Admissions Policy

1.    Introduction

This Admission Policy complies with the requirements of the Education Act 1998, the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and the Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting this policy, the board of management of the school has consulted with school staff, the school patron and with parents of children attending the school.

The policy was approved by the school patron on 1st February 2022. It is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who requests it.

The relevant dates and timelines for Scoil Iosef Naofa’s admission process are set out in the school’s annual admission notice which is published annually on the school’s website.

This policy must be read in conjunction with the Annual Admission Notice for the school year concerned.

The application form for admission is published on the school’s website (www.corvillens.com) and will be made available in hardcopy on request to any person who requests it.

 

2.    Characteristic Spirit and General Objectives of the School

Scoil Iosef Naofa is a Catholic co-educational primary school with a Catholic ethos under the patronage of the Archbishop of Killaloe Kieran O’Reilly.

“Catholic Ethos” in the context of a Catholic primary school means the ethos and characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church, which aims at promoting:

  • the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil, a living relationship with God and with other people; and
  • including the intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual aspects; and
  • a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and
  • the formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith;

and which school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, and/or such ethos and/or characteristic spirit as may be determined or interpreted from time to time by the Irish Episcopal Conference.

In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management of Scoil Iosef Naofa shall uphold, and be accountable to the patron for so upholding, the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school.

School Philosophy of Scoil Iosef Naofa

At Scoil Iosef Naofa, we strive to create a safe, secure and happy learning environment that reflects our Christian ethos mindful at all times of the dignity and individuality of every pupil in our care. In so doing, we seek to enable each pupil to reach his/her full potential.

We aim to:

  • Develop friendly and harmonious relationships within the school so that each pupil can learn and grow;
  • Promote a pastoral care system where each person takes responsibility for his/her own behaviour.
  • Build a spirit of collaboration between school leadership and management team, teachers, non-teaching staff, parents and pupils and create a sense of belonging to a vibrant learning community.
  • Foster in the pupils a sense of pride in themselves, their work, their school.
  • Develop in students an awareness and appreciation of our culture and heritage and an appreciation of our civic responsibility in the preservation of the environment.

3.    Admission Statement

As per section 61 (3) of the Education Act 1998, ‘civil status ground’, ‘disability ground’, ‘discriminate’, ‘family status ground’, ‘gender ground’, ‘ground of race’, ‘religion ground’, ‘sexual orientation ground’ and ‘Traveller community ground’ shall be construed in accordance with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000.

Scoil Iosef Naofa is a school whose objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values and does not discriminate where it refuses to admit as a student a person who is not of the Catholic faith and it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

Note for Parents: the inclusion of the above wording was mandated by the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018.

Scoil Iosef Naofa is a school which has established two classes, with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, which provides an education exclusively for students with a category or categories of special educational needs specified by the Minister and may refuse to admit to the class a student who does not have the category of needs specified.

 

4.    Categories of Special Educational Needs Catered for in Scoil Iosef Naofa’s Special Classes

Scoil Iosef Naofa with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, has established two classes to provide an education exclusively for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

5.    Admission of Students

The Board of Management of Scoil Iosef Naofa will have regard for relevant Department of Education and Skills (DES) Guidelines in relation to class size and staffing provision and/or any other relevant requirements concerning accommodation including physical space and the health and welfare of children.

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. Children applying to enrol in Scoil Iosef Naofa must have reached the age of 4 years by August 31st of the year they will commence school.

The Board of Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each separate classroom bearing in mind the Department of Education and Skills Guidelines in relation to class size and staffing provision. Other factors that may be considered are:

  • Size and available space in classrooms.
  • Educational needs of children of a particular age.
  • Presence of children with special educational/behavioural needs.
  • Health and Safety.

This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where –

  1. the school is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details)
  2. a parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student
Scoil Iosef Naofa is a Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of the Catholic faith where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

Note for Parents: the inclusion of the above wording was mandated by the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018.

The special classes attached to Scoil Iosef Naofa provide an education exclusively for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the school may refuse admission to this class, where the student concerned does not have the specified category of special educational needs provided for in this class.

 

6.    Over-subscription

In the event that the school is oversubscribed, the school will, when deciding on applications for admission, apply the following selection criteria in the order listed below to those applications that are received within the timeline for receipt of applications as set out in the school’s annual admission notice:

1.    Applicants with siblings currently enrolled in Scoil Iosef Naofa (including stepsiblings, resident at the same address), priority eldest;

2.    Children residing in the Parish of Roscrea, priority eldest;

3.    Children of current staff members, priority eldest;

4.    If any places remain, they will be allocated on the basis of age, the eldest child/children enrolled first, according the child’s/children’s Birth Certificate.

In the event that there are two or more students tied for a place or places in any of the selection criteria categories above (the number of applicants exceeds the number of remaining places), the following arrangements will apply:

Please note if any of the above criteria, numbers 1 to 3 are oversubscribed, then places will be allocated, in the above order, on the basis of age, the eldest child/children will be enrolled first according to the child’s/children’s Birth Certificate.

7.    What will not be considered or taken into account

In accordance with section 62(7) (e) of the Education Act, the school will not consider or take into account any of the following in deciding on applications for admission or when placing a student on a waiting list for admission to the school:

(a) a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service, including naíonraí,

(b) the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;

(c)  a student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude;

other than in relation to:

–       the admission to the special class insofar as it is necessary in order to ascertain whether or not the student has the category of special educational needs concerned.

(d) the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents;

(e) a student’s connection to the school by virtue of a member of his or her family attending or having previously attended the school;

other than, in the case of the school wishing to include a selection criteria based on siblings of a student attending or having attended the school.

(f)   the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school,

This is subject to the application being received at any time during the period specified for receiving applications set out in the annual admission notice of the school for the school year concerned.

 

8.    Decisions on Applications

All decisions on applications for admission to Scoil Iosef Naofa will be based on the following:

  • Our school’s Admission Policy
  • The school’s annual admission notice (where applicable)
  • The information provided by the applicant in the school’s official application form received during the period specified in our annual admission notice for receiving applications

(Please see Section 14 below in relation to applications received outside of the admissions period and Section 15 below in relation to applications for places in years other than the intake group.)

Selection criteria that are not included in our school Admission Policy will not be used to make a decision on an application for a place in our school.

 

9.    Notifying Applicants of Decisions

Applicants will be informed in writing as to the decision of the school, within the timeline outlined in the annual admissions notice.

If a student is not offered a place in our school, the reasons why they were not offered a place will be communicated in writing to the applicant, including, where applicable, details of the student’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the student’s place on the waiting list for the school year concerned.

Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the school’s decision (see Section 18 below for further details).

 

10.  Acceptance of an offer of a place by an applicant

In accepting an offer of admission from Scoil Iosef Naofa, you must indicate—

(i) whether or not you have accepted an offer of admission for another school or schools. If you have accepted such an offer, you must also provide details of the offer or offers concerned and

(ii) whether or not you have applied for and awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school or schools, and if so, you must provide details of the other school or schools concerned.

 

11. Circumstances in which offers may not be made or may be withdrawn

An offer of admission may not be made or may be withdrawn by Scoil Iosef Naofa where—

  • it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading.
  • an applicant fails to confirm acceptance of an offer of admission on or before the date set out in the annual admission notice of the school.
  • the parent of a student, when required by the Principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student; or
  • an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 10

 

12. Sharing of Data with other schools

Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 allows for the sharing of certain information between schools in order to facilitate the efficient admission of students.

Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a list of the students in relation to whom—

(i) an application for admission to the school has been received,

(ii) an offer of admission to the school has been made, or

(iii) an offer of admission to the school has been accepted.

 

The list may include any or all of the following:

(i) the date on which an application for admission was received by the school;

(ii) the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school;

(iii) the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant;

(iv) a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth and personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005).

 

13. Waiting list in the event of oversubscription

In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places available, a waiting list of students whose applications for admission to Scoil Iosef Naofa were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought.

Placement on the waiting list of Scoil Iosef Naofa is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this admission policy.

Applicants whose applications are received after the closing date, outlined in the Annual Admission Notice, will be placed at the end of the waiting list in order of the date of receipt of the application.

Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those students on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the students have been placed on the list.

 

14. Late Applications

All applications for admission received after the closing date as outlined in the annual admission notice will be considered and decided upon in accordance with our school’s admissions policy, the Education Admissions to School Act 2018 and any regulations made under that Act.

Late applicants will be notified of the decision in respect of their application no later than three weeks after the date on which the school received the application. Late applicants will be offered a place if there is place available. In the event that there is no place available, the name of the applicant will be added to the waiting list as set out in Section 13.

15. Procedures for admission of students to other years and during the school year

 

The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already admitted to the school to classes or years other than the school’s intake group are as follows:

·      Applications for enrolment during the school year will be considered subject to school policy, available space and the provision of information concerning attendance and the child’s educational progress.

·      Such applications will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis but will normally only be considered for admission on the first day of each new term unless the applicant is newly resident in the area.

 

The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already admitted to the school, after the commencement of the school year in which admission is sought, are as follows:

·      In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places available, a waiting list of students whose applications for admission to Scoil Iosef Naofa were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought.

·      Placement on the waiting list of Scoil Iosef Naofa is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this admission policy.

 

Junior Infants, with the exception of students transferring from another school, may only be admitted to the school prior to the 30th of September of that school year.  

 

16. Declaration in relation to the non-charging of fees

The Board of Management of Scoil Iosef Naofa or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-

  • an application for admission of a student to the school, or
  • the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.

 

17.  Arrangements regarding students not attending religious instruction

Our school is of a Catholic ethos and, in keeping with that ethos, children of all or no other faith are welcome to apply to this school.

We respect the decision of parents to withdraw their child/children from taking part in the religious education curriculum, religious ceremonies, school Masses, etc.

The following are the school’s arrangements for students, where the parent(s)/guardian(s) have requested that the student attend the school without attending religious instruction (etc.) in the school. These arrangements will not result in a reduction in the school day of such students:

•                    A written request should be made to the Principal of the school. A meeting will then be arranged with the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student, to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school.

•                    Pupils will read for pleasure during religious instruction.

•                    Pupils may attend sacramental practices with the consent of parents. If consent is refused, then the class teacher will set work for the pupil(s) who will be supervised in another class.

 

18.   Reviews/appeals

Review of decisions by the Board of Management

The parents/guardians of the student, may request the Board of Management to review a decision to refuse admission. Such requests must be made in accordance with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998.

The timeline within which such a review must be requested and the other requirements applicable to such reviews are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

The Board of Management will conduct such reviews in accordance with the requirements of the procedures determined under Section 29B and with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998.

Note:  Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the Board of Management prior to making an appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the Board of Management prior to making an appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Right of appeal

Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parents/guardians of the student, may appeal a decision of this school to refuse admission.

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (i) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due to the school being oversubscribed.

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (ii) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due a reason other than the school being oversubscribed.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the Board of Management prior to making an appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management)

Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will be considered and determined by an independent appeals committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.

The timeline within which such an appeal must be made and the other requirements applicable to such appeals are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

The policy was ratified by the Board of Management of Scoil Iosef Naofa on 01/02/202

The contents of this policy have been approved by St. Senan’s Education Office, acting on behalf of the Patron.

 

 

Appendix 1: ASD Class Enrolment Procedures

The decision to provide a special class for children with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Scoil Iosef Naofa was taken by the Board of Management of the school in 2014. A second special class for children with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder was opened in 2021. These decisions were taken with a view to providing an education in a mainstream setting for children who have a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and who fulfil the relevant enrolment criteria.

It is envisaged that this special class will cater primarily for children that resident in the town of Roscrea. The Board of Management notes the Department of Education and Skills’ policy to allow Boards of Management of recognised Primary Schools to establish similar ASD classes in their schools

 

The ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) Class at Scoil Iosef Naofa is a class for children:

  • who have a recognised ASD diagnosis
  • who have been recommended for placement in an ASD Class in a mainstream Primary School
  • who have the potential to integrate into a mainstream, age appropriate class.

 

NOTE:

  1. All placements will be reviewed annually in order to ensure that the placement continues to be appropriate for each child.
  2. The maximum class size is 6 pupils.
  3. The provision of an ASD Class in the school was proposed by our SENO and approved by the NCSE for the school year 2014/2015.
  4. The establishment of this class is contingent on approval for additional accommodation being granted by the Department of Education School’s Capital Appraisal Section and also on the necessary funding and resources being furnished to Scoil Iosef Naofa by the Department of Education and Skills.

 

Aim

We aim to offer a positive and meaningful educational experience, for children who are on the Autistic Spectrum and which allows the child to develop to his/her full learning potential in an environment that offers clarity, predictability and calm.

Our ASD class offers an autism specific learning environment within a mainstream co-educational primary school. This setting facilitates optimum inclusion in mainstream education as part of the school community, as appropriate, while having due regard for levels of general learning disability, resources and each child’s current suitability for such inclusion.

We wish to provide a broad curriculum which focuses on the abilities and strengths of each child while supporting his/her areas of need. We will strive to enhance the communicative and social skills of the children in the ASD class.

Enrolment Procedure

  • Registration begins with a referral from the SENO, outside agencies, a telephone call or a visit from parents.
  • Requests for Enrolment Application Forms for the ASD Class and queries regarding supporting documentation should be made to: The Special Education Coordinator, Scoil Iosef Naofa, Corville, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary. Telephone: 0505 21485.
  • A school Enrolment Application Form for the Class for Pupils with ASD is then completed.

The Enrolment Application must be accompanied by all of the following supporting documentation supplied by parents:

  1. The child must have a diagnosis of Autism / Autistic Spectrum Disorder made using the DSM-IV/V or ICD 10 by the psychologist or team.
  2. Original Birth Certificate.
  3. A written psychological assessment /report or a written Report from a multi-disciplinary Team must be provided. A multi-disciplinary team may consist of a Clinical Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Speech & Language Therapist, Social Worker and a Physiotherapist. (Please note all reports on a child should be provided to the school for assessment by the Principal and SET team.
  4. There must be a recommendation by the relevant professionals in the report that a special class placement in a mainstream school is both necessary and suitable for the child. In this regard it should be noted that the academic ability of the child will be taken into account when considering an application and will be subject to continuous assessment and review.
  • The closing date for applications is January 31st yearly.
  • Completed applications will be responded to within 21 days of the closing date for receipt of applications.
  • The list of applicants will be reviewed by the Principal and the Special Class Teacher.
  • All applications received by the closing date will be considered.
  • The school may seek the advice of the school’s allocated NEPS psychologist to aid enrolment decision making.

 

Factors taken into consideration during the enrolment process are:

  1. Diagnosis – Child must be diagnosed as being on the Autistic Spectrum and have a recommendation for placement in a special class attached to a mainstream school.
  2. Integration – Child must be capable of integrating into mainstream, even at a minimal level, at an appropriate age level.
  3. Appropriateness – Child must be capable of accessing the Primary School Curriculum.

Once the School is satisfied that the child presents as fulfilling the requirements in 1,2,3 above, places will be allocated in accordance with the criteria set out below. The School may request further information or a meeting with the parent and the child in the school setting, if deemed to be necessary. The school acknowledges that all children with ASD present with differing profiles. For this reason, all applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

NOTE: The receipt of the enrolment application forms, psychological report and written recommendation is not a guarantee of enrolment. It is simply the recording of an application for admission to our school. Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Principal.

Before allocating places the Principal will:

  • Review all applications and all documentation relevant to a child applying for a place in the class for pupils with ASD.
  • Come to a decision on the suitability of the class for pupils with ASD to meet the needs of the child.
  • Verify that there is a recommendation from a recognised Psychologist for placement in a special class in a mainstream school.
  • Come to a decision as to the suitability of the child for potential meaningful integration in an age appropriate mainstream class
  • Verify that the child is 4 years old on or before August 31st on the year of enrolment

Places will be allocated in the ASD class in accordance with the following criteria and in the following order:

  1. Pupils currently enrolled in our mainstream school and seeking to transfer to the ASD class.
  2. Applicants with siblings currently enrolled in the school (including stepsiblings, resident at the same address).
  3. Children living within the town of Roscrea.
  4. Children of current school staff.
  5. If any places remain, they will be allocated on the basis of age, the eldest child/children enrolled first, according the child’s/children’s Birth Certificate.

Transfers

Pupils may transfer to the ASD class during the school year subject to availability of places. Pupils transferring must enter the same class level that they are leaving, and have the necessary diagnosis and recommendations as outlined above. The school may request other relevant documentation if a pupil is transferring from another school. All documents need to be received in order for the application to be deemed fully completed.

 

Placement

  • After placement in the class a relevant Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Student Support Plan will be provided for the child. This plan will have an input from all parties involved with the education of the child. The Class teacher will prepare an annual IEP which will be reviewed in the Spring as is the Special Education Teaching policy in the school. It is up to the professional opinion of the teacher involved if the IEP needs to be updated more frequently.
  • Each child in the ASD class will be assigned to an age appropriate mainstream class for integration purposes provided that this is in the best interests of the child, while having due regard to the educational benefit of all pupils enrolled in our school. Every opportunity will be used to promote inclusion in mainstream classes provided the child is ready for this step and has the necessary supports in place.
  • A review will take place at the end of the child’s first year (and at the end of each subsequent year) to assess whether the child’s placement is appropriate. The review will be carried out by school staff with parental involvement.

 

The first year in the Class will be used to;

  • Assess the child’s educational needs.
  • Develop an IEP/ Student Support Plan to address identified needs.
  • Assess whether the child’s placement is appropriate.

 

Taking into account the Department regulations and programmes, the rights of the patron as set out in the Education Act, and the funding available, the school supports the principles of:

  • Inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special education need.
  • 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.

 

Discharge Policy

It is school policy to facilitate the discharge of pupils once they have completed 6th Class and/or reached the age of thirteen after September 30th in any year. This means a June discharge in the following year. The onus will be on the parents to negotiate the placement with a suitable post-primary School. Scoil Iosef Naofa will facilitate all transfer of records/reports as well as assist with any information required with regard to students. Discharge from the ASD Class may also happen if a pupil is fully integrated into the mainstream school.

 


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