Admission Policy Castletownshend National School
The Board of Management of Castletownshend National School hereby sets out its Enrolment and Admission Policy in accordance with the requirements of the Education Act 1998, 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 21st September 2020. It is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who requests it.
The relevant dates and timelines for Castletownshend National School’s admission process are set out in the school’s annual admission notice which is published annually on the school’s website at least one week before the commencement of the admission process for the school year concerned.
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.
General School Information
Name of School: Castletownshend National School
Address: Gurranes, Castletownshend, Co. Cork. P81 VY73
Telephone No: 028 36392
Website Address: http://www.castletownshendns.ie/
Chairperson of Board: Mrs. Tina Foley
Principal: Mrs. Audrey Collins
School Denomination: Catholic
Patron: Most Reverend Fintan Gavin – Bishop of Cork and Ross.
- Characteristic spirit and general objectives of the school
Castletownshend National School is a Roman Catholic Primary School recognised by the Department of Education and Science as a Mixed Primary School under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross.
As a Roman Catholic School, Castletownshend N.S. aims at promoting the full and harmonious development of all pupils cognitive, intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual, including a living relationship with God and other people. The school models and promotes a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While the religious education we provide is in accordance with the doctrines, traditions and practices of the Catholic Church, we respect and acknowledge the diverse beliefs, religious and ways of life of peoples of all faiths and none.
In keeping with the characteristic spirit and ethos of the school which strives to cherish all our pupils equally we seek to promote
(i) inclusiveness, especially with reference to the enrolment of children with disabilities or other special educational needs
(ii) equality, with respect to maximum access and participation in the school
(iii) parental choice in relation to choice of school and having regard to the characteristic spirit of the school
(iv) respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.
The school is a mixed co-educational school catering for the full range of primary school pupils from infants to sixth class.
The school is dependent on the grants and the teacher resources it receives from the Department of Education and Science. It operates within the rules and regulations laid down from time to time by the Department. It follows the curricular programme prescribed by the Department which may be amended from time to time in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act 1998. The services provided by the school are dependent on the resources and funds available to the school.
This policy aims to ensure that the appropriate procedures are in place to enable the school
- To make decisions on all applications in an open and transparent manner consistent with the Ethos, the mission Statement of the school and legislative requirements
- To make accurate and appropriate assessment of the capacity of the school to cater for the needs of applicants in the light of the resources available to it and in light of the needs of the pupils already enrolled in the school or particular class groupings.
- To put in place a framework which will ensure effective and productive relations between students, parents and teachers where a student is admitted to the school.
The school shall have in place appropriate channels of communication and procedures
- To inform parents about the school, it’s programmes, activities, and procedures
- To enable applications for admission to the school to be handled in an open, transparent manner
- To put in place criteria under which applications shall be considered
- To ensure that these criteria are informed by our Ethos, our Mission Statement & current legislation
- To specify what information is required by the school at the time of application
Context, Resources, School Organisation & Curriculum
The school supports the principle of equality for all students regarding access to and participation in the school. The school respects the diversity of traditions, values, beliefs, languages and ways of life in society. The school acknowledges the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parent’s choice, subject to the resources available to the school including classroom accommodation, class size, teaching resources and financial resources and subject to the capacity of the school to provide for the needs of any applicant or student. The school is staffed in accordance with the standard pupil – teacher ratios sanctioned by the Department and any additional teaching hours sanctioned by the Department in respect of curricular concessions, special needs, special programmes etc. The school operates within the regulations laid down by the Department of Education.
The capacity of the school to implement its desired curriculum, its broad range of educational programmes, its breadth of extra-curricular activities, its school plan and policies are dependent on the resources it receives. Consequently, in determining its activities and programme for any school year the school must have due regard to the teaching, management and administrative resources and the accommodation, equipment and funding available to it.
Castletownshend National School 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.
Applications from applicants of a minority religion Castletownshend National School is a school whose objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values and does not discriminate in relation to the admission of a student who has applied for a place in the school in accordance with section 7A of the Equal Status Act 2000.
Castletownshend N.S. is a school whose objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values 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.
The Board of Management of Castletownshend National School reserves the right of admission if such admissions contravene Departmental guidelines on class size, etc.
The school will not refuse a child on the basis of ethnicity, special education needs, disability, traveller status, refugee status, political or religious beliefs, family or social circumstances, provided the necessary supports are in place in the school. Reference to Castlehaven Parish in our criteria for enrolment is on the basis of commitments from this Parish to the school and our school ethos.
The school will maintain a list of refused applicants for each class, their place on that list having been determined under the criteria outlined.
The Board of Management respects parental choice in relation to enrolment, provided the enrolment criteria are fulfilled.
While recognising the right of parents to enrol their child in the school of their choice, the Board of Management of Castletownshend N.S. 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 principals of natural justice and acting in the best interest of all children. Assisting the school in such circumstances, the B.O.M. reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each separate classroom bearing in mind:
- Health & Safety Concerns regarding Staff and Children
- Available classroom space
- Multi-grade classes
- Educational needs of the children
- Presence of children with special needs/ or behavioural needs
- Department of Education & Science class size directives
- Appropriate Supports and Resources are available
- Time of school year.
- Castletownshend National School will cooperate with the National Council for Special Education in the performance by the Council of its functions under the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004 relating to the provision of education to children with special educational needs, including in particular by the provision and operation of a special class or classes when requested to do so by the Council.
- Castletownshend National school will comply with any direction served on the patron or the board, as the case may be, under section 37A and any direction served on the board under section 67(4B) of the Education Act.
Admission of Students
This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where –
- the school is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details)
- 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
|Castletownshend N.S is a Roman Catholic School and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not Catholic where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.|
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:
Enrolment of Junior Infants
For parents/guardians of Junior infants wishing to enrol their children, the school organises two “Enrolment Afternoons” in early February. These days are advertised locally in shops, public notice boards, Parish Newsletter and local newspaper. Parents will be encouraged to attend one of these open afternoons with their child to familiarise themselves with the school layout and meet the Principal. Applications for Enrolment can be completed and submitted on these days. Enrolment packs containing essential policies and information about our school will also be available at these open afternoons.
Junior Infant Enrolment Criteria
If the number of children applying for enrolment exceeds the number of places available, the following prioritising criteria are used:
|1||Priority is given to brothers and sisters of children already in the school or who have attended the school in the past. If the class is over subscribed on the basis of this criterion, then places will be allocated on the basis of age, starting with the oldest applicant, until all places are allocated.|
|2||Families whose primary residence is either(a) in the immediate areas of Castlehaven Civil Parish, catchment area, starting closest to the school and radiating outwards from the school within the Parish or(b) in the neighbouring parishes but within a 2 mile distance by road from the school. If the class is oversubscribed within the application of this particular criterion, then the furthest from the school under either (a) or (b) will be eliminated first.|
|3||Children of current teaching or ancillary staff.|
|4||Children of parents who are past pupils of the school. If the class is oversubscribed within the application of this particular criterion, then those whose primary residence is furthest from the school will be eliminated first.|
|5||If space is still available, class numbers are completed from the Waiting List The criteria are listed in order of priority when spaces are allocated under criterion 1 and space is still available, then criterion 2 comes into play and so on. This prioritization proceeds until all places have been allocated.|
The Board is also bound by the DES regulation which stipulates that any child must be four years old before he/she can be enrolled in a National School. The Board of Management strongly recommends that applicant children are at least four years of age and ideally 5 years of age on or before 1st January of the school commencement year.
In the event that there are two or more students tied for a place or places in any of the selection criteria categories above (the number of applicants exceeds the number of remaining places), the following arrangements will apply:
|The oldest applicants will be prioritised.|
Enrolment of Pupils with Special Needs
Children with special educational needs are welcome to enrol in Castletownshend N.S. and every effort will be made to provide them with an appropriate education as well as to include them in every aspect of school life. The Board of Management would encourage parents/ guardians of children with additional needs to make contact with the school principal after 1st October of the year previous to their child’s enrolment. Applications for the enrolment of children with special needs must furnish the Board with a copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological report or, where such 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 needs of the child relevant to his/her special needs and to profile the support services required.
Following receipt of the report, the Board should assess how the school could meet the needs specified in the report. Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it will demand that, before the child can be enrolled, the DES provide the required resources to meet the needs outlines in the psychological or medical report. These resources may include provision of some or all of the following: SET teacher for special needs, special needs assistant, specialised equipment, furniture, wheelchair access. The Board may decide to defer enrolment until proper resources are in place.
The Board would meet with the parents of the child to discuss the child’s needs and the school’s suitability or capability to provide those needs. It may deem it necessary to hold a full case conference which may include parents, class teacher, SET teacher, special needs assistant, psychologist, speech therapist etc.
The school reserves the right to refuse enrolment to a pupil in exceptional cases. Such an exceptional case could arise where either:
1. The pupil has special needs such that, even with additional resources available from the Department of Education and Science, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the pupil with an appropriate education.
2. In the opinion of the Board of Management, the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to other pupils, to school staff or to school property.
(see Appeals Procedure below)
- 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:
a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service, including naíonraí,
the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;
a student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude
the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents;
a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission.
the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school,
This is subject to the application being received at any time during the period specified for receiving applications set out in the annual admission notice of the school for the school year concerned.This is also subject to the school making offers based on existing waiting lists (up until 31st January 2025 only).
- Decisions on applications
All decisions on applications for admission to Castletownshend National School will be based on the following:
- Our school’s admission policy
- The school’s annual admission notice (where applicable)
- 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.
Admission to the school is, of course, subject to the resources available to the school including classroom accommodation, class size, teaching resources and financial resources, and subject to the capacity of the school to provide for the needs of those who apply for admission. Where the school lacks the necessary resources to meet the needs of any applicant or student, it will make every effort to secure those resources-where the resources cannot be secured, the school reserves the unfettered right to refuse admission. It is the responsibility of parents / guardians of any child to inform the school of any such needs on the enrolment application form for the child’s own welfare. In this context the school authorities will have equal regard for the welfare of all the students and their right to an education in an atmosphere that is not detrimental to their physical, emotional, moral, social or intellectual development. Failure to fully complete the application form, failure to supply any relevant information requested by the school including providing child’s PPS Number, or allowing the school to share relevant information with the Department of education Primary Online Database (POD), or failure to make reasonable arrangements to meet with the school authorities to discuss the application may result in a child being refused admission to the school.
Children enrolled in Castletownshend N.S. are required to co-operate with the support of school/Board of Management’s Code of Behaviour as well as all other policies on curriculum, organisation & management. The B.O.M. places equal shared responsibility on Parents/Guardians for ensuring their children co-operate with said policies in an age appropriate way. These policies may be added to or revised from time to time.
In accordance with the Department of Education and Science’s Rules for National Schools’ (130), and the obligations on Castletownshend N.S. Board of Management under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (1989), and the guidelines as laid down by the National Educational Welfare Board, it may be necessary to temporally exclude a pupil from the school.
After following the procedure set out by the school’s Code of Behaviour, and the school’s Suspension and Expulsion policy, and NEWB guidelines: chapter 12 suspension/expulsion may be availed of either after all minor sanctions have been exhausted, or as a response to a single breach of school discipline where any lesser sanction would be inappropriate in the circumstances.
- 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 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).
- Acceptance of an offer of a place by an applicant
In accepting an offer of admission from Castletownshend N.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.
- 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 Castletownshend N.S where—
- it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading.
- 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.
- 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
- an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 10 above.
- 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.
- 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 Castletownshend 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 Castletownshend N.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.
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.
- 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.
- Procedures for admission of students to other years and during the school year
Criteria for Enrolment to Senior Infants to 6m Classes
The following criteria will be applied if there is a surplus of applications for available places in the Senior Infants to 6th classes.
|1||Priority is given to brothers and sisters of children already in the school or who have attended the school in the past.|
|2||Families whose primary residence is either (a) in the immediate areas of Castlehaven civil Parish, catchment area, starting closest to the and radiating outwards from the school within the Parish or (b) in the neighbouring Parish within a 2 mile distance by road from the school, or who are in the process of moving to either of these areas.||school|
|3||Children of current teaching or ancillary staff|
|4||Children of parents who are past pupils of the school.|
|The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already admitted to the school, after the commencement of the school year in which admission is sought, are as follows:|
Application for immediate admission in the current school yearPupils will be considered for enrolment during the school year if newly resident in the school catchment area. Pupils wishing to transfer from other schools are enrolled subject to the Rules for National Schools, Education Welfare Act and Castletownshend N.S.’s enrolment policy. Prior to accepting a pupil transferring from another school the Board will require information concerning attendance at previous school and current educational progress/ reports.Decisions relating to enrolment and admission of pupils are always subject to the School Enrolment Policy enacted by the Board of Management. Enrolment of pupils is always subject to the availability of space in the relevant classroom. (The Board has to abide by Department of Education guidelines in regard to class size, staffing, physical space and other regulations enacted from time to time by the DES). Application forms are available on request from the school secretary.Failure to fully complete forms will result in refusal to admit the applicantThe behaviour record of a student in their previous school shall be consideredThe attendance record of a student in their previous school shall be considered
- Declaration in relation to the non-charging of fees
The board of Castletownshend N.S. or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-
- an application for admission of a student to the school, or
- the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.
- Arrangements regarding students not attending religious instruction
|The following are the school’s arrangements for students, where the parent|
Review of decisions by the Board of Management
The parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Roles and responsibilities in developing and implementing this policy:
Roles of Board of Management
- To ensure that a policy is in place and that it is reviewed
- To appraise this policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementations and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate.
- To decide on appeals by parents or students with respect to any decision(s) made by the Board.
- To prepare a statement of Strategies regarding Attendance. The Statement of Strategy will have regard to guidelines issued by the Education Welfare Board and will set out the measures the Board of Management proposes to adopt
- For the purposes of fostering and appreciation of learning among students attending the school and
- Encouraging regular attendance at the school on the part of all students
Role of the Principal
- To formulate draft policy in consultation with the teaching staff, students, parents, Board and Trustees
- To monitor its implementation and to ensure that it is reviewed by the review date
- To implement the policy and to support other teaching staff in their implementation of the policy
- To apply for and acquire such resources as are available in accordance with government policies
- To ensure, within the constraints of available resources, that alternative programmes are devised where necessary and practicable to meet the needs of students
- To appraise the policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementation and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate
- To ensure a register of all students attending the school is established and maintained
- To ensure that a record of attendance or non-attendance is maintained for each student registered at this school and, in the case of non-attendance, the reason for same
- Prior to registering a child, to provide the parents of an applicant with a copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour and ensure that the parent confirm in writing their acceptance of the Code of an assurance that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with the Code by the child
- To provide, on request, to any parent of a child registered in the school with a copy of the Code of Behaviour
- Where a child is refused admission, to advise the parents of their right of appeal to the Trustees and the Department of Education setting out Title and Address of each and advising of time limits
Role of Teaching staff
- To co-operate with the implementation of this policy
- To take the needs of all students into account in the way in which they select textbooks, plan and teach their lessons and conduct assessments
- To bring concerns about Special Needs curricular matters and information to the attention of the Principal, Deputy Principal, Special Needs Teacher
- To keep parents informed through the regular Parent / Teacher Meetings and School Reports and by meeting parents from time to time as required.
- To appraise this policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementation and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate
Role of Students
- To co-operate fully with the school in the implementations of the policy
Role of Parents
- To support the policy and to co-operate fully with the school in its implementation
- To bring to the attention of the school authorities any concern they may have in relation to the school’s provision for the educational needs of their child
- To appraise this policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementation and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate
The Board of Management will monitor the implementation of all aspects of the Policy and review and amend the Policy as required, with particular emphasis placed upon
- Effective management placed on application process
- Clarity and transparency relating to the process
- Applicants informed in good time re the status of their application, particularly in the case of refusal to enrol
- Positive Parental feedback
The implementations of this policy will be monitored by the Board of Management at the appropriate time. It will also be referred by the Principal for consideration by the full staff at the same time. The Principal will report to the Board of Management regarding the process of enrolment at the first Board meeting after 31st October each year and regularly thereafter until enrolment is complete. Where the Principal refuses admission to any applicant, by the authority delegated to him by the Board in line with this policy, any such refusal shall be communicated to the Board at the earliest opportunity.
The policy will be reviewed regularly in the light of experience. It will be reviewed by the full staff and Board of Management every three years. Any staff member, board member, parent, guardian or student who is unhappy with the content or the implementation of any school policy may request a review at any time and such a request will be dealt with as quickly as possible. Next review of this policy will occur before or during the school year 2023/24
Reviewed and ratified by Board of Management October 2020
Chairperson Board of Management
Mrs. Tina Foley
Mrs. Audrey Collins