Enrolment Policy

Scoil an Linbh Íosa,
Killymard, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal.

Tel: 074 9722752
e-mail: killymard.ias@eircom.net

Web:  www.killymard.com

Enrolment Policy

The Board of Management (B.o.M.) established its Enrolment Policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act (1998) Section 15. At its meeting on the 14th October, 2002 the B.o.M. appointed a sub-committee of four to draft an Enrolment Policy for Scoil an Linbh Íosa. Subsequent to meetings on 24th October, 13th November and 20th November the sub-committee presented a draft document for the consideration of parents, patron and teachers on 22nd November, 2002. Amendments in writing were invited not later than 3rd December. This Enrolment Policy was approved by the B.o.M. on 16th December, 2002 and will be subject to review at the discretion of the Board from time to time in the light of experience. This document will assist parents in relation to enrolment matters. The Chairperson of the B.o.M. (Mrs. Sally Bonner, Edrim Glebe, Mountcharles) and/or the Principal Teacher (Enda Nolan, Scoil an Linbh Íosa, Killymard, Donegal Town) will be happy to clarify any further queries arising from the policy: Telephone 0749722752

A. General Introduction

Denomination: Catholic (see ‘School Ethos’)

Patron: Philip Boyce, Catholic Bishop of Raphoe.

Catchment Area: Parish of Killymard.

Teaching Staff:
1 Administrative Principal
9 Mainstream class teachers
1 Resource teacher
1 Learning Support teacher
1 Resource / Learning Support teacher

Ancillary Staff:
1 Secretary (part-time)
1 Caretaker (part-time)
2 Special Needs Assistants

Classes: Full range, Junior Infants to Sixth Class, for boys and girls.

The school aims to prepare pupils for life by enabling them to make the best possible use of their inherent and potential capabilities including physical, mental and spiritual skills. Self-esteem is fostered by the valuing of pupils, by a willingness to listen and understand and by a positive view of learning as a shared journey. All achievements are recognised and applauded not just academic attainments.
A spirit of mutual respect and inclusiveness is promoted and pupils are taught to appreciate and respect all people regardless of differences including nationality, religion or disability. The needs and particular circumstances of the pupil are considered at all times. Religious Education is provided for pupils in accordance with the doctrines and traditions of the Catholic Church.
The quality of the relationships between management, teachers, parents and pupils enhances the educational partnership and a sense of community is fostered between them. The importance of parents/guardians as educators of their children is recognised and valued and close contact is maintained between school and home. The school also encourages links with the wider community.

Dependent on pupil capitation, grants, teacher resources and special needs resources provided by the Department of Education and Science (DES). The school operates within the regulations laid down, from time to time, by the DES. School policy must have regard to the resources and funding available.

Curricular programmes prescribed by the DES, which may be amended from time to time, in accordance with Sections 9 & 30 of the Education Act (1998).
Religion is provided in accordance with the doctrines and traditions of the Catholic Church.
General Procedures:
1. (a) The school opens to receive pupils at the hour of 9.20 a.m. No responsibility is accepted for pupils arriving before that time.
(b) Parents whose children’s formal schooling ends at 2.00 p.m. should have their children collected at that time.
(c) Classes end each day at 3.00 p.m. Parents who wish to have their children escorted home should make their own arrangements to have them met at the school gates at 3.00 p.m.: main gate, lower court and school church gate. Please see separate information regarding safe use of car park. The school cannot accept responsibility for looking after children after 3.00 p.m.
(d) In the case of children travelling by School Bus, the school cannot accept responsibility for escorting them from the bus to school, or from the school to the bus. Parents who feel that their children may need to be escorted on these occasions should make arrangements to ensure that some escort is provided.

2. Children wear school uniform of a sky-blue shirt/blouse, grey trousers/skirt/pinafore, a grey v-neck jumper/cardigan and a school tie. The school tracksuit (designated days only) consists of a navy sweatshirt with school crest (available from Parents Association) and plain navy tracksuit bottoms.

Within the context and parameters of DES regulations and programmes together with the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act (1998) and the funding and resources available, the school supports the principle of inclusiveness, equality of access and participation in the school. The B.o.M. has respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society. Therefore admission is not refused for reasons of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, language/accent, gender, traveller status, asylum-seeker/refugee status, family or social circumstances.

B. Enrolment Procedures

1. The B.o.M. is bound by the DES’s Rules For National Schools which provides that pupils may only be enrolled from the age of four and upwards, though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of six years. Junior Infants will be enrolled provided they have reached the age of four years on or before 31st August.

2. The enrolment process is initiated by way of written application. Application forms are always available from the school office. The B.o.M. will inform the school community of the enrolment procedures by any of the following media: letter, Parents’ Association newsletter, school website (www.killymard.com), church announcement, advertisement. Parents who wish to enrol pupils in Junior Infants are requested to return their application forms to the Principal before the end of March. When applications are processed an Information Evening will be held in April/May.

3. Certain specific information must be provided by parents on the Application for Enrolment form. For each child parents/guardians must furnish both an original Birth/Adoption Certificate and a Baptismal Certificate. The Code of Conduct is appended to this Enrolment Policy document. As a condition of enrolment parents must confirm on the Application for Enrolment Form that the Code of Conduct is acceptable to them and that they will make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with the code by their child.

4. As a general principle and in so far as is practicable having regard to the school’s Enrolment Policy, children will be enrolled on application provided that there is space available. The names of Junior Infant applicants for whom the enrolment procedures outlined at 1., 2. & 3. above have been fulfilled will be placed on a class waiting list. The same will apply with applications for other classes if the application is made in the school year preceding the school year for which enrolment is sought.

C. Decision Making

Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the B.o.M. in accordance with this policy document. While recognising the right of parents to enrol their child in the school of their choice, the B.o.M. of Scoil an Linbh Íosa, Killymard is also responsible to 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. The B.o.M. reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children on roll having regard for any relevant DES guidelines in relation to class size, staffing provisions and relevant accommodation requirements namely physical space and the health and welfare of children.
In the event that applications for enrolment exceed / is expected to exceed the number of places available the B.o.M. is guided by the following decision making criteria which will be used to prioritise children for enrolment:

1. Siblings of children already enrolled including stepsiblings and fostered children resident at the same address. Priority to the eldest.
2. Catholic children living within the parish. Priority to the eldest.
3. Children of current school staff (teaching and ancillary). Priority to the eldest.
4. Catholic children living outside the parish. First come first served and priority to the eldest.
5. Other children living within and outside the parish. First come first served and priority to the eldest.
6. In the event of being unable to enrol a child(ren) from the above categories in a given class at the beginning of a year, or mid-year, such children will receive priority (in the above order) for the subsequent school year.

D. Enrolment of children with special needs

In relation to applications for the enrolment of children with special needs, the B.o.M. will request a copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological report or where such a report is not available, to request that the child be assessed immediately. The purpose of the assessment report is to assist the school in establishing the educational and training needs of the child relevant to his/her disability or special needs and to profile the report services required.
Following receipt of the report, the B.o.M. will assess how the school could meet the needs specified in the report. If the B.o.M. deems that further resources are required, it will, prior to enrolment, request the DES 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. Notwithstanding the availability of such resources, parents who are not satisfied with the level of educational provision in this school are advised to consider a special school which is designed and specifically resourced to cater for children with special educational needs.
It may be necessary for the B.o.M. to defer enrolment pending the receipt of an assessment report and/or the provision of appropriate resources by the DES to meet the needs specified in the psychological and/or medical report.

E. Pupils transferring

Pupils may transfer to the school at any time subject to school policy, available space and in some cases the approval of the DES. The school from which the child is transferring will be asked to communicate the child’s attendance record from enrolment and any other appropriate matters relating to the child’s educational progress.

F. Refusal to enrol

If a decision is communicated by the Principal to a parent indicating that the school is unable to enrol a pupil, that parent can enquire as to what section/sections of the enrolment policy justify the refusal. If unhappy with the explanation the parent can appeal the decision directly to the B.o.M. The B.o.M. then considers the appeal and advises the parent of its decision.