Enrolment

 

Parents seeking to enrol their son(s) in St. Fintan’s Primary School must request an enrolment form from the school.

Application for enrolment to Junior Infant classes usually takes place in the month of February.

 

Enrolment Policy

 

 

Saint Fintan’s BNS Policy on Enrolment & Admissions

This policy refers to all applicants from  January 2019 and subsequent years until further notice. It supersedes all previous policies on Enrolment & Admissions.

Introductory Statement

This policy was formulated by the Board of Management in consultation with staff and parents. This new policy will be reviewed annually, in line with guidance from the CPSMA and DES.

 

Mission Statement

Our school motto is Mol an Óige agus tiocfaidh sí. Guided by our Christian values we endeavour to provide a positive, safe and welcoming atmosphere in our school in which all the school community (pupils, parents and staff) feel valued, cared for and enabled to reach their full potential.

Rationale

It is a requirement under the Education Act 1998 that every Board of Management formulate a policy on enrolment. This policy fulfils that requirement.

Aim This policy aims to provide a clear framework for enrolment applications so that all parties understand the procedures and criteria involved. This framework should ensure that all applications are dealt with in a fair, transparent and consistent manner.

General Information

•St. Fintans BNS Mountrath, is a Catholic school under the patronage of the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.

• The word ‘Patronage’ refers to the values and beliefs which underpin our school’s Catholic ethos and which permeates every aspect of life in our school throughout every school day.

We are an Urban Deis Band 1 Vertical School

This school has been in operation since 1976.  It is the wish of the community that we are a boys school.

• Catholic schools in Ireland are a living expression of a long and varied tradition of education inspired by the life of Christ as lived in the Church. Catholic schools emphasise the dignity of the human person as a child of God called to work with other persons in creating an inclusive community in service of the common good; where knowledge is sought and respected while faith is nurtured and challenged.

• Our school is part of the Catholic tradition of education and aims at promoting the full and 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. Our school models and promotes a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our school provides religious education for our pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church and promotes the formation of our pupils in the Catholic faith in partnership with their parents and the parish community of  Mountrath

• Our school depends on grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education & Skills, and funds raised by the Parents Association. All school policy must have regard to the resources and funding available.

• The school operates within the regulations laid down by, and follows the curriculum prescribed by the Department of Education & Skills which may be amended from time to time in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act (1998).

• Equality of access is the key value that determines the enrolment of children to our school. No child is refused admission for reasons of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, gender, traveller status, asylum-seeking/refugee status, religious/political beliefs and values, family or social circumstances.

• While recognising the right of parents to enrol their child/children in the school of their choice, the Board of Management 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 health and safety. Acting in the best interests of all children, the Board reserves the right to refuse applications and/or determine the maximum number of children in each separate classroom, bearing in mind:

(a) Size of / available space in classrooms/school (b) Educational needs of children of a particular age (c) Multi-grade classes (d) Presence of children with special educational / behavioural needs. (e) DES maximum class average directives(currently Deis average of 22

children)

• St. Fintans opens each morning at 9.20 a.m. and closes at 3.00 p.m. The Infant classes finish each day at 2.00 p.m and children from these classes must be met by a parent or guardian at the school gate and taken home at that time.

 

Specific Procedures

1. Application procedure:

• Enrolment is by way of written application only. Application forms are available from the school. All applicable areas of the application form must be completed in full.

• All completed Enrolment Application forms must be accompanied by an original Birth Certificate.

• It is the responsibility of each parent/guardian to ensure that all necessary documentation requested by the school accompanies their application. Incomplete applications will not be considered and will be returned.

• Inter school transfers should be completed and returned to The Board of Management, St.Fintans BNS Newline Rd., Mountrath. All envelopes should be clearly marked Enrolment.

Enrolment week for Junior Infants is held in February each year.  The school will reply to all Junior Infant applications within 21 days.

• Parents can register their interest in enrolling their child in Junior Infants in advance should they wish to do so. It is important to note that this is a register of interest only and does not constitute a valid application.

• Where a child is entitled to admission to the school but a suitable place is unavailable, their parents can make a written request to have their child’s name placed on a class waiting list. It should be noted that a child’s place on this list is open to change in line with the school’s criteria for acceptance should further applications be received. Waiting lists are renewed each September and parents of children on a waiting list must reapply each September if they wish to retain their child’s place on the list.

2. Provision of key information by parents/guardians:

The following information is requested by the school:

• CHILD’S DETAILS :

Family name, first name, address, Eir Code, date of birth, class applying for, starting date, nationality, PPSN, home telephone number, parent contact number, year of arrival in Ireland, previous education, level of English, other children in the school, religion, date of baptism, parish of baptism.

• FAMILY DETAILS: Number of children in family, position of child in family, father’s name, mobile telephone number, mother’s name, mobile telephone number, permission to include in school’s text a parent service, mobile number for texts, permission for email contact, email address, parents marital status, details of legal orders affecting the family, emergency contacts.

• HEALTH: Family doctor, phone number, details of health or allergy problems, hearing or sight defects, speech or language difficulties, prescribed medication, special needs, behavioural difficulties, details of professionals child has attended.

• EDUCATION:

Preschool, details of preschool, previous primary school, details of previous primary school, reason for leaving this school, details of educational supports, educational needs, and principal’s signature.

• CONSENTS Medical care consent where parent is non-contactable. Changing of clothes by school staff if required. Travel on supervised school outings. Submission of school related photographs to local or national media. Group photographs for use on school website. In school educational screening. Retention of data and use for Board of Management election purposes. Disclosure of data to Department of Education and Skills including the Primary Online Database, Health Service Executive, and second level transfer schools.

3. Criteria for Acceptance:

(i) In accordance with the Management Board’s Health and Safety Policy, there shall

be no more than 22 pupils on average in any classroom.

(ii)All applicants for Junior Infants must reach four years of age before the start of the school year in which they wish to enrol. For example: a child starting in September 2019 must reach four years of age before 1st September 2019.

(iii)Details submitted on the application form must be accurate at the time of submission. In particular, the address given must be the address at which the child normally resides. Requests by the Board for additional information must be complied with within seven days. Failure to comply in time will deem an application incomplete.

Any change that may impact on a child’s eligibility for enrolment must be notified to the school immediately. The BOM reserves the right to withdraw an offer of enrolment where these conditions are not complied with.

iv)Should the number of children seeking enrolment in junior infants exceed the places available, children born before 1st March in the year they wish to enrol will be given priority according to the following criteria:

1. Children who live in the Mountrath area 2. Children who have or have had siblings already in the school. 3. Children whose permanent home address is closest to the school. 4. Children of staff in the school. 5. Any remaining applicants.

If enrolment is not filled by children born before 1st March in the year in which they wish to enrol the enrolment will be filled in line with the above criteria from applicants on an age basis ie. Priority to next oldest child and so on until enrolment is full.

v) Pupils transferring from other schools should refer to section 6 below.

 

4. Pupils transferring:

• Pupils wishing to transfer from other schools are enrolled subject to the Rules governing National Schools, the Management Board’s policy on Health & Safety and all relevant BoM policies.

• Normally transfers are only considered for the start of each new term.

• In the case of such pupils, an enrolment application form must be completed and returned with an original birth certificate and proof of address. Parents/guardians should ensure that the Education section of the application form has been completed in full.

• Our school will contact the former school to ensure information supplied is accurate and request an attendance report and any relevant documents pertaining to the child's educational progress.

• In the event of children seeking enrolment in any given class/standard exceeding the number of places available preceding or during the school year their parents can request in writing to have their child placed on a class waiting list. Parents will be contacted if a place becomes available. It should be noted that children will be prioritised on waiting lists according to the criteria outlined for the enrolment of junior infants at 3 (iv) above.

5. Children with special needs:

The Board may request a copy of the child's medical and/or psychological report. Where such a report is not available, the Board may request that the child be assessed immediately. Following receipt of this report, the Board will assess how the school can meet the needs specified in the report. Should the Board deem that further resources are required, it will, prior to enrolment, request that the Special Educational Needs Organiser provide them. The school will meet with the child's parents to discuss his needs and the school's ability to meet these needs. If necessary, a full case conference involving all relevant parties (school, parents, psychologist or other professionals) will be convened.

6. Parental responsibility:

Children who enrol in our school are required to comply with our Code of Behaviour, as well as all other policies on curriculum, organisation and management. Parents must agree to the Board of Managements Code of Behaviour, a copy of which they receive, in writing before any enrolment application will be considered. The Board of Management places parents responsible for ensuring that their children comply with all school rules and regulations in an age appropriate way.

7. Refusal to Enrol:

The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse to enrol applicants in certain exceptional circumstances:

• There are no places available.

• The pupil has special needs such that, even with additional resources available from the DES, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the pupil with an appropriate education.

• In the opinion of the BOM, the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to other pupils, school staff and/or school property.

Right of Appeal Under Section 29 of the Education Act parents/guardians have the right to appeal a decision to refuse an application to the Department of Education and Skills. This information is communicated to parents/guardians in the letter of refusal sent to them within 21 days of their application.

Parents/guardians can appeal in the first instance if they so wish to the Board of Management. Such appeals must be made in writing within 7 days of receipt of the letter of refusal to the Secretary of the Board of Management.

Code of Behaviour A copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour is attached to this policy which details the school’s procedures on suspension and expulsions as required under Section 15(2)(d) Education Act 1998 and which are in line with the procedures as set out by the National Educational Welfare Board.

Review This policy has been drawn up by The Management Board of St. Fintans BNS. It will be monitored by the principal and reviewed on an annual basis by the Board and, depending on circumstances, may be amended accordingly.

Ratification This policy has been ratified by the Board of Management after approval by the patron at a meeting of the Board on 5th February 2019.

Communication of Policy This policy will be available to parents in the school office. Changes to the policy will be communicated to parents through the school newsletter and to staff at a staff meeting. All applicants will be provided with a hard copy of the policy.

 

Signed:  Bro. Matthew Hayes (Chairperson Board of Management) Date: 5th February 2019.

 

 

Contact

St. Fintan's B.N.S. Newline Road,
Mountrath,
Co. Laois
(057) 8732372 saintfintansbns@gmail.com