on receipt by the school of a completed application form. This form must be signed and dated by one or both parents or guardians. Telephone calls or personal school visits concerning

enrolment will be facilitated, but are not in themselves enrolment applications.

 

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 Board of Management being unable to provide suitable accommodation, or recruit the required teaching staff), the following criteria will be used to prioritise children for enrolment.

  1. Siblings of existing pupils already enrolled with priority given to the oldest applying

  2. Catholic children living within the Parish – with priority given to the oldest applying

  3. Catholic children from our traditional catchment areas of Clonbrin, Drimsree, Boston, Feighcullen, Punchesgrange, Ballyteague and Pluckerstown i.e. children who have travelled to Bunscoil Bhríde on free transport since the closure of Boston and Barnaran schools

  4. Children of current school staff, with priority given to the oldest applying

  5. Catholic children whose home address is closest to the school, if the child is normally resident outside the parish/catchment area

  6. All other applicants

In the event of being unable to enrol a child(ren) from categories 1, 2 or 3 in a given class at the beginning of a year or mid-year, such children will receive priority (in order of 1, 2 or 3) for the subsequent school year over other children on the class waiting list.

 

Evaluation:

The Board of Management will monitor the implementation of all aspects of the policy and review and amend the policy as required, with particular emphasis placed upon;

  • Effective management placed on application process

  • Clarity and transparency relating to the process

  • Applicants informed in good time re the status of their application, particularly in the case of refusal to enrol

  • Positive parental feedback

 

Monitoring Procedures:

The implementation of this policy will be monitored by the Board of Management at the appropriate time. It will also be referred by the Principal for consideration by the entire teaching staff at the same time.

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 shall be communicated to the Board at the earliest opportunity.

 

Review Procedure:

The policy will be reviewed regularly in the light of experience. It will be reviewed by the teaching staff and Board of Management every five years. Any staff member, Board member, parent, guardian or student who is unhappy with the content or the implementation of any school policy may request a review at any time and such a request will be dealt with as quickly as possible. The next review of this policy will occur before or during the school year 2020-2021.

 

THE OVERALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS POLICY LIES WITH THE PRINCIPAL AND TEACHERS.

 

 


 


 

 


 

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