The Board of Management of Scoil Íosa hereby sets out its Enrolment and Admissions policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998 and the Board trusts that by doing so, parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters.
All decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management of the school

This policy sets out to ensure that fair and appropriate procedures are in place to assist the school in:

• Making decisions in an open and transparent manner, in line with the Ethos and Mission statement of the school giving due regard to legislative requirements.

• Making an accurate assessment of the capacity of the school to adequately provide for the education of all children therein, bearing in mind issues of maximum individual class size and giving consideration to health and safety of all children currently enrolled in the school.

• Putting in place a framework, which will ensure effective and productive relations between students, parents and teachers where a student is admitted to the school.

Legal Framework.
Section 9(j) of the Education Act 1998 states that ‘A recognised school shall…subject to this act and in particular section 15(2) (d), establish and maintain an admissions policy which provides for maximum accessibility to the school’

Section 15 (2) (d) states that the Board of Management shall ‘publish …the policy of the school concerning admission to and participation in the school and ensure that policy principles of equality and the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parents’ choice are respected’.

The Education Welfare Act 2000 (Section 19(1)) requires that a Board of Management shall not refuse to admit a child except where such refusal is in accordance with the schools Admission Policy. Section 19(2) requires that parents must provide relevant information to the school, while Section 19(3) requires that the Board of Management shall as soon as possible (but no later than 21 days) after receiving such information, ‘make a decision in respect of the application concerned and inform the parent in writing thereof’

The Equal Status Act 2000 (Sections 5 & 7(2)), prohibits discrimination on the grounds of ‘gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Travelling Community’ regarding admission, access to programmes, participation in the school or regarding expulsion or any other sanction. There are exceptions regarding single-sex schools and schools promoting particular religious values (Section 7(3)).

Admission Criteria
It is the policy of Scoil Íosa that where there is availability of places, all children are considered for enrolment regardless of ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, family or social status, or disability. However the Board of Management reserves the right of admission if such admissions contravene published guidelines on class sizes. All admissions are made giving due regard to the rights of the teaching staff and of all children currently enrolled in the school.

1. Parents seeking to enrol their children in Scoil Íosa Ballyhaunis are requested to return a completed enrolment form (available through the school office, on request) with an original birth certificate or authentic copy thereof to the school by 31st May each year, or immediately, in the case of applications for enrolment during the course of the school year. All professional reports must be included with enrolment applications where the applicant has been diagnosed as having special needs/learning disabilities etc. An application will be considered as incomplete where such information is withheld/not provided.

2. While recognising the rights of parents regarding enrolment of their child and choice of school, the Board of Management also bears the responsibility to respect the rights of the existing school community and in particular those children already enrolled. This requires balanced judgements where the Board of Management will be guided by the principles of Natural Justice and will act in the best interests of all children. The Board of Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children appropriate in each individual classroom. This will be determined by the following factors:

• Physical Space available in the classroom.
• The Educational needs of the children relative to age.
• Whether classes are multi grade.
• The maximum class size as determined by the Board of Management – The current maximum class size, as determined by the Board of Management is currently 27 children in mainstream classes from 1st to 6th class with infant classes having a maximum enrolment of 22 pupils. (Classes from 1st – 6th classes may exceed the number outlined in exceptional cases where necessary to preserve school enrolment levels and in order to ensure that Infant classes do not exceed the published maximum.)
• The safety of each individual child.

3. Children enrolling in this school must be at least four years on or before March 31st of the year of admission to Junior Infants. Children whose fourth birthday falls after September 1st of the year of application to enrol in Junior Infants will not be considered for enrolment under any circumstances until September of the following school year.

4. Pupils wishing to transfer from other schools are enrolled subject to the rules governing National Schools, as well as our own school’s enrolment policy and local agreements with other schools. References and reports detailing behaviour, attitude, special intervention (resource/learning support etc.) will be required as part of the enrolment application. These documents must be considered by the Board of Management in any application. The admission of pupils from ther local schools will be subject to enforcement of class maximum sizes as determined by the Board of Management.

It may be necessary for the Board of Management to defer/delay enrolment of an applicant pending: –

(a) The receipt of an assessment report, and, or medical report or where such a report is not available, to request that the child be assessed immediately.

(b) The provision/transfer of appropriate resources by the Department of Education & Science to meet the needs specified in the psychological and / or medical report.

5. Children enrolled in our school are required to co-operate with and support the School/Board of Management’s Code of Behaviour as well as all other policies on curriculum, organisation and management. The Board of Management places parents/guardians responsible for ensuring that their child(ren) co-operate with said policies in a manner appropriate and acceptable to all within the school community A declaration of intent to adhere to school policies and code of acceptable behaviour will be included for parental agreement on the enrolment form in line with the provisions of the Education Welfare Act (2000). This declaration will be signed on the Childs behalf prior to submission for Board of Management approval. Enrolment in the school cannot proceed without receipt of all required documentation as laid down in this policy. No exceptions will be made to these requirements. Parents who may, for any reason, have difficulties in agreement with the content of enrolment documentation, and refuse to sign, may be advised to seek alternative schooling, which will address their specific requirements.

6. The following criteria must be considered in any enrolment application:

 Brothers and Sisters of pupils currently enrolled in Scoil Íosa.
 Children living within the parish boundary / Scoil Íosa catchment area.
 Children of school staff.
 The availability of a place in the class appropriate to the child based on the class maximum size as determined by the Board of Management (currently 27 in classes 1st – 6th and 22 in Infant classes)
 Whether the school can guarantee the safety of the child and other children based on the needs of the individual children.

7. Scoil Íosa welcomes children with special needs in line with current DES guidelines on inclusive education. In cases where parents wish to enrol children with special needs, all information must be made available to the school regarding special interventions required by the child in order to maximise educational opportunities for the prospective pupil. Parents will at all times be made aware of the constraints under which main stream schools operate in attempting to access such interventions for pupils with special needs. The Board of Management must be provided with the necessary professional reports (Psychological. O.T., Speech and language etc, so that all relevant supports may be accessed prior to the child becomes a pupil at the school. Notwithstanding the availability of such resources as provided for special needs of pupils (resource/learning-literacy support), parents who are unsatisfied with the level of educational provision in our school are advised to consider a special school which is designed and resourced to specifically cater for the needs of children with special educational needs.

After consideration for enrolment to the school, parents will be informed in writing of the decision of the Board of Management within 21 days of receipt of application for enrolment (for applications received for admission during the school year. In cases where applications are made for admission to school for the following school year such information will be provided in writing by May 31st of the year of application) In the case of Junior Infant pupils enrolling to commence school at the beginning of the school year, parents will be informed of the Board of Management decision within 21 days of the final date of enrolment, (normally May 31st). At this time a pupil profile form detailing information such as illness/allergies, emergency contact numbers etc., should be filled in and returned to the school. The information contained therein will be electronically stored on the school data base, shall be treated with the utmost confidence, and shall be subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and Data Protection Act (Amendment) 2003.

In cases where due to the maximum class size having been reached and as a consequence it being necessary to refuse admission to the school, the children in question will be placed on a wait list for admission, should a place in the relevant class become available. Incomplete applications where relevant reports are withheld / omitted may delay placement on the wait list.

Where an application has been made to another school in the locality simultaneously, any application to enrol at Scoil Íosa will not be considered.

The following criteria, (in the following order of priority) will be applied in the allocation of places from the wait list:

1. Position on the wait list.
2. Children of school staff
3. Children resident in Ballyhaunis Parish but not within the catchment area of other local schools.
4. Brothers and sisters of children already enrolled in the school.

In cases where there is unavailability of places in Scoil Íosa, it is policy to recommend an alternative school from among eight local primary schools where the DES has indicated these schools are in a position to accommodate pupils who cannot be accommodated at Scoil Íosa.

Monitoring and Evaluation.
This policy will be monitored by the Board of Management on an ongoing basis. It will be revisited and reviewed regularly in the light of experience. Where changes or amendments are deemed necessary, these will be achieved on a consultative basis giving consideration to the views and professional opinions of the school teaching staff, with due regard and consideration of class size recommendations and physical space within the school building.