Enrolment

 PREAMBLE

This policy has been formulated and published by the Board of Management of Rathfarnham Parish National School (“the Board”) in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act, 1998 (and, in particular, section 15(2)(d) thereof) for the general guidance of parents in relation to enrolment and related matters. Clarification in relation to any aspect of the policy or in relation to any issue of concern in relation to enrolment can be obtained from the Chairman of the Board or the School Principal whose contact details are set out in schedule hereto.

GENERAL

• Rathfarnham Parish National School (“the School”) is situated on Washington Lane which is off Butterfield Avenue in Rathfarnham, Dublin 14. The telephone number for the school office and the school e-mail address and website are set out above.

• The School is managed by the Board which comprises eight members being two members nominated by the Patron, the Principal, one member nominated by the teaching staff, two members elected by the parents and two members co-opted by the six nominated and elected members. The current members of the Board are set out in the Schedule hereto.

• The Patron of the School is the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin and the School upholds the traditions and teachings of the Church of Ireland.

• The School is funded primarily by the Department of Education and Science and operates within the regulations laid down by the Department of Education and Science. However, a voluntary contribution is requested from parents and this is essential to maintain the level of services currently provided. The Board of Management administers all funding. School policy necessarily has, and must continue to have, regard to the resources and funding available.

• The School adheres to the curriculum laid down by the Department of Education and Science, which may be amended from time to time in accordance with section 9 and 30 of the Education Act, 1998.

• While the number of teaching staff may vary depending on enrolment numbers, in recent years there have been twelve full time teachers on the staff of the School. The names, class assignments and, where appropriate, additional posts of responsibility of the teachers currently on the staff are set out in the schedule hereto. In addition, the School, subject to resources being available, employs classroom assistants to help in the junior classes and, on occasion, makes provision for specialist teachers.

• There is a full range of classes from Junior Infants through to Sixth Class.

• Within the context and parameters of Department of Education and Science regulations and programmes, the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act, and the funding and resources available, the school supports the principles of:

  • inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or special educational need
  • equality of access and participation in the school: subject to the criteria hereinafter mentioned
  • parental choice in relation to enrolment
  • respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.
  • The School enrols male and female pupils.

ADMISSION AND ENROLMENT POLICY

General

The Board have delegated the responsibility for implementing its policy in relation to enrolment to a committee comprising the Chairperson of the Board, the Principal and the Deputy Principal (“the Enrolment Committee”) which said committee shall consult with the Board and shall keep the Board fully informed in relation to its deliberations and in relation to any issues which may arise in the course thereof.

In making decisions in relation to enrolment, the Enrolment Committee shall take account of any relevant Department of Education and Science guidelines in relation to class size, staffing provisions or other relevant matters and shall consider the classroom and other accommodation available within the School and the suitability of such accommodation having due regard to the health, safety and welfare of both staff and pupils.

The School is bound by the Department of Education and Science’s Rules for National Schools which provide that pupils may only be enrolled from the age of four years and upwards, though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of six years.

Entry to Junior Infants

Generally Junior Infant children will start school in early September in each year. In each year the number of places to be offered in the Junior Infant class will be determined by the Enrolment Committee having regard to the matters outlined above. Places will then be offered by the Enrolment Committee in accordance with the following:-

1. Church of Ireland children, including foster children, who are members of Rathfarnham Parish (whether residing in or accustomed members of the Parish) will be offered places in priority to all other applicant children. The family name must be on the parish register and the application form signed by the parish clergy. Thereafter the remaining places will be offered to all children coming within the next category set out below until that category is exhausted and so on until all available places have been allocated.

2. Siblings of children attending, or who have attended, the school and children of serving staff members.

3. Church of Ireland children living adjacent to the parish of Rathfarnham

4. Children who are members of reformed protestant churches (such as Presbyterians, Methodists or Grosvenor Road Baptists), Old Catholic, Mar Thoma, Evangelical Lutherian churches of Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia and Denmark, Eastern Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox Churches

5. Children having one Church of Ireland parent but not coming within any of the above categories.

6. Children who are members of other Christian churches for whom specific provision is not made within the educational system or who are Jewish.

7. Children not coming within the foregoing categories will be offered any remaining places.

In the event of two or more children being equally entitled to one remaining place the child to be offered such place will be determined by the drawing of lots by an independent person.

Parents who have not been successful in obtaining a place in the school will be informed in writing (WL1) and their child’s name will be put on a waiting list.

Parent(s)/guardian(s) having accepted a place may not defer places to the following year, unless there are exceptional circumstances, as places are assessed and allocated by the Enrolment Committee of Rathfarnham Parish N.S. on an annual basis.

Admission to other classes

Application for admission to classes other than Junior Infants will be considered by the Enrolment Committee in accordance with the general principles outlined above and, in the case of multiple applications, in accordance with the priorities set out in relation to admission to the Junior Infant class.

 Registration of Children with Special Needs

Subject to the following, no distinction shall be drawn by the Enrolment Committee between applicant children with special needs and applicant children without special needs.

In relation to the registration of children with special needs, the Board of Management may request a copy of any available and relevant medical or psychological reports in relation to the applicant child. Where such reports are not available, the board may request that the child be assessed immediately for the purpose of assisting the School in establishing the educational and training needs of the child relevant to his or her disability or special needs and to profile the support services required.

Following receipt of reports or an assessment (as the case may be) the principal, in consultation with the Board, shall assess whether the School can meet the needs specified in the report. Where the Board deems that further resources are required it will request the Department of Education and Science to provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child as outlined in the medical/psychological report. These resources may include, for example, access to or the provision of any one or more of the following:

• Visiting teacher service

• Resource teacher for special needs

• Special Needs Assistant

• Specialized equipment or furniture

• Transport services

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

It may be necessary for the Board of Management to defer a decision on enrolment of a particular child, pending:

• The receipt of an assessment report; and/or

• The provision of appropriate resources by the Department of Education and Science to meet the needs specified in the psychological and/or medical report.

In any such case, pending a decision the place to which such child would otherwise be entitled will not be offered to any other child.

Pupils Transferring

The Board accepts that pupils may transfer subject to school policy, available space and in some cases the approval of the Department of Education and Science. In accordance with the Education Welfare Act 2000, the Board requires that information concerning attendance, and the child’s educational progress be communicated between the relevant schools.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

• Parents who wish to enrol their child/children are required to fill in an Intention to Apply for Enrolment Form (INT1) and return it to the school. A copy of the Intention to Apply for Enrolment Form (INT1) for completion may be collected from the school office during school hours or, on receipt of a stamped self addressed envelope, will be posted, to any party seeking same. The form is also available for download from the school website.

• On receipt of a duly completed INT 1 form the same will be marked with the date of such receipt and filed in the applications file for the appropriate year of entry.

• In the September prior to the proposed entry to the school, all those who returned completed INT1 Forms are sent a full Enrolment Application (APP1) and letter (APP1 cover) which they will be invited to complete. A copy of the Code of Behaviour, the Ethos Statement, the Enrolment Policy and the School Rules will be included with the form and parents/guardians will be asked to fill in a section on the application form acknowledging receipt of and accepting the said Code, Policy and Rules. The enrolment application form APP1 should be returned to the school addressed to the ‘Enrolment Committee of Rathfarnham Parish N.S.’ These APP 1 forms will be filed with the Intention to Apply for Enrolment Forms. APP 1 forms will not be considered until the second Monday in November, or as soon as is practicable thereafter immediately preceding the academic year in which a place is sought and for the purposes of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 the information contained therein will be provided to the committee on that date and not before.

• Each year, on the second Monday in November, or as soon as practicable thereafter, the Enrolment Committee will meet to consider applications received for admission in the following September and will determine to whom places are to be offered in accordance with the policy outlined above.

• Parents/guardians of applicant children will be informed of the decision of the Board in respect of their application by letter which will be posted not later than two weeks after the first Enrolment Committee meeting held in respect of their application. Parents to whom places are offered will be allowed three weeks from the date of such letter to accept the offer. (Offer 1) Parents/guardians of children who have not been offered a place will be informed that their application has been placed on a waiting list. (WL1)

• The Enrolment Committee will reconvene after the time for acceptance of places has expired and, where places offered have not been accepted, will determine to whom such places should be offered following the procedures outlined above save insofar as the same relates to time limits and will continue to reconvene until all places have been accepted.

 GRIEVANCES AND APPEALS

Any grievance in relation to the Enrolment Committee’s decision may be notified in writing to the Chairperson of the Board of Management within 14 days of the receipt of the decision giving rise thereto. The Chairperson shall convene a meeting of the full Board to consider same and to hear any representations which the aggrieved party may wish to make. No further places shall be offered until such meeting has been convened.

The Board may vary the decision in question in whatever manner it believes to be proper having regard to this policy save that no place offered to a child will be withdrawn as a result of such grievance.

A statutory right of appeal against a refusal to enrol a student exists under Section 29 (1) of the Education Act, 1998. The appeal is to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science and must be made within a reasonable time from the date on which the refusal of the Board is notified to the applicant parent or parents.

Revised Reviewed and Ratified by the Board of Management

20th April 2010