Enrolment Policy

General Information

This school, Bunscoil Clochar Mhuire, serves the people of the Catholic Parish of Trim.  It is a parish-based school.  It is a Catholic School that has been established with the Minister of Education and Science having as its patron Most Reverend Michael Smith, the Bishop of Meath.  It aims at promoting the full harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil – intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual, including a living relationship with God and other people.  The school models and promotes a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This Catholic school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Catholic Church and promotes the formation of pupils in the Catholic faith.
The Board of Management of Bunscoil Clochar Mhuire has set out this Enrolment/ Admissions policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998.  The Board trusts that this policy will assist parents in relation to enrolment matters.  Furthermore, the Chairman of the Board of Management, Mr Peter Higgins and the Principal, Mr. Cóilín Ó Coigligh, will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from the policy.
Bunscoil Clochar Mhuire has a staff of twenty nine teachers, including the Principal.  Nineteen class teachers, three Learning Support Teachers, two teachers for children with Speech and Language difficulties, one Resource Teacher for pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties, one teacher for children with Mild Learning Disabilities and two English Language Teachers.  It is a mixed, vertical school, catering for boys and girls from Junior Infants to First Class and girls from Second Class to Sixth Class.
Bunscoil Clochar Mhuire depends on the grants and the 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.  To this end, school policy must have regard to the resources and funding available.  The school follows the curriculum programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Science, 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, and the funding and resources available, Bunscoil Clochar Mhuire 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 school;- parental choice in relation to enrolment;- respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.

Application Procedures

Parents/guardians who wish to enroll pupils in Junior Infants are required to complete a written application form, normally during the second term.  To facilitate this and to enable parents and prospective parents to observe our school in action, an Open Day is held, each year, in February.  The Board of Management will communicate this information generally to the school community through appropriate channels, (notices, parish bulletin, imlitreacha/circulars), outlining the application for enrolment procedures.
Parents/guardians who wish to enroll pupils during the school year are also required to complete a written application form.The names of children for whom Enrolment Application forms and Birth / Adoption /Baptismal Certificates have been returned, will be placed on a class waiting list.
No child may attend Bunscoil Clochar Mhuire who would reach their fourteenth birthday in Sixth Class. Children’s names used in the school will be as per Birth Certificate or Deed Poll Certificate. Application and Information Forms and supporting documentation must be submitted by the 14th February of the year prior to the Child starting school for Junior Infants, (hereinafter referred to as “The Submission Date” which may change from year to year depending on circumstances). Parents/Guardians will be notified of the Board’s decision, within 21working days of this Submission Date, or within 21 working days of subsequent applications.
Once an Applicant has been notified of an offer of a place in the school the payment of the deposit of €75 for education materials (to be reviewed annually) to the school is required.  This deposit will be deemed to be an acceptance of the offer of a place and furthermore as a sign of a commitment on behalf of the Applicant.  The deposit will be forfeited if the child does not subsequently attend the school in the same year or in the alternative if the offer is subsequently declined.  The deposit will be deducted from the requisite payments made by all parents in June.

Managing Intake

The Board of Management as directed by the Department of Education and Science has set a maximum class size of 28 children (or current maximum class size) in Junior Infant classes on the following basis:
a) Smaller numbers are desirable in Junior Infants.
b) It is felt that any number in excess of 28 children per class would have adverse implications for class size, for the capacity of the existing building and for the overall size of the school campus.
c) In order to facilitate this maximum class size of 28 as referred to above, the Board of Management will use a cut off date by which any child must be four years old.  This cut off date will be as a date prior to the 1st September in any school year.  The actual cut off date will decided annually and will be based on the number of applicants and other considerations relevant to the decision making process relating thereto.
d) The date is to be decided by the 28th February or afterwards subject to the number of places accepted.  Places not accepted within 5 working days of the date on the offer letters will be offered to pupils on our waiting list.
e) No Junior Infants shall be accepted after September 30th in the year of enrolment, excepting pupils who are transferring from another school.

Rationale

The school is deemed to be full when the figure produced by multiplying the number of mainstream classes by 28 is reached.

The Board of Management has adopted this policy because it is of the opinion that:

1) More than 28 children in classes can be detrimental to the educational progress of the children.
2) Teaching staff find it impossible to cater for the individual needs of children in classes with high numbers.
The consequences of coping with such difficulties are that both staff and pupils experience stress and anxiety.

Provision of Key Information by Parents/Guardians

Certain information will be required when children are being enrolled.  A specific enrolment form will be provided for this purpose.  This information will include:
– Baptismal Certificate (if applicable) or a Birth Certificate if pupil has not been baptised- Pupil’s name, address, date of birth;
– Names and addresses of pupil’s parents/guardians;
– Contact telephone numbers to include land and mobile numbers.
– Details of any medical conditions of which the school should be aware;
– Religion;
– Details of schools attended, if any, and reasons for transfers, if applicable;
– Any other relevant information, (including any such information as may be prescribed under the Education Welfare Act 2000).
– School reports from the pupil’s previous school, where applicable.

Decision Making

Ultimate responsibility for the implementation of the enrolment policy rests with the Board of Management of the school.  As a general principal, children will be enrolled on application, provided that there is space available.The following criteria will be used in deciding the order of priority for enrolment, with the exception of pupils wishing to enrol in our Mixed Class and Speech and Language Classes:
1. Brothers and sisters (including step-siblings, resident at the home address) of children already enrolled – priority to the eldest.
2. Children of current school staff – priority to the eldest.
3. Roman Catholic children who are resident within the parish boundary – priority to the eldest.
4. Catholic children living outside the parish boundary who do not have access to a Catholic school in their own parish.  A letter of recommendation may be required from the applicant’s Parish Priest.
5. Children living within the parish – priority to the eldest.
6. Children whose home address is closest to the school (as measured by a straight line on an OS map) if the child is normally resident outside the parish.
Prior to coming to a decision on enrolment numbers, the Board of Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each class bearing in mind the following:
a) Size/available space in classrooms.
b) Educational needs of children of a particular age.
c) Multi grade classes.
d) Presence of children with special educational/behavioural needs.
e) Department of Education and Science maximum class average directives.
This policy of not allowing the average maximum class size of 28 to be exceeded is based on Circular 9/03 Regulations Governing the Appointment and Retention of Teachers in Primary Schools.  It will be amended in the light of reductions in the pupil teacher ratio.

Enrolment of children with Special Needs

On receipt of an application for the enrolment of a child with special needs, the Board of Management shall request a copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological report or where such a report is not available, shall request that the child is assessed immediately. The purpose of this is to assist the school in establishing the educational and training needs of a child relevant to his/her disability and/or special needs, and to profile the support services required.
Upon receipt of the report the Board will assess how the school could meet the needs specified in the report.  Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it will, prior to enrolment, request the Department of Education and Science to provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child as outlined in the psychological or medical report.  These resources may include, for example, access to or the provision of any or a combination of the following:
–   visiting teacher service
–   resource teacher for special needs
–   special needs assistant
–   specialised equipment or furniture
–   transport services or other.
Admission of children to our Speech and Language Classes and our Mixed Class (children with M.G.L.D.) is subject to policies on same.  Copies of these policies are available on request.
The school will meet with the parents/guardians of the child to discuss the child’s needs and the school’s suitability or capability in meeting those needs.  In exceptional circumstances, a full case-conference involving all parties should be held, which may include parents/guardians, principal, class teacher, learning support teacher, resource teacher for pupils with special needs, psychologist, speech and language therapist, or other specialist as appropriate.  The Board of Management reserves the right to defer enrolment of a pupil pending the sanctioning of resources by the NCSE, which is sufficient to enable the school to meet the needs of the child concerned.
The enrolment once accepted, shall be subject to a regular review as circumstance demand.  It shall be open to either the Board of Management or the parents, of the child with special needs, to initiate a review.

Pupils Transferring

Pupils wishing to transfer from other schools are enrolled subject to the Rules governing National Schools, as well as our own school’s enrolment policy.
Pupils may transfer to the school at any time, subject to school policy, available space and in some cases the approval of the Department of Education and Science.  The school will require information concerning attendance and the child’s educational progress from the previous school, (Education Welfare Act 2000).
As soon as a student has been allocated their place at St. Mary’s, the Principal shall inform the class teacher & support teacher if appropriate.

Code of Behaviour

Parents/guardians who apply to enrol their children will be given a copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour.  An agreement signed by the parents/guardians to abide by the Code of Behaviour must be returned to the school in advance of enrolment.
Suspension: For serious misbehaviour or continuous misbehaviour pupils may be suspended by the Principal for a maximum of three days. Internal or external suspension will be at the discretion of the principal.  This period may be extended, at the discretion of the Board of Management.
Suspension may occur when:
• The pupils behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students.
• The pupils continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety.
• The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property.
• A single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension.
Expulsion: A pupil may be expelled from school on the authority of the Board of Management.
Any Behaviour involving criminal offences Gardai will be automatically involved.
Any Behaviour involving Child Protection will be reported to relevant authorities.A copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour is attached to this policy document, (as required by the Education Welfare Act 2000.)

Appeals Procedure

Parents, who are unhappy with an enrolment decision, may appeal to the Board of Management.  It 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.  If unhappy with the result of this appeal, they may then appeal to the Department of Education and Science on the official form provided by the Department.  This appeal must be lodged within 42 days of receipt of the refusal from the School.

Review of Policy

The Board of Management has the right to review and propose amendments to this enrolment policy.  Amendments proposed require the Patron’s approval before they become operative.
Reminder: To ensure a speedy process of your child’s application/enrolment, please check that you have enclosed the following:
Child’s Baptismal Certificate, if your child is Roman Catholic
or Child’s Birth Certificate, if your child is of another Religious Denomination.  (Originals)
Any other relevant documentation which may be helpful to your child should he/she be needing extra educational resources i.e. Learning Support Resource hours Special Needs Assistant etc.

 

 

 

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