Enrolment Policy

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This policy has been drawn up by the Board of Management (BOM) in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998. It sets out the rationale and process by which children may be enrolled into Le Chéile Educate Together National School.

We offer a child-centered, co-educational, multi-denominational and democratically run national school on Mornington Road, Drogheda, Co. Louth under the patronage of Educate Together.

We provide double stream education from Junior Infants to Sixth Class. We deliver curricular programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills (DES), including an ethical core curriculum. We operate within the regulations laid down by the DES and within the constraints of the grants and teacher resources provided by it.

Within this context, we support the principles of diversity, inclusiveness, equality of access, equality of participation and parental choice.

Notwithstanding, we stress that any enrolment policy operates to ration a limited supply of school places in face of a level of demand which frequently exceeds that supply. We believe that our current approach towards enrolment best reconciles numerous competing factors. However, we will monitor and evaluate the operation of our policy and procedures on an ongoing basis to ensure that it continues to do so.

1. Responsibilities:

1.1 BOM:
The BOM has responsibility for ensuring that this document is in existence and is up-to-date. In doing so, it will research and consult widely. The BOM reserves the right to make any changes to this document as circumstances change and will inform those affected by any such changes as a matter of urgency having received approval from the Patron for the proposed changes.

1.2 Principal and Deputy Principal:
Day-to-day responsibility for managing enrolment rests with the Principal. These duties will be assumed by the Deputy Principal in her/his absence. The Principal will ensure that the school’s enrolment policy is publicised on an ongoing basis within and outside of the school community. The Principal is also the first port of call for anyone with any queries in relation to this document. The Principal will be assisted where necessary by the Chairperson and other members of the BOM.

1.3 Enrolment Officer:
The BOM will appoint one person within the school to act as Enrolment Officer. This person will deal with the day-to-day administration of school enrolment.

1.4 Parents & Guardians:
In order to minimise confusion and potential disappointment, parents and guardians are requested to read carefully the details of our policy and procedures for enrolment into the school. Unlike many other national schools, we DO NOT operate a system of automatic entry into the school on the basis of religious affiliation, having a sibling in the school, catchment area, etc. Parents and guardians are wholly responsible for notifying the school in writing of any changes to their contact details and any other relevant matters.

2. Enrolment Criteria:

Pre-enrolment is the placing of a child’s name onto a waiting list for the appropriate class year. Usually, this class is Junior Infants although waiting lists are operated where there is demand for each of the classes between Senior Infants and Sixth Class. The following criteria apply to all:

2.1 First come first served rule:
Priority for a place in the school is determined solely by the date on which a child’s name is entered on the pre-enrolment list.

2.2 Age cut-off rule:
A child must have reached her/his fourth birthday on or before 30th June of the calendar year in which s/he proposes to start school.

(This rule will come into full effect from 1 April 2017. However, all parents and guardians, with children on the pre-enrolment list will be strongly encouraged to delay their children’s school starting age to four and a half.)

2.3 Code of Behaviour rule and Anti-Bullying Policy rule:
Any child that enters the school is expected to abide by the school’s Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy. The School’s Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy is available in the school and on the school website for inspection by parent(s)/guardian(s). Children enrolled in le Le Chéile Educate Together National School are required to co-operate fully with the school’s Code of Behaviour and parent(s)/guardian(s) are required to agree to this in writing when enrolling their child(ren). The Board of Management places parent(s)/guardian(s) responsible for ensuring their child(ren) will co-operate with all policies in an age-appropriate way.

3 Application Procedure:

A pre-enrolment form must be submitted for each individual child. Parents and guardians are encouraged to use the on-line form available on the school website but may call into the school for a form or request a form by telephone (041-9847427) if they so prefer.

On receipt of a completed pre-enrolment form(s):

3.1 Each pre-enrolment form is endorsed with a unique sequential pre-enrolment number. If more than one form is received on the same day, at the same time, they are numbered according to the chronological age of the children seeking enrolment/admission i.e. eldest child receiving priority. According to the school policy, Le Chéile Educate Together is bound by the Department of Education and Skills Rules for National Schools, which provides that pupils may only be enrolled from the age of four (4) years and upwards. Compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of six (6).

3.2 Each child is placed on the list according to the pre-enrolment number. If parents have twins/triplets, the children will be put on the list one after the other.

3.3 Eight lists will be kept for each year, a list for Junior Infants, Senior Infants, First Class, Second Class, Third Class, Fourth Class, Fifth Class and Sixth Class. Children will be ranked in pre-enrolment number order on these lists.

3.4 No guarantee of places is given or implied by receipt of pre-enrolment forms.

3.5 (a) Children for Junior Infants will be offered places strictly following the ranking of the pre-enrolment numbers on the pre-enrolment forms; that is, places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

3.6 (b) Where the number of children on the pre-enrolment list exceeds the number of places available for the following September, a child must have reached his/her fourth birthday on or before 30th June of the calendar year in which he/she proposes to start school.

3.7 (c) Children for non-Junior Infant Classes will be considered on an individual-by-individual basis for places, in accordance with the above listed considerations, if places become available in individual classes, and also, following the order on the pre-enrolment list.

4. Offer of Places:

4.1 The first offer of places will be made mid in January for places in Junior Infants for the forthcoming September. Offers for places in other classes will be made if and when places become available in these classes. At this stage, a special form titled “Registration Form” will be provided requiring the following information:

  • Pupil’s Name, Date of Birth, Nationality, P.P.S Number and Address.
  • Names and Addresses and Nationalities of pupil’s Parent(s) / Guardian(s).
  • Contact Telephone Numbers.
  • Contact Telephone Numbers in the case of an Emergency.
  • Previous School and Class attended if any and reason for transfer if applicable.
  • Family Doctor Details.
  • Details of any medical condition(s), which the school should be aware of.
  • Consent allowing the school to seek medical intervention in an emergency in the event of not being able to contact home.
  • Details of any special needs the child may have and assessment information.
  • Other relevant information (part 3).
  • Signing to have read and agreeing to the Schools Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy.
  • Copy of Birth Certificate.

4.2 Parents and Guardians who accept a place for their child but subsequently decide not to use this place are requested to inform the school in writing at the earliest opportunity so that another child may receive a place in the school. Any monies, for example, the classroom resources contribution, paid to the school prior to this time are non-refundable.

4.3 The Board of Management must be in receipt of written acceptance of an offer made within fourteen (14) days of an offer being made. The Registration Form referred to in point 4.1 above and a copy of the child’s birth certificate must be returned at this stage. The parent(s) / Guardian(s) failure to respond within fourteen (14) days will result in their child’s place on the enrolment list being forfeited. Parents and Guardians are wholly responsible for notifying the school in writing of any changes to their contact details and any other relevant matters.

4.4 Children will be offered places following the ranking of the pre-enrolment numbers on the pre-enrolment list i.e. places will be allocated on a ‘first-come-first-served-basis’. However, each year, the Board of Management reserves the right to allocate, if necessary, a limited number of places, having taken due consideration of the school’s ethos and the needs of the school in that particular year.

4.5 Parent(s)/Guardian(s) enrolling Junior Infants may defer the child’s place for one year, providing the child will be under six (6) by September 30th of the year that he/she starts school. This means that the child will be placed on the list for the following year according to the original pre-enrolment number. This does not guarantee an offer of a place, as places will be allocated strictly following the ranking of the pre-enrolment numbers on the pre-enrolment list.

4.6 Junior Infants who have taken up an offer of a place in the school and defer after the school year has begun, will be treated as if the deferral had taken place before the actual enrolment. Junior Infants actual enrolment may be deferred for a maximum of one (1) year. Placement orders on the following year’s pre-enrolment list will be in accordance with the original pre-enrolment number (i.e. as if they had originally enrolled for the previous year).

4.7 Except in exceptional circumstances, no Junior Infant who has not already been enrolled in another Junior Infant class in another school will be enrolled after September 30th.

4.8 Non-Junior Infants cannot defer a place that has been offered to them. If an offer of a place is not accepted, the child will be removed from the pre-enrolment list and the Parent(s) / Guardian(s) must re-apply for the child and a new pre-enrolment number will be issued.

4.9 If a place is not offered and if the Parent(s) / Guardian(s) wish to put them on a list for the next year, they will be placed on that list with the original pre-enrolment number and put on the non-Junior Infant list for the following year. This offer will be issued by letter after September 30th. Parent(s) / Guardian(s) must reply by the date indicated in the correspondence; otherwise their child’s place on the pre-enrolment list will be forfeited.

4.10 If a child leaves during the school year, his/her place may be back-filled. The place may be offered to the next person on the list for the same class. This will be decided by the Board of Management in consultation with the Principal.

4.11 It is the sole responsibility of the Parent(s) / Guardian(s) to inform the school of any changes in the information requested on the Registration Form or any other relevant changes.

4.12 If the application for enrolment/admission exceeds or is expected to exceed the number of spaces available, the Board of Management must give regard to class size or staffing provisions, physical space and health and welfare of children and bearing in mind the Department of Education and Skills recommended pupil/teacher ratio.

5. Enrolment of Children with Special Needs:

5.1 In relation to applications for the enrolment of children with special needs, all relevant information must be submitted by parents/guardians at the time of application, or a soon as this information is available.

5.2 The Board of Management may request a copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological report or, where such a report is not available, may request that the child be assessed as soon as possible. The purpose of such a report would be to assist the school in establishing the educational needs of the child and to assess the school’s capability in meeting these needs and the school’s ability to provide an appropriate environment for the child.

5.3 The Principal will meet with the parent(s) / guardian(s) of the child and discuss the child’s needs and the school’s ability to meet these needs.

5.4 It may be necessary for the BOM to decide to defer enrolment of a particular child pending:

  • Receipt of an assessment report and/or
  • Provision of appropriate resources by the Department of Education and Skills to meet the child’s educational and/or physical needs. e.g. Visiting Teacher, Special Needs Assistant, Resource Hours, Specialised Equipment or Furniture, Transport Services.

5.5 The allocation of all places will be subject to the schools ability to provide the resources necessary to cater for any special need that may arise.

6. School Transfer:

6.1 It is the policy of the Board of Management to consider applications for transfer to our school subject to space and according to the rules of the Department of Education and Skills. All applications will be considered according to the above listed criteria.

6.2 The school shall seek such information from all the schools previously attended by students seeking transfer as are deemed necessary to assess the appropriate educational needs and requirements of the prospective students.

6.3 It is the policy of Le Chéile Educate Together National School to communicate information concerning attendance and the child’s educational progress to other schools (should pupils be requesting transfer from the school), if requested.

6.4 The school’s Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy is available in the school for inspection by parent(s)/guardian(s). Children enrolled in Le Chéile Educate Together National School are required to co-operate fully with the school’s Code of Behaviour and parent(s)/guardian(s) are required to agree to this in writing when enrolling their child(ren). The Board of Management places Parent(s)/Guardian(s) responsible for ensuring their child(ren) will co-operate with all policies in an age-appropriate way.

7. Procedure for Temporary Moves:

If a family is moving for a fixed period of time (for example, for reasons of employment) and it is necessary for a child to be taken out of school for this period, the timeframe for return must be agreed in advance with the Principal and the Board of Management in consultation with the Welfare Officer. The place can only be held open for a child provided that s/he returns to school on the agreed date. If this criterion is not met, a new application for enrolment will have to be made.

8. Decision-Making Process:

Whilst recognising the rights of parents and guardians to send their child(ren) to a school of their choice, the BOM is responsible for upholding the rights of the existing school community. This requires balanced judgement that acts in the interests of all children. The BOM reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each class, taking account of the availability of physical space, the educational needs of children of a particular age, the presence of children with special educational needs, DES class size guidelines, and any other relevant factors.

9. Appeals Procedure:

If parents and guardians are unhappy that their child has not received a place in the school, the Principal or, if necessary the Chairperson of the BOM, are very willing to explain the rationale and operation of the school’s enrolment policy. Any parents and guardians who, after this, still wish to appeal a decision not to enrol a child into the school may do so by following the DES Section 29 appeals process (see www.education.ie).

10. Data Protection:

Any personal data relating to children and their parents and guardians will be gathered, used, stored and destroyed in accordance with current data protection legislation.

11. Review:

This policy and these procedures may be amended as a result of changed circumstances, and shall undergo full review in 2016.