Enrollment Policy of Holy Family School, Cootehill
The Board of Management of the Holy Family School has drawn up this policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act, 1998 to assist parents in relations to enrollment matters.
The Chairperson of the Board of Management – Fr. Owen Collins, Parochial House, Station Road, Cootehill and the Principal Teacher, Holy Family School, Old Bridge Road, Cootehill, Telephone 049-5552257, will be happy to clarify any further matters arising.
Name of school: Holy Family School
Address: Old Bridge Road,
Trustees: Fr. Owen Collins
Rev. Peter Thornbury
Dr. Rory O’Hanlon T.D.
The school is multi-denominational. There are 27 teachers in the school including the Principal with part-time home economics, wood-work and P.E. teachers. There are also 51 special needs assistants. The school also has the services of 2 full time trained nurses, full time speech and language therapist and sessional speech and language therapy for pupils with autism, sessional OT and physiotherapy. The Pediatrician visits the school twice monthly and psychologist as requested.
The school is co-educational and caters for pupils aged 4 to 18 years. The school caters for pupils with moderate learning disabilities, severe/profound learning disabilities, and pupils with autism.
The school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education & Science and operates within the regulations laid down from time to time by the Department of Education & Science. The school admission policy must have regard to the resources and funding provided by the Department of Education & Science.
The school follows the curriculum programme prescribed by the Department of Education & Skills and operates under the Rules of Procedure and Constitution of Boards of Management laid down by the Department of Education & Science in accordance with sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act 1998 which may be amended from time to time.
Within the context and parameters of Department 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:
· Parental choice in relation to enrolment
· Respect for diversity of values, belief, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.
1. Referral for educational services is through a teacher, general practitioner, psychologist, HSE team, Enable Ireland or through parents / guardians.
2. Application for enrolment in the Holy Family School should be accompanied by a recent psychological assessment indicating that the Holy Family School is a suitable placement to meet the needs of the pupil.
3. The following reports may also be required: - Previous school/preschool report
- Speech and language therapy report
- Physiotherapy report
- Occupational therapy report
- Psychiatric assessment
- Medical report
4. School placement is then discussed with the parents. The psychologist or parents can contact the school to arrange a meeting. The school will meet with the parents of the child to discuss the child’s needs and the schools suitability or capacity in meeting those needs. When parents are satisfied that they would like their child to come to the Holy Family School, they should apply in writing to the Principal.
5. The psychological assessment is then sent to the SENO by the Principal to seek sanction for enrolment of the pupil and to arrange transport. Transport is sanctioned by and paid for by the Department of Education & Skills.
6. Pupils must be at least 4 years on admission and shall not exceed 18 by September 1st of the school year.
7. Normally admission to the school will occur within the first week of the new academic school year. Admission at any time throughout the school year will be at the discretion of the Board of Management.
8. It is desirable that the parents / guardians and prospective pupil visit the school prior to admission.
9. In order to allow sufficient time for appropriate assessments to be completed and reviewed, referrals are accepted up to March 31st in any school year. Referrals received after March 31st may not be processed in time for admission to the school the following September.
Decision Making Process
The Principal advises the Board of Management on matters relating to enrolment of students to the school. The decision in relation to application for enrolment is made by the Board of Management of the school in accordance with school policy. A reasonable and fair effort will be made by the Board of Management to reach a positive decision in relation to enrolling the child. The Board of Management through the principal will notify parents of their decision within 21 days of receiving information prescribed by the Education Welfare Act, 2000. It is a general principle and in so far as is practicable, having regard to the school’s enrolment policy, that children will be enrolled on application provided there is space available. The Board will have regard for any relevant Department of Education & Skills guidelines in relation to class size or staffing provisions and /or any other relevant requirement concerning accommodation such as physical space or the health and welfare of children.
1. The School principal or nominated teacher may visit the student’s current preschool/school placement to gather further information and assist in assessing the child’s needs.
2. The school principal or nominated teacher may meet with prospective students and parents/guardians.
3. The principal may consult with and seek the advice of the Special Educational Needs Organizer (SENO) and the school inspector.
4. On receipt of all the relevant reports and on completion of necessary meetings, the school principal in consultation with the Board of Management will make a recommendation regarding the suitability of the Holy Family School for the child. The final decision regarding enrollment will be made by the school Board of Management.
5. In considering prospective students for enrollment in the school the Board of Management will take the following factors into account:
(a) Educational interests of all students in the school
(b) Resource implications
(c) Size of / available space in classrooms
(d) Effective operation and management of the school, in particular, safety issues
(e) Department of Education and Skills (DES) guidelines for class size, staffing provision and catchment area.
7. The board of management 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 4 years and upwards, though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of 6 years and students should not exceed 18 years by September 1st of the final school year.
8. In the event of the number of eligible children seeking enrolment in any given class / standard exceeding the number of places available preceding or during the school year or in the event of the board of management being unable to provide suitable accommodation, or recruit the required teaching staff, children will be placed on a waiting list.
9. The school waiting list will cease to be operational each year on December 31st. A new waiting list will be opened each year on January 1st. If parents of children already on the waiting list confirm with the school prior to December 31st that their child still requires a place, then the child’s name will be transferred onto the new list on January 1st according to the previously listed criteria.
10. The school principal will notify the parents of the decision re eligibility for placement in Holy Family School within 21 days of all relevant assessment being completed / received.
11. Where placement has not been offered parents will be informed in writing of the reason enrolment has been refused and of their right to appeal the decision under Section 29 of The Education Act 1998.
12. Appeals may be made on the appeals application form available from the school on request within 42 calendar days from the date the decision was notified to the parents. The form is also available on the Department of Education & Science website www.education.ie
13. Where offers of enrollment are made, parents will be asked to complete the required information forms (forms attached). Parents are requested to accept the place offered within 14 days of the date of the offer of enrollment. The school principal will make application to the SENO and the DES for transport and any specialised equipment. It may be necessary to defer enrollment of a particular child pending the provision of appropriate resources by the DES to meet the needs specified in the psychological assessment, a medical report or to arrange transport. An appropriate start date will then be agreed. Prior to transport being arranged, parents can transport their child to and from school daily.
14. Depending on the individual needs of the student, the school placement may initially be part time, gradually increasing to a full day or week.
The school reserves the right to refuse enrollment 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 & 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 and may compromise their education.
3. In the opinion of the Board of Management the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to school staff or to school property.
The Education Welfare Acts (2000) states that where a child is transferring school, the principal must communicate to the school to which the student is transferring, any problems relating to school attendance which the child concerned had and any other appropriate matters relating to the child’s educational progress.
A system of dual enrolment is at present in operation between the Holy Family School and the pupils’ local national and secondary schools. In this situation, children can enrol in the Holy Family School for part of the week and enrol in their local national / secondary school for the remaining days of the week. This system is negotiated between the parents, inspector, schools involved and the teachers.
Parents and students in the Holy Family School are required to co-operate with and support the school code of behaviour and all other school policies developed by the school Board of Management. Parents are requested to sign a form acknowledging their agreement with the school policies. A full list of policies is available for viewing in the school. These policies may be added to and revised from time to time.
This policy was drafted in October / November 2010 and was ratified by the Board of Management __________________________.