This Enrolment Policy for Scoil Naomh Treasa N.S. has been set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the Education Welfare Act 2000, relevant health and safety legislation, equality legislation and the directives of the School Patron. The current policy was revised by School Management and approved by the School Patron in January 2013.
The school depends on grants and resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills. It co-operates with regulations laid down by this Department. The school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills which may be amended from time to time, in accordance with sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act 1998.
The parents and guardians of all pupils at Scoil Naomh Treasa, by accepting places in the school, are deemed to accept the code of behaviour and ethos of the school on behalf of their children as well as all other policies on curriculum, organisation and management. These policies may be revised and amended from time to time.
The Board of Management declares that, within the content and parameters of the 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 following principles:
- Inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational needs;
- Equality of access and participation;
- Parental choice in relation to the school, having regard to the characteristic spirit of the school (Section 15(d) of the Education Act, 1998);
- Respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life of all its pupils.
The Staffing and Organisation of Bellewstown School
Bellewstown School is a Roman Catholic school under the patronage of the Bishop of Meath, Dr. Michael Smith. It aims at promoting the full harmonious development of all aspects of the person – intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual. The school models and promotes a philosophy of life inspired by Catholic values. The school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church.
The school is currently a five teacher school. This includes the Principal Teacher, mainstream class teachers, learning support teachers and resource teachers. The ancillary staff includes a secretary, caretaker and a special needs assistant.
What factors influenced our policy on enrolment?
The following is a list of factors taken into consideration by the Management of Bellewstown School in revising its enrolment policy and procedures:
i) Availability of space in classrooms and play areas.
ii) Availability of Grants and resources. (The School depends on grants and resources from the Department of Education and Skills and operates in accordance with regulations and circular letters issued from time to time by the D.E.S).
iii) Educational needs of the existing pupils.
iv) The presence of pupils with special educational and behavioural needs.
v) Directives from the Department of Education and Skills on recommended class size and minimum age for school enrolment. (In keeping with the Department’s current recommended pupil-teacher ratio every class will be deemed to have reached capacity when there are 29 students in that class. In order to attain an optimum pupil teacher ratio, Bellewstown School will not enrol any new pupils into a class which already has 29 pupils enrolled.* Bellewstown School will only enrol children into Junior Infants if they have reached their 4th birthday beforethe 31st of March of the year of enrolment. This age stipulation may only be waived if a place/number of places remain unfilled after all other applications have been processed and all applicants have been accommodated. In such circumstances any remaining places will be allocated in descending order of age beginning with the oldest.
vi) Directives from the School Patron. The Patron has directed that the annual Junior Infants enrolment will not exceed 15.
* In exceptional circumstances this may be reviewed by the Board of Management
The Application Process
A) Those seeking to enrol their child can obtain an Enrolment Application Form from the school. This form should be completed and returned to the school by 31st of January with the following documentation: (i) Copy of the child’s Birth Certificate. (ii) In the case of Catholic applicants, a Baptism Certificate. (iii) Children transferring from other schools must submit records from the previous school concerning attendance and progress. School Management is not obliged to consider applications which are late, incomplete or do not include the required documentation. Intentionally submitting inaccurate information on the application form will render it null and void. The submission of an application form does not confer a right to enrolment.
B) School Management will process all applications received and apply the enrolment criteria outlined below.
C) Written notification of the decision will be issued to parents within 21 days of closing date.
D) Parents of children who have been offered a place must inform the school in writing, within seven working days, that they wish to accept the offer. Failure to do so may result in the re-allocation of the place to another child.
What criteria are used to prioritise applicants?
The criteria below are listed in order of the priority afforded to each category. They will be used to prioritise enrolment applications when the number of applications received outnumbers the number of places available in any given class. In the event of the number of applicants in any of the categories 1-6 below outnumbering the remaining available places, the age of applicants will be used to determine priority (i.e. places will be offered beginning with the oldest applicant and proceeding in order of age from the oldest to the youngest until all remaining available places have been filled). Children who are refused admission to a given class should be placed on a waiting list for that class. All waiting lists will be categorised and prioritised in accordance with the criteria listed below and those falling into each category will be prioritised beginning with the oldest and proceeding in order of age to the youngest.
1) Children who have reached their 4th birthday on or before the 31st of March.
2) Brothers/sisters of currently enrolled students.
3) Children of current staff members.
4) Roman Catholic children living in the parish or within a 2 km radius of the school.*
5) Children living in the parish or within the 2 km radius.
6) Roman Catholic Children residing outside the 2 km radius of the school who do not have access to a Catholic School in their own parish.*
7) Children living outside the 2 km radius.
In the event of the number of applicants in any of the categories 1-7 above outnumbering the remaining available places, the age of applicants will be used to determine priority.
*A baptismal cert must be submitted with the application form in the case of Roman Catholics
Children with Special Needs
Children with special needs will be resourced in accordance with the level of resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills. In the event of an application for a child with special needs, the Board will request a copy of the child’s medical/psychological reports or a professional assessment of the child’s needs. In exceptional circumstances the Board reserves the right to refuse enrolment where it deems that: (i) The presence of the applicant in the school would impede the education of other pupils (each child has a right to an education without infringement) or would pose a threat to the safety of staff and/or students OR (ii) The applicant’s needs are such that, even with additional resources, the school could not meet their needs or provide an appropriate education for them.
Enrolment of pupils transferring from another school
Pupils may transfer to the school at any time, subject to school policy, available space and in relevant cases with the approval of the Department of Education and Skills. All reports and relevant documentation from the previous school must be forwarded in advance of enrolment.
Enrolment of pupils transferring from other countries
In the case of children who are transferring from another country it may take 2-3 weeks of assessment by the school before a suitable class level is determined. Parents are required to forward all relevant reports and documentation from the child’s previous school.
Parents who are unhappy with an enrolment decision may appeal to the School Board of Management. A letter stating the reason for the appeal should be forwarded to the Chairperson within seven working days of receiving the letter of refusal. The appeal will be discussed at a Board meeting and a final decision issued within twenty-one working days. If unhappy with the result of this internal appeal, parents may then appeal to the Department of Education and Skills on the official Section 29 Appeal Application Form. This application must be submitted to the Department within 42 days of receipt of the final decision of the Board of Management.
N.B. This enrolment policy will be reviewed and revised periodically.
Ratified on: 24th January 2013
Signed: Rev. John Conlon