Enrolment Policy

 ENROLMENT POLICY

 

INTRODUCTION

 

This policy has been developed in conjunction with the Board of Management, teachers and parents of the Divine Word National School, Marley Grange.

This policy is set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998. This enrolment policy was reviewed and updated by the Board of Management of the Divine Word NS on September 26th 2017. The Board of Management (BOM) trusts that by doing so parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters and furthermore, the Chairperson of the B.O.M., Dr Daire Keogh, and the Principal, Mr John Williams, of the Divine Word N.S. (phone 4945955) would be happy to clarify any further matters arising from this policy.

 

The Divine Word N.S. Marley Grange, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16 (phone 4945955) is a co-educational school catering for children from Junior Infants to Sixth Class. The school is a Roman Catholic school under the patronage of the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin. The prescribed Religious programme for Catholic Schools in the Diocese is Grow in Love.  There are 26 teachers in the school including the Principal, included in this figure are 7 Special Ed teachers. The school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Science (DES) and operates within the regulations laid down, from time to time, by the DES and Patron.  School Policy must have regard to the resources and funding available.

 

The School adheres to Circular M21/04 and any subsequent circulars concerning the standardisation of the school year.  Parents are informed of school closures at the commencement of each school year/term.

The Board of Management of the Divine Word NS has formally adopted and implemented Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary School, 2011 which is based on Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011. Copies of our “Child Protection Policy” are available from the school office.

Pupils enrolled in The Divine Word NS are required to co-operate with and support the school Code of Behaviour as well as other policies. A copy of the school Code of Behaviour is available to all parents. Parents are responsible for ensuring that their child(ren) co-operate with the policies in an age appropriate manner. In the unlikely situation of repeated serious misbehaviour, the school will follow procedures for suspension and expulsion as set out in the NationalEducationWelfareBoard(NEWB)guidelines.
Parents who accept a place for their child in The Divine Word NS will be required to sign an undertaking on the school application form to uphold the school Code of Behaviour and other policies.

 

School opening times are as follows:-

Junior Infants and Senior Infants:               8.50 am – 1.30pm

First Class to Sixth Class                            8.50 am – 2.30pm

 

There are two break times during the day, the first from 10.50am to 11.00am, the second from 12.30pm to 1.00pm.

 

The school also follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the DES, which may be amended from time to time, in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act (1998). These curricular areas include Gaeilge, English, Mathematics, SESE, SPHE, Visual Arts and Physical Education. Within the context and parameters of the DES regulations and programmes, the rights of the patron as set out in the Education Act, in conjunction with the funding and resources available, the school supports the principles of

  • Inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational needs.
  • Equality of access and participation in the school.
  • Parental choice in relation to enrolment.
  • Respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.

 

SCHOOL ETHOS/MISSION STATEMENT

The Divine Word National School has an ethos, which aims in full to facilitate both the personal and academic development of all its pupils. The Board of Management, staff, parents and school community work in partnership, to develop moral, religious values and to meet the needs of all its students.

 

Here, they learn to appreciate, explore and express their individuality as well as that of others. The Divine Word National School helps all of its students to grow and cultivate their talents and interests while helping them to mature as balanced, hard-working members of society.

 

SCHOOLS DEMONINATIONAL CHARACTER

 

The Divine Word National School is a Roman Catholic, co-educational school under the patronage of the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. The Board of Management reserves their right to promote and uphold a Catholic ethos under Section 7(3) of the Equal Status Act while recognising, respecting and welcoming the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions and ways of life in society. The development of the curriculum for religious education remains the responsibility of the church authorities.

 

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

 

The BOM communicates to the school community/parish community, through appropriate channels for example; notes, school newsletter, school website, parish newsletter and a poster campaign inviting prospective parents to enrol their child.  Parents and children will be invited to the school on a specific afternoon in June, at a specific time for the purpose of seeing their children’s classroom and meeting their teacher (where possible). All parents/guardians are notified of this at the Junior Infant Information Meeting held in May/June.

 

The BOM is bound by the DES rules of national schools which provide 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.  Enrolment occurs on 1st September as this is the date the child is placed on the school register.

 

In accordance with the Equal Status Act 2000 and the Disabilities Bill 2002, the BOM upholds equality of access as the key value that determines the enrolment of children to our school. No child is refused admission for reasons of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, language/accent, gender, traveller status, asylum-seeker/refugee status, religious/political beliefs and values, family or social circumstances.

 

Please note Applications Forms available in the school office.  Parents who wish to enrol their child (ren) in the school are required to return a completed Application Form with an original Birth/Adoption Certificate, Baptism Certificate( if appropriate), 2 original utility bills in the parent’s name(s), dated back three months prior to the application closing date, and a self-addressed stamped envelope to the school office. To facilitate school planning the completed application should be returned to school office before the closing date.  Parents may call to the school office to apply or send it in by post. Please Note: Incorrect or missing Information submitted regarding enrolment eligibility renders an application invalid.  Proof of residence will be sought to determine eligibility as per above and MUST be received before the closing date for applications.

 

DECISION CRITERIA

Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the BOM of the Divine Word National School in accordance with school policy and the appropriate resources being available from the DES.  In accordance with the Educational Welfare Act 2000, the BOM will notify parents of their decision within 21 days of the closing date for applications.

 

While recognising the right of parents to enrol their child in the school of their choice, the BOM of Divine Word NS 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 principles of natural justice and acting in the best interest of all children. Assisting the school in such circumstances, the BOM reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each separate classroom bearing in mind:

 

 

 

  • Size of / available space in classrooms
  • Educational needs of children of a particular age
  • Multi-grade classes
  • Presence of children with special education/behavioural needs
  • DES maximum pupil/teacher ratio directives (currently 28:1 children). This may vary according to the Department budgets and directives.

 

In the event of the number of children seeking enrolment in any given class/standard exceeding the number of places preceding or during the school year the following criteria will be used to prioritise children for enrolment:

 

    1. Brothers and sisters of current children in the school (including stepsiblings and foster children resident at the same home address) and children of current staff.  (Priority to the oldest).
    2. Catholic children of the parish.  (Priority to the oldest). Please note that proof of residence will be requested upon application.
    3. Children of past pupils. (Priority to the oldest).
    4. Catholic children who live outside the parish and do not have a Catholic school in their parish.  (Priority to the oldest).
    5. All children who live within the parish boundaries but are of other denominations applying for a placement are entitled to a place if there are vacancies after the groups from (1) to (4) have been allocated places.  (Priority to the oldest).
    6. Catholic children outside the parish. (Priority to the oldest)
    7. All children who apply to the school and are of other denominations and not residents within the parish boundaries are entitled to a place in the school if there are vacancies in the school after the groups from (1) to (6) have allocated places.

 

In order to accommodate groups (1) to (3) the BOM may have to operate a cut off in age of applicants to give places to groups (1) and (3) if there is pressure for places.

 

REGISTRATION DAY

 

Successful applicants are invited to attend a Registration Day. This Registration day confirms both the acceptance of the application by the BOM and the parent’s intent of taking the school place in September. On this day, parents are requested to pay the book list fees. The school handbook and any relevant information will be given to parents on an information evening, usually held in May/June to help their child enter in to the national primary educational system.

 

The admission date for junior infants is the 1st September or on a date during the previous week. Before the summer holiday’s notification is forwarded to parents of Junior Infants of the first day of school and the name of the teachers if possible. These are also notified to parents at the Junior Infant Parent Information Evening normally held in May/June.

 

RIGHT TO APPEAL

 

The BOM of the Divine Word National School recognises and upholds a parent’s right to appeal a refusal to enrol through the Appeal Procedures under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998. Upon receiving the BOM’s decision parents/guardians will be informed by the BOM of the procedure and timeframe involved for an appeal.

The procedures under section 29 cannot be invoked until all procedures at local level have been exhausted.

 

Children with Special Needs

 

The Divine Word NS welcomes children with special needs who we deem to be inclusive within the education system. A clear statement of the extent of the child’s special learning /physical difficulty needs to be sought from the agency dealing with the case.

Up to date Psychological/Speech and language reports should be provided to the school.  Following receipt of these reports, the BOM will assess how the school will meet the needs specified in the report.  Where the BOM deems that further resources are required, it should, prior to enrolment, request the DES to provide the 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 provision of any or a combination of the following: Visiting teacher service/resource teacher for special needs/special needs assistant/specialised equipment or furniture, transport services or other.

If the child is currently enrolled in another school, an up to date report will be sought and required.

An analysis of the requirement of the child’s educational and physical needs and our ability to meet these needs will then be made.

A meeting with parents to discuss the case will be convened to address the above points and information.  Full consideration of the parents wishes are to be taken into account and balanced with the above.  It may be necessary to convene a full case conference involving all parties, which may include parents, principal, class teacher, resource teacher, visiting teacher, psychologist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, social worker and any other appropriate services.

 

 

Reference to the Equality Status Act (2000) and the Disabilities Bill (2002) has been addressed in the drawing up of this document.

 

This policy will be reviewed as and when deemed necessary.