Enrolment Policy

Introductory Statement
The Enrolment Policy (pre -2013) was formulated through discussion and agreement between the staff and the Board of Management of Glencovitt National School. This revised document has been reviewed by staff, the Parents Association and the Board of Management.  The document now stands as the Enrolment Policy of the school.

Mission Statement
Glencovitt National School has a Roman Catholic ethos and is under the patronage of the Bishop of Derry. The school seeks to develop the full potential of each pupil enrolled here.  In order to do this, the Board links its Enrolment, Code of Behaviour and Special Needs policies.


Rationale and Aims
The Enrolment policy is being set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act (1998) and subsequent legal decisions made by the Supreme Court, the High Court and the Equality Tribunal.  The Board hopes that in doing so that the enrolment process will be fair, clear and open and that parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment issues.


General Information /Section
School Name: Glencovitt National School   
School Address: Ballybofey, Co. Donegal         
Telephone Number: (074) 9132785
E-mail address: glns.ias@eircom.net
(Principal): Mrs M. Mallon  (Deputy: Principal): Mrs A. Melaugh
Denomination: Roman Catholic
Name of Bishop: Bishop of Derry, Dónal Mc Keown
Curriculum: The school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills, Dublin, Ireland
Type of school: Co-educational school
Number of Mainstream class Teachers: 4
Range of Classes Taught: Junior Infants - Sixth Class

Funding:

•   Department of Education and Skills;

•   The Parents Association of the school have also contributed to the funding of the school; and

•   The Parish of Donaghmore have also assisted the school financially through the Gift Aid Scheme.


Application Procedure 
The Board of Management communicates generally to the school community through appropriate channels e.g. Parish Announcement, Letter to existing parents, Posters, Advertisement in Finn Valley Voice and Twin Town Notes submission in the Donegal Democrat, outlining the application for enrolment procedures.  The Board reserves the right to amend these channels when it is appropriate.
Parents are asked to call to the school or telephone the school for an enrolment application form.  This process normally opens on the first Monday in February and closes on the third Monday in February. Therefore in the year 2017 the enrolment period will be from Monday 6th February to Monday 20th February.  All applications are acknowledged once received.  Again this can be reviewed by the Board, if necessary.

General Points
A. P.P.S. numbers will be requested at the time of the application as per Department of Education requirements;
B. The Board requires as a condition of registering the child, that his/her parents confirm in writing that the Code of Behaviour so provided is acceptable to them and that they shall make reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with the Code by the child;
C. Admission of Junior Infants normally takes place on the first day of the academic year. Any child who has not reached his/her fourth birthday cannot be enrolled at any time.  Junior infants may only be admitted on the first day of the academic year. However if a family moved into the parish during the year, they may apply for a Junior Infant place for their child/children;
D. The Board of Management will clearly state the closing date of applications and will make a decision within 21 days of this closing date for all applications received. Decisions will be given in writing within 21 days of receiving a complete application. 
E. Where a school reasonably requires further information, the application will not be treated as complete until such time as all requested information is received;
F. Junior Infants must have reached their fourth birthday by the first day of the academic year.(i.e. the child must be 4 years old in order to start school).  The Board would advise parents to be mindful of their child’s readiness for school when applying for a place.  The Department of Education and Skills state that a child should be allowed to repeat a year in “exceptional circumstances”.  The Board also reserves the right to amend this policy should it be deemed by the Board to be necessary. In cases of the Board receiving applications for enrolment in other streams, the Board will give a decision in writing to the applicant’s Parent/guardian within 21 days of the application being made;
G. As a general principle and in so far as practicable having regard to the school’s enrolment policy, children will be enrolled on application provided that there is space available;
H. The Board will have regard for relevant Department of Education and Skills guidelines in relation to class size, staffing provisions and /or any other relevant requirements concerning accommodation, including physical space and the health and welfare of children.


Enrolment Criteria

In the event that applications for enrolment exceed/ is expected to exceed the number of places available, (as deemed by the Board) then the following priority order will apply:

•   Sisters and /or brothers of pupils currently in the school

•   Catholic children living within the parish boundary

•   Catholic children living outside the parish boundary who do not have a Catholic school within their own parish boundary

•   Children of current staff, including ancillary staff

•   Other children living within the parish boundary

•   Other children living outside the parish boundary.


In the event that there are more applicants within any category than there are available places, priority will be given to children within the particular category in order of age, starting with the oldest.  It is not intended that the criteria used would discriminate against any individual applicant or group of applicants.



Enrolment Of Children With Special Needs Parents/guardians of a child with Special Needs should provide all relevant information and reports as requested by the school on the Enrolment Application Form. (See Appendix A) This will enable the Board to make an informed decision within 21 days of the closing date for applications.

Right of Appeal Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 provides for a right of appeal against a decision to refuse enrolment. If the Board refuses an enrolment, it will inform the parent/guardian by letter, within 21 days of the closing date for applications. They will be informed in this letter of their right to appeal this decision.  The Principal will sign this letter. The Principal will be responsible for preparing a response to the Appeals Committee if or when an appeal is initiated.


Pupil Transfer
Pupils may transfer to the school at any time subject to the school’s enrolment policy and available space. A family who has moved into the parish with children who wish to attend the school must contact the school principal. The enrolment of this new family must be approved by the board of management.
The school has a legal obligation to share information in relation to attendance and educational progress of the child after the child has been put on the register of the second school.


Code Of Behaviour & Special Needs Policy
National Educational and Welfare Board Guidelines are followed with regards to the suspension and expulsion of students.

Review
The policy was reviewed by the Board in January 2017.

Approval Of The Patron

The Board has gained approval from the Patron for this policy.
The Board of Management wishes to ensure that the principles of equality and the right of parental choice are respected and that directions may be made by the Minister of Education from time to time. These directions will be implemented having regard to the characteristic spirit of the school and the constitutional rights of all persons concerned.



Ratification

This revised policy was approved at a meeting of the Board of Management on 20/01/14, signed by the Chairperson, dated and retained with the minutes of that particular meeting.



Communication /Circulation Of Policy

Revised copies of this policy will be issued in hard copy on request to parents/guardians. New applicants to the school are also given a hard copy of the enrolment policy.  A copy will also be forwarded to the school’s website – http://glencovittnationalschool.town.ie



Refusal To Enrol On The Grounds Of “Exceptional Circumstances”

The Board of Management will only refuse to enrol in compliance with its agreed policy.  The Board reserves, in its enrolment policy the right to refuse enrolment in exceptional circumstances e.g.
a) The pupil has special needs such that, even with additional resources available from the Department of Education and Skills, the school cannot meet such needs and /or provide the pupil with an appropriate education and;
b) In the opinion of the Board, the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to other pupils, school staff and /or school property.


This clause would only be relied on in rare and exceptional circumstances.

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