Enrolment Policy

SCOIL SAN PHROINSIAS                                                        ENROLMENT POLICY

This policy was formed in consultation with the Staff, the Parents Council and the Board of Management in 1986. It has been updated and reviewed bi-annually since, most recently in 2016.

MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to create a happy, tolerant, safe environment in which each child is encouraged to strive towards his or her unique potential.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. The name and address of our school is Scoil San Phroinsias, Tirellan Heights, Galway.

  1. Scoil San Phroinsias is a Catholic National School under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Galway.

  1. The number of personnel on staff is as follows – a principal,seventeen class teachers, four learning support teachers, four resource teachers for special needs pupils, two temporary resource teachers for special needs pupils, two EAL teachers, one school secretary , one school caretaker and 5 SNA’s.

  1. The range of classes taught are Junior Infants, Senior Infants, First Class, Second Class, Third Class, Fourth Class, Fifth Class and Sixth Class.

  1. The school is a Catholic co-educational bilingual national school which is resourced and funded by the Department of Education and Science, and it follows a Catholic ethos.

  1. The school operates within the regulations laid down by the Department of Education and Science.

  1. The school follows the curriculum 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).

  1. Within the context and parameters of Department regulations and programmes, the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act, 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 education need

    • equality of access and participation in the school,

    • parental choice in relation to enrolment

    • respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society

  1. The school opens for the reception of children at 8.50 a.m. and it remains in operation until 1.30 p.m. for Infant Classes and 2.30 p.m. for all other classes.

  1. More detailed information about the operation of the school is available from the School Principal. There is also a Parents Handbook, which is available from the School Secretary, and which includes all the details on school organisation.

  1. Pupils may transfer to the school, subject to school policy, available space and in some cases, the approval of the Department of Education and Science.

  1. When children are being enrolled the following information will be required:-

    • Pupil’s name, age and address

    • Names and addresses of pupil’s parents/guardians

    • Pupil’s PPS number

    • Contact telephone numbers

    • Contact telephone numbers in case of an 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

    • Any other relevant information (including any such other information as may be prescribed under the Education Welfare Act, 2000)

m. Children will be enrolled on application, provided that space is available. In the event that applications for enrolment exceeds/is expected to exceed the number of places available in relation to Department guidelines on class size or staffing provisions and/or any other relevant requirements concerning accommodation, such as physical space or the health and welfare of children, decisions in relation to applications for enrolment will be made by the Board of Management in accordance with school policy.

  1. The Board of Management 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.

  1. Children who have not reached the age of 4 years by 1st September of the current school year will not be accepted for enrolment into Junior Infants, except and only by special permission of the Board of Management of the school.

Policy Consideration

The Board of Management of Scoil San Phroinsias reserves the right to refuse admission if such admissions contravene Department guidelines on class size, etc.,

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

The school will maintain a list of refused applications 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 of Scoil San Phroinsias, in it’s Policy of Admissions/Enrolment, 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

  • Department of Education and Science class size directives

  • Appropriate Supports and Resources are available

  • Time of school year

Rationale

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

  • 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

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

  • To put in place a framework which will ensure an effective and productive relationship between students, parents and teachers where a student is admitted to the school.

Application Procedure

As a general rule and insofar as practicable having regard to the enrolment policy of Scoil San Phroinsias children will be enrolled on application, provided there is space available. The Board of Management has determined that the Principal will accept written applications for enrolment on the school’s Application Form, prior to enrolment.

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 child, it will make every effort to secure those resources. Where the resources cannot be secured, the school reserves the right to refuse admission.

It is the responsibility of parents / guardians of any child to inform the school of any specific/special 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 children 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.

ENROLMENT PROCEDURES

Equality of access is the key value that determines the enrolment of children to our school. 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.

While recognising the right of parents to enrol their child in the school of their choice, the Board of Management of Scoil San Phroinsias is also responsible 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 interest of all children. Assisting the school in such circumstances, the Board of Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each separate classroom bearing in mind:-

      1. size of/available space in classroom

      2. educational needs of children of particular age

      3. multi-grade classes

      4. presence of children with special educational/behavioural needs

      5. DES maximum class average directives, currently a maximum average of 27 children.

ENROLMENT PROCEDURES

Stage 1

Parents seeking to enrol their child(ren) in Scoil San Phroinsias are requested to return a fully completed Declaration of Interest for Enrolment in Scoil San Phroinsias Form (available in Secretary’s office) with an original Birth/Adoption Certificate to the school by the end of February each year. In the case of Catholic children the school will request a copy of a Baptismal certificate with the application form.

Stage 2.

The names of children for whom fully completed Declaration of Interest for Enrolment in Scoil San Phroinsias Form and Birth/Adoption Certificate have been returned, will be placed on a list, in order of receipt of their completed applications by the school. The form will be date stamped on receipt by the school.

Stage 3.

Confirmation of Interest

In early March of the year of enrolment applicants will receive a ‘Confirmation of Interest’ letter requesting that they must complete a Confirmation of Interest Form. Applicants must return this form by 2.30pm on the last Friday in March of that year, to confirm their interest to enrol.

This confirmation merely confirms that the application will remain on the School Record of Applications.

This letter is not a guarantee of a place for your child.

Stage 4.

Formal Offer of a place

In the event that the numbers of applicants who confirm interest to enrol still exceeds available places; places will be allocated in accordance with the criteria outlined. A letter with an offer of a place will issue by post, in early April, to successful applicants.

Criteria for prioritisation of offers of enrolment;

Places will be offered first to children who have reached their 4th birthday by May 1st prior to the September they enrol under the following criteria;

Priority

Criterion

1

Brothers and sisters of children already attending this school, step brothers/sisters residing at the same address

2

Brothers and sisters of past pupils

3

Children of staff members

4

Catholic children of the parish (The school may request a copy of the child’s baptismal form.)

5

Non-catholic children in the parish

6

Catholic children not resident in the parish, with priority given to children whose home address is closest to the school (as measured by a straight line on an O.S. map)

7

Non-catholic children who are not residents of the parish with priority given to children whose home address is closest to the school (as measured by a straight line on an O.S. map)

In a situation where all of the above criteria are equal among applicants, priority will be given to applicants according to the date their application was received by the school.

Stage 5.

Formal Acceptance of a place

Parents/guardians will be asked to accept this offer in writing, which must be accompanied by;

a) A fully completed, accurate Enrolment Form

b) An original copy of the child’s Birth/Adoption Certificate and

c) A Baptismal Certificate, where relevant.

Parents of new Junior Infant children will be invited to an Information meeting in May. New Junior Infants will be invited to an Open Afternoon in June.

Stage 6.

Waiting List

Unsuccessful applicants will be placed on a waiting list. Should places become available through non-acceptance or cancellation of a place, places will be offered in accordance with the criteria set out previously.

Enrolment Procedure for Senior Infants to 6th Class

Application for Enrolment

Applications will only be accepted on the basis of receipt of a fully completed application form, which includes current address and contact details. Parents/guardians have responsibility to inform the school of any change of address or contact details. At enrolment, the school may request a recent copy of a utility bill as evidence of address.This form must be signed and dated by one or both parents/ guardians. The form will be date stamped on receipt by the school.

School Record of Applications

The school Principal will maintain a School Record of Applications for each class on a database. Each child’s name, date of birth, address and telephone contact number, and date of application, are recorded in the School Record of Applications.

The following criteria will be applied if there is a surplus of applications for available places in Senior Infants to 6th classes.

Priority

Criterion

1

Brothers and sisters of children already attending this school, stepbrothers/sisters residing at the same address

2

Brothers and sisters of past pupils

3

Children of staff members

4

Catholic children of the parish

(The school may request a copy of the child’s baptismal form.)

5

Non-catholic children in the parish

6

Catholic children not resident in the parish, with priority given to children whose home address is closest to the school (as measured by a straight line on an O.S. map)

7

Non-catholic children who are not residents of the parish with priority given to children whose home address is closest to the school (as measured by a straight line on an O.S. map)

Children will, as a rule, only be admitted to classes at the start of the school year (August/September) subject to school policy, available space, and the provisions of the Education Welfare Act (2000) and in some cases the approval of the Department of Education and Skills.

Children may be admitted to a class during the school year, provided they are transferring from another school outside of Galway City or are newly resident in the area.

Children already resident in and attending school in Galway City, who wish to transfer to this school, may only enrol at Scoil San Phroinsias at the beginning of a school year, except in exceptional circumstances to be determined by the Board of Management.

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 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.

Code of Behaviour

Children enrolled in Scoil San Phroinsias are required to co-operate with the school’s Code of Behaviour and other policies on curriculum, organisation and management. Parents/guardians are responsible for ensuring that their children co-operate with these policies in an age-appropriate way.

Parents/guardians will be requested to sign a form to indicate their acceptance of these policies.

Enrolment of Children with Special Needs

In relation to applications for the enrolment of children with special needs the school must be provided with a copy of all relevant medical reports, such as Psychological, Speech & Language, Occupational Therapy, Child Psychiatry, Paediatric reports etc. The purpose of these reports is to establish the educational needs of the child relevant to his/her disability/special needs and to profile the school support services required.

Following receipt of such a report the Board of Management shall assess how Scoil San Phroinsias can meet the needs specified, in the report. If further resources are required the Board of Management will, prior to enrolment, request the Department of Education and Skills to provide the required resources. These may include any combination of the following; visiting teacher service, resource teacher for special needs, special needs assistant, specialised equipment or furniture, transport or other services.

As previously stated, all available information must be provided on the relevant sections of the Enrolment Form. Failure to disclose all information or an incomplete/inaccurate Enrolment Form constitutes an invalid Enrolment Application.

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 the application process

  • clarity and transparency relating to the process

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

  • 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 full staff at the same time. The Principal will report to the Board of Management regarding the process of enrolment in December each year and regularly thereafter until enrolment is complete. 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.

Timetable for Review

This policy will be reviewed biannually or as the need arises during the school year.