Enrolment/Admissions

Pobalscoil Iosolde, Palmerstown

Enrolment/Admissions Policy

Relationship to School’s Mission, Vision/Aims

The school community works in a holistic manner to ensure that dependence is gradually replaced by responsibility for self, society and the world.  The dignity of each student, staff member and parent is honoured and reflected in the school’s policies and structures, including this policy.  While educational excellence is promoted, it is the needs of the learner that direct the educational and social development of the school.  Where possible the school will engage with alternative approaches to education especially for those who are deemed disadvantaged.

Section 1 : Scope, Rationale & Legal Framework

Scope

This document sets out the policy of the school in respect of admissions to the school in the following circumstances :

  • Students applying to the school in first year
  • Students from outside the school applying for a place in any other year, group or programme
  • Students applying to repeat any year of any programme within the school, including repeating the Leaving Certificate Programme
  • Students from within the school applying for a place in any programme within the school (e.g. Leaving Certificate Traditional, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, Leaving Certificate Applied, Transition Year).


This policy should be read in conjunction with the following school documents:

  • Mission Statement
  • School prospectus
  • Special Educational Needs Policy
  • Student Code of Behaviour
  • Student Suspension and Expulsion Policies
  • Student Attendance Policy
  • Substance Use Policy
  • Anti Bullying Policy
  • Religious Education Policy
  • Guidance Plan for the school
  • Internet Safety: Acceptable Use Policy
  • Crisis (Critical Incident) Management Policy
  • Educational Tours and Out of School Groups Activities Policy
  • Code of Practice for Processing Complaints by Parents/Guardians of Students (who have reached the age of 18 Years) against Community and Comprehensive Schools
  • Code of Practice for Processing Claims of Sexual Harassment of a member of Staff by a Student in Community or Comprehensive Schools


Rationale

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

  • To make decisions on all applications in an open and transparent manner consistent with the Mission Statement of the school, the Admissions Policy as defined by the Board of Management and legislative requirements
  • To make accurate and appropriate assessments of the capacity of the school to cater for the needs of applicants in the light of all resources available to it and
  • To put in place a framework which will ensure effective and productive relations between students, parents and teachers where a student is admitted to the school.


Legal Framework

Section 9 (j) of the Education Act specifies, that “A recognised school shall….. subject to this Act and in particular section 15 (2) (d), establish and maintain an Admissions Policy which provides for maximum accessibility to the school.”
Section 15 (2) (d) states that the Boards of Management shall “publish…..the policy of the school concerning admission to and participation in the school and ensure that as regards that the policy principles of equality and the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parents’ choice are respected.”

Section 27 (1) states that “A board shall establish and maintain procedures for the purpose of informing students in a school of the activities of the school” and (2) that “the procedures established and maintained under subsection (1) shall facilitate the involvement of the students in the operation of the school, having regard to the age and experience of the students, in association with their parents and teachers”

The Education Welfare Act, 2000 [Section 19(1)] requires that a Board of Management shall not refuse to admit a child except where such refusal is in accordance with the school’s Admissions Policy.  Section 19(2) requires that parents must provide relevant information to the school while Section 19(3) requires that the Board of Management shall, as soon as is practicable (but not later than 21 days) after receiving information ” make a decision in respect of the application concerned and inform the parents in writing thereof”.

The Equal Status Act, 2000 [Section 5 & 7 (2)] prohibits discrimination on the grounds of “gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or member of the Travelling Community ” regarding admission, access to programmes, participation in the school or regarding expulsion or any other sanction.  There are limited exceptions regarding single-sex schools and schools promoting particular religious values [Section 7 (3)].  However, Section 3.3 states that “treating a person who has not attained 18 years less favourably or more favourably than another, whatever that other’s person’s age, shall not be regarded as discrimination on the age ground”.  Section 3.4 states that “for the purpose of the act discrimination includes a refusal of failure by the provider of a service to do all that is reasonable to accommodate the needs of a person with a disability by providing special treatment or facilities, if without such special treatment or facilities it would be impossible or unduly difficult for the person to avail himself or herself of the service.”

The Education for Persons with Special Needs Act 2002

This Act outlines in Section 3 the preparation of an education plan by the school (including steps preliminary to such preparation), Section 4 & 5 referring to the assessment of the child and modes of assessment, Section 7 outlines the provision of services, Section 8 & 9 outline the preparation of the education plan and its content while Section outlines the duties of the school.

Goals

The school shall have in place appropriate channels of communications and procedures

  • To inform parents about the school, its programmes, activities and admissions procedures
  • To enable the applicants for admission to the school to be handled in an open, transparent and accountable manner subject to the terms of the defined Board of management admissions policy
  • To put in place criteria under which applications shall be considered
  • To ensure that these criteria are informed by our Missions Statement, ethos and current legislation
  • To specify what information is required by the school concerning the student applicant at the time of their application for enrolment at the school.


It should be clearly noted that Pobalscoil Iosolde, under the Deed of Trust, is a multidenominational school.  It is not a non-denominational school.  Similarly, it should be noted that under the Deed of Trust, Pobalscoil Iosolde is established as a coeducational school.  The Admissions Policy of the school shall protect and maintain these distinguishing characteristics.

Section 2 : Procedures Application.  Enrolment Criteria & Decision.  Appeal

Application for First Year

Our admission procedure complies with all current legislation such as the Education Act 1998, Education Welfare Act 2000 and Equal Status Act 2000.

Admissions Procedure for Students who meet the criteria for enrolment.

Application for enrolment may be made using one of the following methods :
1.   Attendance at Pobalscoil Iosolde on an annual specified enrolment date for students in 5th class in primary school.

2.   Attendance at Pobalscoil Iosolde at any time prior to the annual specified enrolment date by appointment with the school office.

The following procedure must be followed :

(i)   Personal attendance of a parent/guardian and student at the school.

(ii)   Provision of Personal Public Service Number (PPS No.) and birth certificate.

(iii)   Accurate and full completion of the application form including signature of parent/guardian and student.

(iv)   Payment of a non-refundable fee for administration.

(v)   A copy of the School Code of Behaviour, Attendance Policy and Internet Safety Acceptable Use Policy signed by both the parent/ guardian and the student.  (Please read, available on website www.palmerstowncs.ie and/or from the school office)

Any application made after the annual specified enrolment date shall be deemed as late.  
Any late application regardless of school attended, area of residence or sibling attending/ attended the school will be considered after all applicants fulfilling the above criteria have been allocated places in the school and/or on the waiting list.

Parents/Guardians may be required to complete a further information form regarding their child’s educational progress at a later date and/or co-operate with the schools attempts to identify the educational or other relevant needs of the child.  The school may wish to meet with the applicant and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) to discuss the needs of the applicant or the parent(s)/guardian(s) may request a meeting.  In either case the school will make all reasonable effort to accommodate such a meeting prior to making a decision on an application.

Any of the following may result in a child being refused admission to the school and/or the offer of a place being nullified :

  • Failure to fully and accurately complete the application form
  • Failure to disclose any information or documentation deemed relevant for and by the school
  • Failure to supply any relevant documentation requested by the school
  • Failure to make a reasonable arrangement to meet with the school to discuss the application.


The school organise an “Open Night/Information Night” so that parents may inform themselves about the school.  The Information Evening/ Open Night is open to all eligible students for enrolment and their parents/guardians who will then have to choose a school for their child.  The parent(s)/guardian(s) are required to accompany the student to this evening.  The school also organises an “Open Day” in which all 5th and 6th class students of the three local feeder schools visit Pobalscoil Iosolde as part of the transfer programme from primary to second level school.

Decision Making Process

Decisions regarding student admissions are a matter for the Board of Management.  The Principal will refer all enrolment applications to the Board of Management for a decision.

Any applicant who is deemed to cause a threat to the health and safety of students and/or staff may be refused enrolment.  

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will be advised of the outcome of their application in writing in September of the school year prior to the students’ start date, and must complete the enclosed acceptance form and return it to the school by the date specified.  Any applicant who does not return the enclosed acceptance form will put their admission at risk.

The Board of Management will determine the number of students to be accepted into 1st Year – that figure will depend on the overall number of students in the school, the overall capacity for which the school was designed, the capacity for the school to fulfil its obligations under educational programmes currently in progress, the approved teaching resources and the class size limitations which are predetermined.

Class Size

In deciding the number of students to be enrolled in any class, the educational programme or in any school year, the Board of Management has adopted a policy on the maximum numbers of students to be accommodated in any class group.   Conscious of the available classroom space, the level of equipment available for student use in that subject area, sound educational concerns, opportunity for student achievement, experience of best practice, special needs facilities, good order, grade and level of subject area, health, safety and welfare of students and staff, and a desire for an ongoing calm industrial relations climate in the school.  These class sizes vary from subject to subject with 30 students in general academic subject areas (e.g. English, Irish, Mathematics etc), to 24 students in some of the practical subject areas (e.g. Science, Metalwork, Art, etc) 20 students in Home Economics to a maximum of 17 students in the core subjects of the Junior Certificate School Programme classes.  Further details on these class size limits may be secured from the School principal on request.

Enrolment Criteria/Admission Criteria

Children will be enrolled in Pobalscoil Iosolde on application subject to the terms of this admissions policy.

Places will be allocated to first year students according to the criteria as laid out below in order of priority:

(i)   Students whose school is within the catchment area of Palmerstown or Chapelizod, i.e. St. Bridget’s, St.  Lorcan’s, St. Patrick’s National Schools, that meet the admissions criteria and have fully completed the admissions procedure.

(ii)   Those living in the local catchment area of Palmerstown or Chapelizod that meet the admissions criteria and have fully completed the admissions procedure.

(iii)   Those who have/had a brother or sister in Pobalscoil Iosolde that meet the admissions criteria and have fully completed the admissions procedure.

(iv)   If there are still places left, applicants not attending any of the designated schools and not resident in the area shall be accepted in accordance with the sequential date in which a fully completed application was lodged with the school.

At any stage when the enrolment reaches its maximum specified number a waiting list will ensue.  The criteria above will still apply.  Where necessary a lottery will be invoked to order the applicants to be placed on the waiting list.

Any late application regardless of school attended, area of residence or sibling attending/attended the school will be considered after all applicants fulfilling the above criteria have been allocated places in the school and/or on the waiting list.

Secondary school students must be aged 12 on 1st January on the calendar year following the child’s entry into 1st Year.  Evidence of age, a Birth Certificate must be produced on enrolment of any student.

Students with Special Needs

Pobalscoil Iosolde strives to create an inclusive environment for students with special needs, unless such an environment would be inconsistent with the best needs of the student or those of the wider student body.  The school’s ability to provide for such students is restricted to the resources made available to do so from the Department of Education & Science.

Applicants with special needs must meet the entry criteria set out for all students in this policy.  The regular admissions procedure must be adhered to.  The existence of special needs requirements does not give any individual applicant any prioritised entry entitlement.

The school’s Special Needs Policy sets out how the school will

  • Take steps at an early stage to identify those children who enrolled at the school with special needs within the terms of the school admissions policy, and to become familiar with their particular educational needs.
  • Request a copy of the child’s medical/psychological report, individual educational plan and/or
  • Request a new assessment if required, in order to assist the school in establishing educational and training needs of the child relevant to his/her ability or special needs and to profile the support services required.
  • Request in a timely manner, from the Department of Education & Science any additional resources deemed necessary e.g. Special Needs Assistant, specialised equipment or furniture, transport etc.
  • Meet the parent(s)/guardian(s) to discuss and disclose the child’s needs, the special staffing or equipment or resources received by the school from the Department & Science to assist that child achieve their potential and the school’s actual capacity to meet the child’s needs.
  • Through the Department of Education & Science, do all it possibly can to identify, plan and provide for the needs of a student with special needs or a disabled child who is accepted as a student at the school under the terms of the admissions policy.


Right of Appeal

Where a student is refused admission to the school their parent(s)/guardian(s) will be advised of their right to appeal that decision to the Board of Management and the Secretary General of the Department of Education & Science under the terms of DES Circular letter No. M48/01.

Assessment Test

Assessment of all incoming 1st Year students takes place at a date which is notified to parent(s)/guardian(s) of children accepted for admission to Pobalscoil Iosolde, but generally takes place on the first Saturday in February in the school year prior to the start date.  All applicants shall be obliged to sit for the school’s Assessment Test.  A candidate, who fails to sit for the test without good reason (as judged by the school) supported by appropriate documentation, will put their admission at risk.  The Board of Management may decide to revoke an earlier decision to admit such a student, and to offer the place to a student on the school waiting list.
The Assessment Test will be used to help the school to identify whether a student may have special educational needs and the result may be used as a basis for seeking additional teaching or other resources from the Department of Education & Science, in line with the school’s Special Educational Needs Policy.  The Assessment Test may guide the school in its assignment of students to classes. Parents/Guardians should note that the assignment of a student to a particular class group is a matter for the school Principal alone subject to the direction of the school Board of Management.

The school commits itself to working with the SENO in ensuring students with special needs are given every assistance subject to available resources to achieve their educational potential.

Section 3 – Admissions procedure : Other Year Group (Including applications to transfer from other school groups)

All such applications will be considered on an individual basis, subject to the availability of a place at the time of application.

The following procedure must be followed :

(i)   Provision of Personal Public Service Number (PPS No.) and birth certificate

(ii)   Submission of copies of their last two school reports that set out the actual results of in-house examinations.   Where an applicant has attended more than one second level school they may be required, at the discretion of the Board, to submit reports from each school

(iii)   Submission of a copy of the results of any state examination which they have presented for

(iv)   Provision of a written reference from the Principal / Deputy Principal of all previous second level schools attended

(v)   Consent be given to permit the Principal of Pobalscoil Iosolde formally contact any/all previous schools

(vi)   If an applicant has a medical/psychological report and/or individual educational plan a copy of these must be provided

(vii)   If an applicant has been excluded from a previous school, the school must be informed and all relevant information regarding this must be forwarded to the school.

When all of the above documentation is in place

(viii)   Personal attendance of a parent/guardian and student at the office by appointment

(ix)   Accurate and full completion of the application form including signature of parent/guardian and student

(x)   Payment of a non-refundable fee for administration

(xi)   A copy of the School Code of Behaviour,  Attendance Policy and Internet Safety Acceptable Use Policy signed by the parent/guardian and the student.  (Please read, available on website www.palmerstowncs.ie and/or from the school office)  

(xii)   The Principal may seek an appointment with parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student to discuss the enrolment application and/or conduct a formal interview.

All procedures must be followed and all documentation must be provided before an application for enrolment will move on to the decision making process.

Any of the following may result in a child being refused admission to the school and/or the offer of a place being nullified:

  • Failure to fully and accurately complete the application form
  • Failure to disclose any information or documentation deemed relevant for and by the school
  • Failure to supply any relevant documentation requested by the school
  • Failure to make a reasonable arrangement to meet with the school to discuss the application.


Decision Making Process

Decisions regarding student admissions are a matter for the Board of Management.  The Principal will refer all enrolment applications to the Board of Management for a decision.

Any applicant who is deemed to cause a threat to the health and safety of students and/or staff may be refused enrolment.  

Admissions for any school year will be considered as soon as possible after the completed application is received.  The school will respond to each application within 21 days of receiving it, but may not be in a position to make a decision on some applications until later in the school year when its current students have given an indication to the school authorities of their intention to return to the school in the forthcoming academic year.  This will certainly be so in the case of applications for senior cycle courses, as the school may not yet have begun to survey its own students about their preferences for senior cycle.

A decision will be made in respect of each application following the timing above and the selection criteria set out below and is subject to the maximum number in each year group,  class size for different subject areas and the capacity of the school to provide the academic subjects sought by the student at an appropriate level i.e. higher/lower.  All of these limitations are imposed by the Board of Management.

Any student offered a place must enter into a written contract signed by the parent(s) / guardian(s) regarding behaviour, attendance and work. A breach of the contract will necessitate the student finding an alternative school.

Enrolment Criteria


Applicants must meet any criteria laid down by the Department of Education & Science from time to time e.g. applicants must not have already spent six years at second level or apply for a course which would necessarily result in their spending longer than six years at second level.

The behaviour/disciplinary record of a student in their previous school(s) shall be an important factor.  The school reserves the right to refuse to admit a student whose behaviour in their previous school has been deemed unsatisfactory, where the student may cause a threat to the health and safety of student(s) and/or staff, where there has not been a satisfactory level of cooperation between the previous school and the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s).  The attendance record of a student in their previous school shall also be an important factor.

The availability of suitable places in any given year group shall be of paramount importance and shall be one of the determining factors of admission.

Applicants who have been excluded from another post-primary school for disciplinary reasons, will not have their application for admission to Pobalscoil  Iosolde considered by the Board of Management, until after their parents have fully exhausted without success, the Section 29 appeals mechanism against their previous post-primary school.

Note the following regarding Senior Cycle : At an appropriate time each year the school will take steps to determine what are the intentions of its own students for the following school year.  Students in Third Year and Transition Year will be required to complete a re-enrolment form indicating their intentions.  When this process is complete the school will determine whether and how many places may be available to students from outside the school.  Priority will be given to students from within the school that are permitted by the school, in accordance with Department regulations, to repeat a school year.

Right of Appeal

Where a student is refused admission/enrolment to the school their parent(s)/guardian(s) will be advised of their right to appeal that decision to the Secretary General of the Department of Education & Science per the terms of DES Circular letter No. 48M/01.

Section 4 – Admissions to specific programmes or subjects (or level)

All such applications will be considered on an individual basis, subject to the availability of a place in a specific class or subject area at the date of application.  From time to time it may arise that the demand for a particular subject or at a specific level for any subject or a particular programme may exceed the number of places normally available on that programme.  The school will make every effort, within the constraints of the accommodation, teaching resources, accommodation and equipment, to accommodate all such students.  Where all students cannot be accommodated the following shall apply :

  • Priority shall be given to students from the school.
  • Priority shall be given to students who return application forms before and subsequently by the final date specified by the school.
  • Meet the school’s specific entry criteria.
  • Furnish full and honest reason for seeking such admission.


Where it is not possible to accommodate all applicants:

Entry to specific subject levels  Entry to specific subject levels will be determined by the student’s previous performance at that school relative to the other applicants; their results in state examinations where also available will be considered.

Entry to specific subjects  Entry to specific subjects will be determined by reference to the preferences indicated by students on their application form and reference to the student’s previous performance at that subject relative to the other applicants; their results in state examinations where available will also be considered.  Where this does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the school may survey the students’ previous teacher(s) about their suitability for the subject or alternative subjects and the school may also take into account the availability of other suitable subjects available to the competing applicants.

Entry to specific programmes Entry to specific programmes will be determined following a review of the application forms and an interview process designed to ascertain the relative suitability of the applicants for the specific programme.  Where this does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the school may survey the students’ previous teachers about their suitability for the programme.  The school may also take into account the availability of other suitable courses within the school to competing applicants.

Admission to repeat a year

All such applications are subject to Department of Education & Science Guidelines.  The Department normally restricts to a maximum of six years at second level and does not allow students to repeat a year unless there are exceptional circumstances.

  • Applications to repeat a year will be considered in the light of DES Circulars and Guidelines.
  • Furnish to the school a full and honest reason for seeking a repeat year placement.
  • Applications will be considered in the light of actual places available on the relevant programme and subjects (including appropriate level), class size limitations, and overall enrolment restrictions set out elsewhere in the policy.
  • Applications must be in writing and must state the relevant circular and the particular clause(s) being invoked in support of the application.
  • Applications must be accompanied by supporting documentation as appropriate.
  • Applications will not be considered until the written application and supporting documentation has been submitted to the school.
  • The school must be satisfied that the applicant, in light of special circumstances that gave rise to the application, applied him/herself to the best of their ability.
  • Students taking a programme for the first time may be given priority in terms of subject choices within the programme.
  • In the light of the student’s previous academic record, application to study, attendance etc


Appeals Procedures

All applicants will receive a written answer to their request as  set out above.  Where possible this will be done within 21 days of receipt of the application.  Where it is not possible to make a decision on an application at the time it is received, the procedure to be followed will be explained in writing to the applicant within 21 days of receipt of the application.
A decision to refuse admission may be appealed to the Department of Education & Science under Section 29 of the Education Act.  The name and address of the persons to whom an appeal should be addressed will be included in the notification to refuse admission, as will the time constraint involved.

Success Criteria

The applications process is managed effectively each year.  There is clarity and transparency about the process.  Applicants are informed in good time about the status of their application and, where an application is refused in accordance with this policy, has reasonable opportunity to make alternative arrangements.

Review Procedures

The policy is reviewed regularly by the Board of Management and with its School Education Partners every five years.  Any staff member, board member, parent/guardian, or student who is unhappy with the content or the implementation of any school policy may request a review of their particular case by the Board of Management at any time and such a request will be dealt with as soon as possible.

Parent(s)/ Guardian(s) and/or Applicants for admission to Pobalscoil Iosolde are requested to note the following :

The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse an application for admission to the school where such an offer would pose a risk to the health and safety of students or staff, would be deemed to interfere negatively on their education or where such an applicant’s conduct is deemed to be in complete breach of this school’s code of behaviour.  The applicant and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) will be required to accept the conditions of entry to Pobalscoil Iosolde which may be set out by the Board of Management and which will have been communicated in writing.

Pobalscoil Iosolde seeks from the Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of new enrolees at the school a voluntary contribution of €25 per student for the Parent/Teacher Association.

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) of students enrolled at Pobalscoil Iosolde are requested to work in partnership with the school and support where at all possible at all school activities.

This admissions policy was agreed by the Board of Management of Pobalscoil Iosolde on the

…………………………………………………

Signed:…………………………………………………..
Secretary, Board of Management