Enrolment Policy for Holy Family N.S.        2013

Introduction
The policy was first formulated by the principal and staff in 2003.
The policy was updated in 2013-02-15

Rationale
Holy Family National School, Carrickboy, Ballyshannon, recognises the need to have a comprehensive enrolment policy in place set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998.

Mission Statement The school provides a secure caring and creative learning environment for all its children

Aims

The policy has been formulated:
To ensure that the school complies with the legislative requirements and principles of good practice;
to ensure an open and transparent process for enrolment;
to clarify any issues in relation to what enrolment entails.

Content of Policy

General Information:
Holy Family N.S. is a Catholic School in the parish of Magh Ene in the Diocese of Clogher under the Patronage of Bishop Liam Mc Daid , Bishop of Clogher,

Patron: Bishop L. Mc Daid
School Name : Holy Family N.S.
School Address: Carrickboy, Ballyshannon, Co.Donegal
Telephone: 0719851689
Number of teachers;
There are 5 class teachers including the principal, 1 learning Support Teacher, and a part time Teacher for travellers.
Range of Classes:
Classes are taught from Junior Infants up to Sixth Class.

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.

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.
  • In repect of Medical/ Behavioural and Disability concerns all relevant documentation should be made available to the school prior to enrolment

Opening Hours of the school

  • Holy Family N.S. accepts responsibility for children between 9.20 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. (Infant Classes) or 9.20 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. (all other classes). No responsibility can be accepted for pupils outside of these times and it is important to note that children should not be on the school premises outside these times without the authorization of the Board of Management.

Enrolment Procedures

 Application Procedure

The Board of Management require that all who intend to enrol their children in Holy Family N.S. Enrolment forms are available from the school. They should be completed and returned to the principal before the end of May. School and parish Newsletter will inform the wider community how enrolment forms can be accessed. Parents of new Junior Infants will be invited to a meeting with the Infant Class teacher and the School Principal in June. Prospective Junior Infants will be invited to come to the school towards the end of June to meet with their new teacher and familiarize themselves with their classroom and the school environment.

While recognizing the rights of parents to enroll their child in the school of their choice, the Board of Management of Holy Family N.S. must also 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 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: –
size of / available space in classrooms, needs of children of a particular age, classes of children with special educational/behavioural needs, Department of Education and Science maximum class average directives (currently a maximum average of 28 pupils)and welfare of children.
Provision of Key Information by Parents

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 Behavioural or other 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).

Decision Making

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.

In the event that applications for enrolment exceed/is expected to exceed the number of places available the following decision making process will apply.  The Board will exercise its discretion in the application of the following criteria.  The criteria may include any of the following though not necessarily in that order:

 Enrolment Policy for Holy Family N.S

 Requirements are: Junior infant classes;

  • that the child should be 4 years of age on the date of entry to the reception class in September.
  • In the event that applications for enrolment exceed the spaces available then the Board must exercise discretion and follow these criteria;
  • The child is domiciled in the parish
  • The child has siblings already attending the school
  • Children of staff members
  • First come first served
  • Lack of space/overcrowding of classrooms

The Board of Management must exercise discretion where ;

  • Where the admission of a child would prove prejudicial to the good of the whole school.
  • Where the admission of a child with special needs would render impossible the effective provision of educational services to other students or have a seriously detrimental effect on that provision.
  • Where the admission of a child with special needs would require resources and finance beyond what DES will actually provide in sufficient time for the provision of the necessary resources, facilities and alterations
  • The Board will act in the best interests of the children who wish to enrol taking into account the  suitability of the facilities in the building.  in the case of a profoundly disabled child where alterations etc cannot reasonably be made in time for entry (if at all)

Decisions in relation to application for enrolment will be made before the end of May. Parents will be informed of the decision by letter within the school term.

Appeals

The Board of Management of a school is also obliged under section 19(3) of the Educational Welfare Act 2000 to make a decision in writing in respect of an application for enrolment within 21 days and to inform the parents in writing of that decision.

Where a Board of Management refuses to enrol a student in a school, the parent of the student or, where the student has reached 18 years of age, the student himself or herself, following the conclusion of any appeal procedures at school level, has a statutory entitlement under section 29 of the Education Act (as amended by Section 4 of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007, to appeal that decision to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science. A committee is established to hear the appeal with hearings conducted with a minimum of formality. In most cases appeals must be dealt with within 30 days. Where appropriate, the Secretary General may give whatever directions to the Board of Management that are considered necessary to remedy the matter complained of.

Details on appealing decisions on enrolment under section 29 of the Education Act (as amended by Section 4 of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2007), are available on the Department’s website at www.education.ie

  • State how, when and by whom parents/guardians are informed of their entitlement to appeal a decision of the Board of Management in relation to suspension or expulsion. Will parents be given a copy of Circular 22/02 and related forms?
  • Who will prepare a response if and when an appeal is being investigated by the Dept of Education and Science? (Section 12, Circular 22/02 – Processing of an Appeal)

Admission Date

The junior infant children may only be admitted on the first day of the Autumn Term.
In the case of a child with Special Needs see Special Needs Policy.
Pupils may transfer from another school at any time subject to a place being available (and possibly in exceptional cases the approval of the Department of Education).
It is a requirement that the Board of Management receives information from the school from which the pupil has departed in regard to attendance and educational progress, behaviour and particular needs if necessary in accordance with the Educational Welfare Act 2000. The Board through the principal will inform the previous school of the child’s enrolment
The code of Behaviour will be appended to the enrolment form or the school booklet. Parents intending to enrol their children must sign this code of behaviour. They will indicate by doing so that they have, read, understood and accepted the code as agreed in the school.

Success Criteria
The success will be determined by the feedback from Parents and the Parents Association, from Board members and the teaching staff

Roles and Responsibility
The staff will develop and assist in the implementation of the policy.
The policy will be implemented throughout 2009/10

Review
It will be reviewed in 2013

Circulation:
Circulate the draft policy, consult members of the school community and amend if necessary.

 Ratification:

  • Present policy to BOM for ratification.
  • Communicate ratified policy to members of the school community.
  • Make provision for the circulation of the policy to all new applicants for enrolment.
  • Establish procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of the policy and set a date when it will be reviewed.