Enrolment Policy

 

 

Enrolment Policy

 

Contents

INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2

GENERAL INFORMATION…………………………………………………………………………………. 2

RANGE OF CLASSES…………………………………………………………………………………………. 3

OPENING/CLOSING TIMES……………………………………………………………………………….. 4

EQUALITY OF ACCESS………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

PLACEMENT IN MAINSTREAM CLASSES WITH SP ED NEEDS…………………………………..5

APPLICATION AND DECISION MAKING PROCESS…………………………………………………….6

TRANSFER OF STUDENTS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS…………………………………………………..7

RIGHT OF REFUSAL…………………………………………………………………………………………………8

RIGHT OF APPEAL…………………………………………………………………………………………………..8

CATCHMENT AREA…………………………………………………………………………………………………8

CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES………………………………………………………………………….9

CODE OF BEHAVIOUR…………………………………………………………………………………………….9

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE……………………………………………………………………………………………9

DATA PROTECTION………………………………………………………………………………………………..9

PRIMARY ON LINE DATABASE………………………………………………………………………………..9

SCHOOL VISITS ………………………………………………………………………………………………………10

ARRANGEMENTS FOR CHILDREN NOT WISHING TO ATTEND RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION………………………………………………………………………………………………………..10

 

INTRODUCTION

 

This policy, in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act (1998), the Education Welfare Act (2000), the Equal Status Act (2000) and the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004) and The Schools Admissions Bill (2018) details the procedures for enrolment of students to the Divine Word NS. We trust that by detailing these procedures, it will assist all parties in relation to enrolment matters. The Chairperson / Principal will be happy to clarify any matters arising from this policy, should it be required.

 

The Divine Word NS is a primary school under the patronage of the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin. As a Roman Catholic school, the school aims at promoting the full and harmonious development of the whole child i.e. 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. The Catholic School provides religious education for its students’ in accordance with the doctrines, practices and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church and promotes the formation of its students in the Catholic faith.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Divine Word NS

Address: Marley Grange, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.

Telephone: (01) 4945955

Email:divinewordschool@gmail.com

Principal: Mr. John Williams.

Chairperson Board of Management: Prof Daire Keogh

 

Teaching Staff:

  • Principal
  • Deputy Principal
  • 19 Mainstream Teachers
  • 7 Special Education Teachers [SET]

 

 

Non-Teaching Staff:

  • 9 Special Needs Assistants
  • 1 Caretaker
  • Secretary
  • 1 Housekeeper

 

 

RANGE OF CLASSES

 

The Divine Word NS is a vertical school with classes from Junior Infants to 6th. Students with special needs are integrated, where possible, into mainstream classes, as well as receiving specific supports from Special Ed Teachers/Special Needs Assistants arising from an assessment by recognised professionals and approved, as necessary, by Special Education Needs Organiser (SENO).

 

The Divine Word NS is grant aided by the Department of Education and Skills therefore the provision of services and allocation of resources depends on the level of grant aid received from this Department. Service provision is:

 

  1. regulated by reference to relevant legislation, Rules for National Schools (1965) and D.E.S. Circulars and
  2. subject to an annual

 

School policy must have regard to the resources and funding available. The types of programmes and services provided may be amended from time to time in accordance with Section 9(Functions of a School) and Section 30(Curriculum) of the Education Act (1998).

 

Within the parameters of Department of Education and Skills regulations and programmes, the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act (1998) and the funding and resources available, the school supports the principles of:

 

  1. Inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational need
  2. Equality of access and participation
  3. Parental choice of school
  4. Respect for diversity
  5. Openness
  6. Accountability

 

 

 

OPENING/CLOSING TIMES

 

The Divine Word NS opens at 08:40am

 

Classes commence at 08:50 and finish at 13:30 for Infants and 14.30 for others.

 

 

SUBJECTS

The following subjects are taught in Divine Word NS: Gaeilge

English Maths

S.P.H.E (Walk Tall, R.S.E, Stay Safe)

  • (History, Geography, Science, Environmental Studies) Music

Physical Education Visual Arts

Drama

Religion

 

EQUALITY OF ACCESS

 

Equality of access is the key value that determines the enrolment of children to our school. No child is refused admission for reasons of:

 

  1. Ethnicity
  2. Special Educational Needs
  3. Disability
  4. Language/accent
  5. Gender
  6. Traveller status
  7. Asylum-seeker/refugee status
  8. Religious/ political beliefs & value
  9. Family or social

 

PLACEMENT IN MAINSTREAM CLASSES JUNIOR INFANTS

Applicant children for placement in Junior Infants must have reached their 4th birthday before September 1st of the year of entry.

 

The Board of Management will determine annually, a date for the commencement of enrolment for Junior Infants. This will be communicated to the school community through appropriate channels e.g. parish newsletter, church announcements, school website and school notices.

 

 

SENIOR INFANTS TO 6TH CLASS

 

See ‘Transfer of Students from other Schools’ and ‘Decision Making’ sections

 

PLACEMENT IN MAINSTREAM WITH SUPPORT OF SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER OR LANGUAGE SUPPORT TEACHER

 

In relation to applications for the enrolment of children with special educational needs, the Board of Management require a copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological reports (if available), to determine the most appropriate placement for the applicant child and to assist the school in establishing the educational and training needs of the child relevant to his/her disability or special needs and to profile the support services required. If accepted for enrolment, the child will be placed in mainstream with supports.

 

Following receipt of the report, the Board will assess how the school can meet the needs specified in the report. Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it will request that the Department of Education and Skills and/or its agents provide the additional resources required to meet the needs of the child, as outlined in the psychological or medical report. These resources may include for example, access to or the provision of any or a combination of the following:

 

  1. Visiting Teacher service
  2. Teacher for Special Educational Needs
  3. Special Needs Assistant
  4. Specialised equipment or furniture
  5. Transport services
  6. Other

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

Application is made on the relevant application form, available from the school office or on the school website. Applicants are required to provide the following documents as part of a complete application:

 

  1. Birth Certificate
  2. 2 Utility Bills in the parent(s) name dated within the previous 3 months (mobile phone bills not accepted)
  3. A stamped addressed envelope
  4. Professional reports if applicant is seeking supports available through the

 

Complete applications only, will be considered for placement i.e. application form and ALL required documents.

 

Falsification of documents/information may render application invalid.

 

DECISION MAKING PROCESS

 

Decisions regarding applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management, in accordance with this school policy. Every effort will be made to accommodate all applicants. In the event of the number of children exceeding the number of places available, preceding or during, the school year due to the Board of Management being:

 

  • unable to provide suitable accommodation
  • unable to recruit the required teaching staff
  • Constrained by Department of Education and Skills guidelines on Pupil / Teacher Ratio
  • Constrained by relevant Health and Safety

 

The following criteria will then be used to prioritise children for enrolment:

 

  1. Siblings of children currently enrolled in the school and children of All Staff
  2. Children living within the parish boundary of the Divine Word.
  3. Children of Past Pupils
  4. Children living outside the parish boundary of The Divine Word.

Priority will be given to oldest children within the specific categories, if such is required.

 

In accordance with the Educational Welfare Act 2000 the BOM will notify

parents of their decision within 21 days of receiving applications from

Registration week.

It may be necessary for the Board of Management to delay enrolment of a particular child following consultation with parents/guardians pending:

 

  1. The receipt of an assessment
  2. The provision of appropriate resources by the Department of Education and Skills to meet the needs specified in the Psychological and / or Medical report.

 

TRANSFER OF STUDENTS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS

 

In the interests of the continuity of student education, it is the policy of the Board of Management of The Divine Word NS to discourage transfer of students from other schools, other than in certain exceptional circumstances (e.g. change of residence or family moving into the area). For the purposes of this policy, an application to transfer is defined as one from a student who has previously enrolled in another school within or outside the catchment area. Applications for transfer from students registered in other schools within the catchment area will not be considered, except in exceptional circumstances. It is a matter for the Board of Management, in consultation with the other school, to determine if such ‘exceptional circumstances’ exist. The reason(s) for requesting a transfer must be stated clearly on the enclosed application form. The Board of Management will issue a reply to this application within 21 days.

 

Applications for enrolment under this category will be assessed by referring to the following criteria:

 

  1. Is the transfer in the best interest of the applicant?
  2. Is the transfer in the best interest of the students/staff of The Divine Word NS?
  3. Is the transfer of educational benefit to the applicant?
  4. Is the application accompanied by all relevant information from the applicant’s parents/guardians?

 

Pupils may transfer to the school at any time, subject to school policy, available space and in some cases the approval of the Department of Education and Skills. In accordance with current legislation, The Divine Word NS will inform previous school(s) of successful applicants, when formally registered.

 

 

RIGHT OF REFUSAL

 

In considering all applications, the Board of Management, cognisant of the rights of the applicant and those of current students and staff, reserve the right to delay/refuse enrolment [even in exceptional circumstances] on grounds where:

  1. Places are not available at the class level sought by the applicant
  2. The applicant student has needs such that, even with additional resources available from DES, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the student with an appropriate education
  3. Non-availability of appropriate accommodation
  4. Following consultation with all relevant parties, the ‘needs’ of the applicant would be best served in an alternative setting
  5. Circumstances are such that the enrolment of the applicant poses an unacceptable risk to other students, school staff and/or school

 

RIGHT OF APPEAL

 

Pursuant to Section 29 Education Act 1998, parents/guardians have a right of appeal against a decision of the Board of Management to refuse enrolment.

Information pertaining to such an appeal is available from the Department of Education and Skills.

 

CATCHMENT AREA

 

The ‘catchment area’ for enrolment purposes is: The Parish of Divine Word (available on request).

 

CONSENTS:

 

As part of the application process, parents/guardians are asked to give consent/permission to the school and acceptance of all school policies/procedures in the following areas (this is not an exhaustive list):

 

  1. School Activities
  2. Use of school photographs
  3. Pupil Personal Accident Insurance
  4. Use of mobile number
  5. Primary Online Database [see below]
  6. Code of Behaviour/Anti Bullying
  7. Use of Internet/Mobile Phones.
  8. School Uniform
  9. Leaving the school premises during school day
  10. Child Protection Procedures [See below]

 

CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES

 

The Board of Management of The Divine Word NS has formally adopted these Procedures. Procedures are now in place, whereby the school is obliged by law to report any cases or suspicions of harm, neglect, sexual or physical abuse. Copies of these Guidelines and Procedures are reviewed annually and are available for you to read in the school [on request] or on the school website at www.divinewordns.ie

 

CODE OF BEHAVIOUR AND EXCELLENCE

 

A copy of this policy will be made available to the parents/guardians of the applicant child, either by hard copy or through the school website. In accepting an offer of placement in the school, parents/guardians are deemed to accept terms of this policy and will abide by the rules and regulations governing the management of student behaviour in the school as set out in this policy document. An updated copy of this policy is available from the school or on www.divinewordns.ie

 

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

 

See policy ‘Attendance Policy’. DATA PROTECTION

The Divine Word NS operates a strict data protection policy. Information acquired at

the time of enrolment and while your child is attending at the school is classified as ‘strictly confidential’ and will only be shared with other persons/agencies with parental/guardian consent and where such consent is not required, on a need to know basis only. See Privacy Policy on www.divinewordns.ie

 

PRIMARY ONLINE DATABASE – [DES]

 

The Department of Education & Skills [DES] has developed an electronic database of primary school pupils called the Primary Online Database (POD) which involves schools maintaining and returning data on pupils to the Department at individual pupil level on a live system. The database allows the Department to evaluate progress and outcomes of pupils at primary level, to validate school enrolment returns for grant payment and teacher allocation purposes, to follow up on pupils who do not make the transfer from primary to post primary level and for statistical reporting.

 

The database holds data on all primary school pupils including their PPSN, First Name, Surname, Name as per Birth Certificate, Mother’s Maiden Name, Address, Date of Birth, Gender, Nationality, whether one of the pupil’s first language is English or Irish, whether the pupil is in receipt of an Exemption from Irish and if so,

 

the reason for same, whether the pupil is in receipt of Learning Support and if so the type of learning support, whether the pupils is in a Mainstream or Special Class. The database records the class grouping and the class the pupil is enrolled in. The database also contains, on an optional basis, information on the pupil’s religion and on their ethnic or cultural background.

 

The Department has consulted with the Data Protection Commissioner in relation to the collection of individual pupil information for the Primary Online Database. Both religion and ethnic and cultural background are considered sensitive personal data categories under Data Protection legislation. Therefore, it is necessary for each pupil’s parent / guardian to identify their child’s religion and ethnic background and to consent for this information to be transferred to the Department of Education and Skills. All other information held on POD was deemed by the Data Protection Commissioner as non-sensitive personal data.

 

SCHOOL VISITS

 

Parents / Guardians are reminded that all visits to the school to meet with the Principal / teachers are by appointment only. This is to avoid unnecessary disruption to your child’s class and learning.

 

ARRANGEMENTS FOR STUDENTS NOT WISHING TO ATTEND RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION

The Divine Word NS is an all-inclusive, Catholic ethos school. The school recognises those of all and no religions. During religion classes, those who wish to be exempt from such classes complete other work. Children can complete agreed work they need to do relation to their own particular religion. Due to lack of space, teaching staff and timetabling, there is no facility to supervise these children in another room or venue.

On enrolment into the school parents are provided with a letter /form offering them the choice(s) of participating or not in religious services/choir/ nativity plays (copy attached)  During these events an accommodation is made by the Special Ed team or other class teachers  to supervise these children.

 

This policy is subject to annual review by the Board of Management. Specific details regarding numbers etc. will be updated on September 30th of each year.

Reviewed September 2018. Ratified: January 2019.

 

Chairperson

Board of Management

 

Divine Word School, Marley Grange

 

 

 

Dear Parent/Guardian

 

As you are aware, the Divine Word NS is inclusive and we have children of many faiths and none attending the school. The Divine Word NS is also a Catholic ethos school and therefore we follow the Catholic Religious Programme, Grow in Love. Children take part in these lessons during the school day.  If you do not wish your child to be involved in these lessons please indicate below. However due to supervision and insurance issues your child will remain in the classroom and be assigned alternative school work. As a school we also take part in sacramental preparations for Communion and Confirmation and pray at certain times during the day.

 

Children in 3rd and 5th classes form the choirs for these sacramental events which would involve practices in the church and attendance in the church on the actual Sacrament day.

 

From time to time we visit the church and attend religious services.

We are aware that your child has been registered as a non-Catholic and therefore to update our records and procedures would ask you to complete the following:

 

Yes         No

  1. 1. My child can attend the church or any church services.         Please tick

 

Please note that the 6th class graduation is held every year in the church as our school hall is too small to cater for the large numbers attending.

 

  1. 2. When my child reaches 6th class he/she can attend Yes           No

the Graduation practices and ceremony in the church.                          Please tick

  1. 3. My child can take part in the Religious                     Yes           No

Education programme during class time.                                                    Please tick     

 

  1. 4. My child can be part of the First Communion Yes            No

or Confirmation choir.                                                                                      Please tick

 

  1. 5. My child can take part in the Christmas class Yes           No

nativity play/production.                                                                                 Please tick

 

  1. 6. My child can take part in the Christmas                     Yes           No

carol practices and service (3rd to 6th)                                                           Please tick

 

 

Childs Name:………………………………………..  Class: …………………………………..

Parents/ Guardian Signature: …………………………………………………………………

Thank you for your co-operation and assistance.

John Williams

Principal