Our Enrolment Policy

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1. Introduction

This Admission Policy complies with the requirements of The Education Act 1998, The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2002 , The Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and The Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting this policy, the board of management of the school has 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 15, 2020.  It is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who requests it.

This policy must be read in conjunction with the annual admission notice for the school year concerned.

The application form for admission is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy on request to any person who requests it.

2. Characteristic spirit and general objectives of the school

St. Brigid’s National School is a Catholic co-educational primary school with a Catholic ethos under the patronage of the Bishop of the Catholic 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 St. Brigid’s 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.

 

3. Mission Statement and General Objectives of the School.

The school motto in St. Brigid’s N.S. ‘Learning, Striving, Achieving Together’.

The school is a co-educational Catholic, primary school, which strives to provide a purposeful, caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, spiritual, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and addressed. While St. Brigid’s N.S. is a school with a Catholic ethos, it also has due recognition for parents and students of all other religions or of none.

 

St. Brigid’s N.S. strives to

  • work in partnership with the Board of Management, staff, parents and school community to develop moral and Christian values
  • meet the needs of all its students and facilitate their personal and academic development
  • help students to appreciate, explore and express their individuality as well as that of others
  • support all of its students to grow and cultivate their talents and interests while helping them to mature as balanced, hard-working members of society
  • promote, both individually and collectively, the professional and personal development of teachers through staff development programmes
  • encourage the involvement of parents through home/school contacts and through their involvement in St. Brigid’s N.S. Parent Teacher Association
  • enhance the self-esteem of everyone in the school community
  • imbue in the pupils respect for people and property and to encourage in them the idea of being responsible
  • promote equity and equality in the school

 

4. Admission Statement

 

St. Brigid’s N.S. 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.

 

St. Brigid’s N.S. is a school whose objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values i.e. Catholic values and beliefs, and does not discriminate where it refuses to admit as a student a person who is not Catholic and it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

 

Schools with special education class(es)

St. Brigid’s  school will establish  ASD special classes, with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills in the course of this year. The class will provide an education exclusively for students with a diagnosis of ASD as specified by the Minister and may refuse to admit to the class a student who does not have the category of needs specified.

 

Criteria for enrolment into the Special Class for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD:

  • The child must have a diagnosis of Autism/ASD with complex needs, without significant intellectual impairment made using the DSM V or ICD 10, and a recommendation that a placement in an ASD unit/ class is appropriate.
  • A recent (no more than 2 years old) psychological assessment or a report from a multi-disciplinary team should be provided. A multi-disciplinary team may consist of a Clinical Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Speech & Language Therapist, Social Worker and a Physiotherapist
  •  The overall IQ score/level of ability as measured in the educational assessment must fall within the Average or Mild General Learning Disability Range. Liaison with a psychologist may be deemed necessary.
  • Children must be aged between 4 – 12 years of age to qualify for enrolment. Each application will be considered by the school Principal, Special Education Coordinator and Special Education Teachers.
  • The maximum class size in each special class is six (6) pupils.

 

Oversubscription

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, the following criteria will apply in priority order:

 

  1. Brothers and sisters of children in the school or children who live within the parish. Places will be allocated by date of birth starting with the oldest and working to the youngest. Where two or more students are tied for a place a lottery will be used to determine the outcome.
  2. Children who are not resident within the parish boundaries are entitled to a place if there are remaining places. Where two or more students are tied for a place a lottery will be used to determine the outcome.

 

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

The Board of Management of St. Brigid’s N.S. provides Inclusive Education for students as determined by the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act s. (2) and s. (14)

 

S. 2 Inclusive Education

A child with special educational needs shall be educated in an inclusive environment with children who do not have such needs unless the nature and degree of those needs would be inconsistent with (a) the best interests of the child as determined in accordance with any assessment carried out under this Act, or (b) the effective provision of education for children with whom the child is to be educated.

 

S. 14 Duty of Schools

(1) The board of management of a school shall-

(2)Ensure that section 2 is complied with as respects that school.

 

St. Brigid’s N.S. with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, has two established special classes to provide an education exclusively for students with ASD.

 

5. Admission of Students

 

This 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

 

Inclusive Education

The school provides inclusive education in line with section 2 of The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 and may refuse admission in accordance with subsections (a) or (b).

 

Upholding the Catholic ethos

St. Brigid’s is Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of the Catholic religion where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the Catholic ethos of the school.

 

Designation of category of special classes

The special classes attached to St. Brigid’s provide an education exclusively for students with a diagnosis of ASD and the school may refuse admission to this class, where the student concerned does not have this specified category of special educational needs as provided for in these ASD specific classes.

 

 

6. Oversubscription

 

In the event that the 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:

 

Selection criteria here in the event of oversubscription

Available places will be allocated in sequence starting with priority category 1.

 

Priority Category 1

Children who are resident in the parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock and/or children who are siblings or step siblings of children already enrolled in St. Brigid’s N.S. The eldest child will have priority in this ranking.

 

Priority Category 2

Children of staff. The eldest child will have priority.

 

Priority Category 3

Children residing outside the parish. The eldest child will also have priority.

 

In the event that there are two or more students tied for a place in any of the selection criteria categories above (the number of applicants exceeds the number of remaining places), the following arrangements will apply

 

Priority Category 1

Places will be allocated by the date of birth of the child starting with the oldest and working to the youngest children.

 

In the event that there are two or more children tied for a place a lottery will apply with an independent party present.

 

Priority Category 2

Where places remain available after the offer of places to children living in the parish or who have a sibling in the school, places will be allocated to this category in the same manner as category 1 pupils i.e

Places will be allocated by the date of birth of the child starting with the oldest and working to the youngest children.

 

In the event that there are two or more children tied for a place a lottery will apply with an independent party present.

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:

 

  1. a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service,
  2. other than in relation to a student’s prior attendance at an early intervention class
  3. the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;
  4. a student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude;
  5. the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents
  6. a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;
  7. 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 siblings of a student attending or having attended the school as per Enrolment Criteria.
  8. the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school,

 

 

8. Decisions on applications

 

All decisions on applications for admission to St Brigid’s N.S, will be based on the following:

  • Our school’s admission policy
  • The school’s annual admission notice
  • 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

 

(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 admission policy will not be used to make a decision 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 admissions 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 St. Brigid’s, 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.

 

Acceptance for a place(s) in St Brigid’s must be received by the date set out in the Admission Notice and must also contain the information set out at (i) and (ii) above. Acceptances should be addressed to The Principal St. Brigid’s N.S., Beechpark Lawn, Castleknock, Dublin 15.

 

 

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 St. Brigid’s where—

(i)    it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading.

 

(ii)    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.

 

(iii)   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

 

(iv)   an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 10 above.

 

 

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 St. Brigid’s N.S. 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 St. Brigid’s 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.

 

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 admissions 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.  In the event that there is no place available, the name of the applicant will be added to the waiting list as set out in Section 13.

 

 

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

 

  1. When places are available, applications will be offered to children immediately.
  2. When classes are full, a waiting list is held and children are placed on that list. Fully completed application forms together with relevant documents as outlined on the application form will be accepted at any time during the school year. They will be date stamped and held until a place becomes available.
  3. When places becomes available and in the event of oversubscription, the selection criteria of the school in relation to the admission of students to classes other than the school’s intake group are as follows:

 

  1. Children of school-going age who live in the Parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock and who do not have a school place.
  2. Children of school-going age who live in the Parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock and who do not have a school place in the Dublin 15 area.
  3. Children who reside in the Parish of Our Lady Mother of the Church, Castleknock and who are attending one of the schools in the Dublin 15 area .
  4. All other applicants.

 

Available places will be allocated in sequence starting with priority category 1.

 

 

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

 

The board of St. Brigid’s or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-

(a)            an application for admission of a student to the school, or

 

(b)           the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.

 

 17.  Arrangements regarding students not attending religious instruction

The following are the school’s arrangements for students, where the parents requested that the student 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:

 

A written request should be made to the Principal of the school.  A meeting will then be arranged with the parent(s) or the student, as the case may be, to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school.

 

18. Reviews/appeals

Review of decisions by the board of Management

The parent of the student 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.  

Requests to the Board of Management to review a decision to refuse admission must be made in writing no later than ten (10) calendar days of the date the school notified the parents of the refusal. The correspondence must be addressed to The Chairperson, Board of Management, St Brigid’s N.S, Beechpark Lawn, Castleknock.

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.

Requests to the Board of Management to review a decision to refuse admission must be made in writing no later than ten (10) calendar days of the date the school notified the parents of the refusal. The correspondence must be addressed to The Chairperson, Board of Management, St Brigid’s N.S., Beechpark Lawn, Castleknock

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.

Requests to the Board of Management to review a decision to refuse admission must be made in writing no later than ten (10) calendar days of the date the school notified the parents of the refusal. The correspondence must be addressed to The Chairperson, Board of Management, St Brigid’s N.S., Beechpark Lawn, Castleknock

 

19. Right of appeal

Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, 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.

 

 

[1]


[1] A child with special educational needs shall be educated in an inclusive environment with children who do not have such needs unless the nature and degree of those needs would be inconsistent with (a) the best interests of the child as determined in accordance with any assessment carried out under this Act, or (b) the effective provision of education for children with whom the child is to be educated.