Kilmacanogue National School Admission Policy

 

 

 

KILMACANOGUE NATIONAL SCHOOL

ADMISSION POLICY

(uploaded on website September 21st 2020)

 

 

Admission Policy of Kilmacanogue National School

School Address:    Kilmacanogue, Bray, Co. Wicklow, A98 D602

Roll number:          18365Q

School Patron:       Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin

Trustee:                  St. Laurence O’Toole

 

1.    Introduction

This Admission Policy complies with the requirements of the Education Act 1998, the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and the Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting this policy, the board of management of Kilmacanogue National School consulted with school staff, the school patron and with parents of children attending the school

The policy was approved by the school patron on September 5th 2020. It will be published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who requests it

The relevant dates and timelines for Kilmacanogue National School’s admission process are set out in the school’s Annual Admission Notice which will be published annually on the school’s website at least one week before the commencement of the admission process for the school year concerned.

This policy must be read in conjunction with the Annual Admission Notice for the school year concerned.

Along with the school’s Admission Policy and Annual Admission Notice, the application form for admission will be published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy on request to any person who requests it.

This enrolment policy is set out:

  • in accordance with the provision of the Education Act 1998
  • considering the rights of the Patron as set out in the above Act
  • within the context and parameters of the Department of Education and Skills’ regulations and programmes
  • mindful of the funding, facilities and resources available

2.    Characteristic Spirit and General Objectives of the School

Kilmacanogue National School is a Catholic co-educational primary school with a Catholic ethos under the patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin.

“Catholic Ethos” in the context of a Catholic primary school means the ethos and characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church, which aims at promoting:

  1. the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil, including the intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual aspects; and
  2. a living relationship with God and with other people; and
  3. a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and
  4. the formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith

and which school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the  doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, and/or such ethos and/or characteristic spirit as may be determined or interpreted from time to time by the Irish Episcopal Conference.

In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management of Kilmacanogue National School shall uphold, and be accountable to the patron for so upholding, the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school.

Kilmacanogue National School, in conjunction with the Parish Pastoral team.  prepares the children for the sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. The Catholic Religious Programme, ‘Grow in Love’ is taught in the school where 30 minutes daily is spent in the religious education of the children.

Mission Statement

In Kilmacanogue National School we seek to foster a welcoming environment where every child is valued, cherished and NURTURED. We encourage and guide every child to develop his/her talents and gifts and to have empathy for those around them. As a school community, we value the contribution of all its members, respect their uniqueness and respond to their individual needs in a caring and supportive manner.

Our motto is: ‘If it’s not nice, we don’t do it and if it’s not nice, we don’t say it.’

We actively encourage the use and action of such words as: respect, dignity, hard-working, praise, kindness, gentleness, caring, friendly, forgiveness, inclusion, protection, honesty, generosity, welcoming and our favourite word is: ENCOURAGE. We encourage each other to be the absolute best that we can be and to do the right thing.

General Objectives of Kilmacanogue National School

The community of Kilmacanogue National School encompasses different groups of people; pupils, parents, teachers, SNAs, support staff, Parent’s Association and Board of Management. As a school community, we promote partnership between the home, the school and the parish and we work together to achieve our aims which include:

  • promoting a secure and HAPPY atmosphere within a stimulating environment where the children learn effectively
  • providing equal access for all children to a broad balanced curriculum which takes into account the requirements of the Department of Education.
  • helping the children acknowledge that every person is uniquely created by God, is valued equally and is cherished for who he/she is
  • fostering and encouraging tolerance, confidence, respect, politeness and high standards of behaviour.

The aim of the staff of Kilmacanogue National School is to provide a secure, welcoming and happy atmosphere in our school. We want the children to look forward to their day in our school. We try to create an atmosphere in the classroom which is stimulating and where the children can learn effectively.

Tolerance, confidence, respect, politeness and high standards of behaviour are fostered and promoted. We actively encourage and invite parents to come and discuss with us any concerns they may have for their children.

‘Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.’ We are here to help one another.

Kilmacanogue National School is a Catholic, mixed, vertical mainstream school which caters for a full range of classes from Junior Infants to 6th class. It is an inclusive school and caters for children of all abilities. There are 13 full-time teachers including the principal.

We have 3 Learning Support/Resource teachers and a visiting teacher whom we share with Delgany National School.  Special Needs Assistants are assigned to the school by the Department of Education and Skills to enable the inclusion of children with special needs in our school. At the moment, we have 3 full-time Special Needs’ Assistants and 1 part-time Special Needs’ Assistant.

The school day starts when its doors open as the teachers welcome the children at 9:20am in the morning and the school day finishes at 2pm for the children in the Junior and Senior Infant Classes and at 3pm for all other classes when the teachers wave goodbye to the children.

Kilmacanogue National School operates under the Rules for National Schools and the Departmental Circulars and is funded by grants which are paid to the Board of Management by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and by other agencies where applicable. Staff are resourced by the Department of Education and Skills.

The school is subject to The Education Act 1998, The Education and Welfare Act 2000, The Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act 2004, Equality Law and all other relevant legislation.

Kilmacanogue National School follows the curricular programmes as laid down 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.

3.    Admission Statement

Kilmacanogue National School will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school on any of the following:

  • the gender ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the civil status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the family status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the sexual orientation ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the religion ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the disability ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the ground of race of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the Traveller community ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, or
  • the ground that the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned has special educational needs

As per section 61 (3) of the Education Act 1998, ‘civil status ground’, ‘disability ground’, ‘discriminate’, ‘family status ground’, ‘gender ground’, ‘ground of race’, ‘religion ground’,  ‘sexual orientation ground’ and ‘Traveller community ground’ shall be construed in accordance with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000.

In brief, Kilmacanogue National School supports the principles of:

  • inclusion especially regarding the enrolment of children with a disability or special educational needs
  • equality of access and participation in the school
  • parental choice in relation to enrolment
  • respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, language and ways of life

4.    Categories of Special Educational Needs catered for in the school/special class

Admission of Children with Special Educational Needs

At the moment, Kilmacanogue National School does not have a special class or unit in the school for children with Special Educational Needs, nonetheless, Kilmacanogue National School supports the principles of inclusiveness and equality of access and participation, within the context of Department of Education and Skills regulations and programmes, and within the funding and resources that are available.

Section 2 of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act 2004, it requires that:

“A child with special educational needs shall be educated in an inclusive environment with children who do not have such needs unless the nature or degree of those needs of the child is such that to do so would be inconsistent with:

  1. The best interest of the child as determined in accordance with any assessment carried out under this Act
  2. The effective provision of education for children with whom the child is to be educated.”

In the context of being a mainstream Primary School, and taking into account the details outlined above, children with Special Educational Needs wanting to be enrolled by their parents/guardians, will be assessed carefully, case by case, as every child with special needs has specific educational and/or physical requirement(s) and the teaching capacity and resources of the school may not be sufficient to respond adequately to the needs of some pupils.

Parents/guardians of children with special educational needs will be encouraged to advise the Principal of Kilmacanogue National School of their child’s specific needs so that the most appropriate learning environment for their child is established before commencing in the school.

The Board of Management encourages parents/guardians to make medical/psychological assessments, etc. available in order to assist the school in establishing the educational and any other needs of their child relevant to his/her special needs and to profile the support services required (this will happen in accordance with Circular 0056/2011).

Where such reports are not available, the Board of Management may request that the child be assessed for the purpose of assisting the school in establishing the specific needs of the child relevant to his or her special needs. A profile of the relevant support services necessary may need to be furnished by the relevant authorities.

Following receipt of such reports, the Board of Management will assess how the school could meet the needs specified in the report. Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it will request the Department of Education & Skills and/or The National Council for Special Education, to provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child as outlined in the psychological and/or medical report.

The Principal, acting on behalf of the Board, will meet with the parents/guardians of the child to discuss the child’s needs and the school’s suitability in meeting these needs.  If necessary, a full case conference involving all relevant parties (which may include parents/guardians, Principal, Class Teacher, Psychologist and other professionals as appropriate) will be held.

5.    Admission of Students

Kilmacanogue National School shall admit each student seeking admission except where –

a) the school is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details)#

b) a parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student

 

Application Procedures

Application procedures to Kilmacanogue National School must be read in conjunction with the Annual Admission Notice and the Admission Policy both of which, along with the application form, are available in hard copy from the school office and available to download from the school website www.kilmacschool.ie.

The Annual Admission Notice contains Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 1, concerns information relating to the admissions to Kilmacanogue National School for the current school year in question. Information relating to the dates for commencing the acceptance of applications as well as the dates relating to the cessation of the acceptance of applications will be outlined in the Annual Admission Notice.

The dates by which applicants will be notified of the decision on their application will also be outlined along with the timeframe within which applicants must confirm acceptance of an offer of admission.

The Annual Admission Notice will also outline the number of places being made available to Junior Infants in the specific school year concerned.

Part 2, of the Annual Admission Notice, contains information relating to the actual admission process involved in the intake of Junior Infants for the year previous to the current school year in question.

The number of places which were available as well as the number of applications received along with the number of offers of places made and accepted will also be outlined in Part 2 of the Annual Admission Notice. It will also outline the number of names placed on waiting lists for the previous school year concerned.

Following the dates outlined in the Annual Admission Notice for the commencement of the receipt of applications to enrol in Junior Infants in Kilmacanogue National School and the cessation of receipt of applications to enrol, the following criteria will be used when issuing first round offers of places:

  • Siblings and stepsiblings of children already enrolled in the school and children resident in the parish
  • Children of staff members
  • Children residing outside the parish

The following guidelines regarding prioritising the enrolment of children will apply when considering the admission of children into Junior Infants from the 3 categories outlined above:

  1. All children being enrolled in Junior Infants must be 4 years of age by the 31st of March of the year in which they are starting.
  2. When applying to the school, applications will be organised in accordance with the 3 categories mentioned above
  3. If there are any vacancies in Junior Infants once the first round of offers has been made to those children in category (1), then offers will be made to those children in the next categories in order (2- 3)
  4. Where there has been a change of address resulting in being transferred from one category to another, then the placement of the transferred application will be determined by the date of transfer, and NOT the date of the original application.

On the enrolment/application form, which must be filled in completely, parents/guardians will be asked to provide their child’s original birth certificate as well as two utility bills, including proof of address. The addresses of relatives are not acceptable.

It is important to remember that all children must be enrolled, having a sibling in the school does not automatically guarantee a place. Applications must be filled out for each child.

Parents/guardians will be notified about their child’s enrolment application within 3 weeks of the closing date for receipt of the application or within 3 weeks of the application date for late applications.

As already outlined in section 1 of this policy, the relevant dates and timelines for Kilmacanogue National School’s admission process will be set out in the school’s Annual Admission Notice.

Failure to accept an offer within the prescribed period outlined in the Annual Admission Notice, may result in the offer being withdrawn.

6.    Oversubscription

In the event that Kilmacanogue National School is oversubscribed, the school will, when deciding on applications for admission, apply the following selection criteria in the order listed below to those applications that are received within the timeline for receipt of applications as set out in the school’s Annual Admission Notice:

  • Siblings and stepsiblings of children already enrolled in the school and children resident in the parish (the eldest child will have priority)
  • Children of current staff members (the eldest child will have priority)
  • Children residing outside the parish (the eldest child will have priority)

 

A waiting list of children whose applications for admission were unsuccessful due to over subscription to the school will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which the admission is being sought.

Placement on the waiting list will be in the order of priority assigned to the children’s applications once the school has applied the selection criteria outlined above (1-3) and in section 5, Admission of Students, of this document

Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those children  on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the children have been placed on the list as already outlined in Section 5 Admission of Students.

As for all other children wishing to be enrolled, the enrolment/application form, must be filled in completely by the parents/guardians, who will be asked to provide their child’s original birth certificate as well as two utility bills, including proof of address. The addresses of relatives are not acceptable.

 

In the event that there are two or more students tied for a place or places in any of the selection criteria categories mentioned above (the number of applicants exceeds the number of remaining places), and having taken into account all the criteria mentioned above, the age of the children will be taken into account and places will be offered to the eldest children in that category first.

If two applicants have the same date of birth, then a lottery will apply with an independent party present.

The designation of any cut-off date is at the discretion of the Board of Management and may vary from year to year depending on the demand for places.

7.    What will not be considered or taken into account

In accordance with section 62(7) (e) of the Education Act, the school will not consider or take into account any of the following in deciding on applications for admission or when placing a student on a waiting list for admission to the school:

 

a)    a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service, including naíonraí,

b)    the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;

c)    a student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude;

d)    the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents;

e)    a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;

f)     a student’s connection to the school by virtue of a member of his or her family attending or having previously attended the school, other than outlined in the selection criteria for enrolment to the school as outlined in section 5 Admission of Students.

g)    the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school.

 

[This is subject to the application being received at any time during the period specified for receiving applications set out in the Annual Admission Notice of the school for the school year concerned]

 

8.    Decisions on applications

All decisions on applications for admission to Kilmacanogue National School will be based on the following:

  • Our school’s Admission Policy
  • The school’s Annual Admission Notice (where applicable)
  • The information provided by the applicant in the school’s official application form received during the period specified in our Annual Admission Notice for receiving applications

On receipt of an application form, the school will confirm receipt of this application via post or email. This however does not guarantee a place in the school as this can only be guaranteed when the full application process has been followed and completed and a letter has been sent from the school to the parents/guardians offering a place and that place has been accepted in writing by the parents/guardians  in line with the school’s Admission Policy and Annual Admission Notice.

(Please see section 14 below in relation to applications received outside of the admissions period and section 15  below in relation to applications for places in years other than the intake group.)

Selection criteria that are not included in our school’s Admission Policy will not be used to decide on an application for a place in our school.

9.    Notifying applicants of decisions

Applicants will be informed in writing as to the decision of the school, within the timeline outlined in the Annual Admission Notice.

If a student is not offered a place in our school, the reasons why they were not offered a place will be communicated in writing to the applicant, including, where applicable, details of the student’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the student’s place on the waiting list for the school year concerned.

Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the school’s decision (see section 18 below for further details).

10.  Acceptance of an offer of a place by an applicant

In accepting an offer of admission from Kilmacanogue National School, you must indicate—

(i) whether or not you have accepted an offer of admission for another school or schools. If you have accepted such an offer, you must also provide details of the offer or offers concerned and

(ii) whether or not you have applied for and awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school or schools, and if so, you must provide details of the other school or schools concerned.

11. Circumstances in which offers may not be made or may be withdrawn

An offer of admission may not be made or may be withdrawn by Kilmacanogue National School where—

  • it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading.
  • an applicant fails to confirm acceptance of an offer of admission on or before the date set out in the annual admission notice of the school.
  • the parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the Code of Behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student; or
  • an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 10

 

12. Sharing of Data with other schools

Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 allows for the sharing of certain information between schools in order to facilitate the efficient admission of students.

 

Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a list of the students in relation to whom—

(i) an application for admission to the school has been received,

(ii) an offer of admission to the school has been made, or

(iii) an offer of admission to the school has been accepted.

 

The list may include any or all of the following:

(i) the date on which an application for admission was received by the school;

(ii) the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school;

(iii) the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant;

(iv) a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth and personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005).

 

13. Waiting list in the event of oversubscription

In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places available, a waiting list of students, whose applications for admission to Kilmacanogue National School were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed, will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought.

Placement on the waiting list of Kilmacanogue National School is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this Admission Policy.

Applicants whose applications are received after the closing date, outlined in the Annual Admission Notice, will be placed at the end of the waiting list in order of the date of receipt of the application.

Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those students on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the students have been placed on the list.

Please consider previous sections especially sections 5, 6 and 8 of this Admission Policy.

14.  Late Applications

All applications for admission received after the closing date as outlined in the Annual Admission Notice will be considered and decided upon in accordance with our school’s Admission Policy, the Education Admissions to School Act 2018 and any regulations made under that Act.

Late applicants will be notified of the decision in respect of their application no later than three weeks after the date on which the school received the application.  Late applicants will be offered a place if there is a place available once all the children from categories (1-3) that applied during the Annual Admission Notice time frame have been offered places.

If there is no place available, the name of the applicant will be added to a waiting list for Late Applicants. Where more than one child remains on this waiting list from the same category, the date of the application will determine priority.

15. Procedures for admission of students to other years and during the school year

Application Procedures for Applications to Classes from Senior Infants up to and including 6th Class at the start of the school year and during the school year

As outlined in section 5, application procedures to Kilmacanogue National School must be read in conjunction with the school’s Admission Policy. This, as well as the application form, is available in hard copy from the school office and available to download from the school website www.kilmacschool.ie.

Students may transfer from another school to Kilmacanogue National School at the start of the school year or during the school year, subject to the school’s Admission Policy, the availability of places, the class into which the child/children being enrolled is appropriate to their age and ability and, in some instances, with the approval of the Department of Education and Skills.

In considering student transfers, the Principal, on behalf of the Board of Management, may ask for a reference from the student’s current teacher and copies of school reports and Standardised Test results but only after enrolment in this school has been accepted (in line with Circular 0056/2011).

The Principal may also wish to contact the Principal of the other school for a report, as required by the Educational (Welfare) Act 2000 and the parents/guardians will be notified of the Board of Management’s decision in writing within 21 days. The Principal shall request the pupil’s PPS number, to facilitate the update of the Primary Online Data base system known as the POD. (This is a nationwide individualised database of school pupils, facilitating the monitoring of educational progress as pupils move through the Primary Education system on into the Post-Primary Education system)

Where children leave Kilmacanogue National School to attend school elsewhere, no guarantee can be given that they may be re-enrolled in the school upon their return to Kilmacanogue National School.  Depending on the current size of the class they seek to re-join, subject to current Department of Education and Skills’ guidelines, re-enrolment may not be possible.

As previously stated, if the number of children seeking admission exceeds the number of places available, the Board of Management will consider the criteria in order of priority as outlined in the relevant categories including sections 5 and section 6

16. Declaration in relation to the non-charging of fees

The Board of Kilmacanogue National School or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-

  • an application for admission of a student to the school, or
  • the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.

17.  Arrangements regarding students not attending religious instruction

 

The following are the arrangements of Kilmacanogue National School for children, whose parents/guardians have requested that they attend the school without attending religious instruction in the school.  These arrangements will not result in a reduction in the school day of such students:

In the event of parents/guardians of children wanting to enrol their children in Kilmacanogue National School but requesting that their child/children not attend religious instruction or Catholic liturgies in the school, a written request should be made to the Principal of Kilmacanogue National School.

A meeting will then be arranged with the parents/guardians to discuss how their request may be accommodated sensitively by the school, taking everything into consideration including the resources available to the school such as school personnel.

 

18.   Reviews/appeals

Review of decisions by the board of Management

The parents/guardians of children may request the board to review a decision to refuse admission. Such requests must be made in accordance with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998.

The timeline within which such a review must be requested and the other requirements applicable to such reviews are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

The board will conduct such reviews in accordance with the requirements of the procedures determined under Section 29B and with section 29C of the Education Act 1998.

Note:  Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

 

Right of Appeal

Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parent of the child, may appeal a decision of this school to refuse admission.

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (i) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due to the school being oversubscribed.

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (ii) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due a reason other than the school being oversubscribed.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)

Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will be considered and determined by an independent appeals committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.

The timeline within which such an appeal must be made and the other requirements applicable to such appeals are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

This Admission Policy has been ratified by the Board of Management and signed by Judy O’Toole, Chairperson, and Niamh Murray, Principal, on September 7th 2020.

Signed: Judy O’Toole (Chairperson)

Signed: Niamh Murray (Principal)

Date:    7th September 2020