Admissions Policy

1.    Introduction

Scoil Bhríde is a co-educational Junior School which caters for pupils from Junior Infants through to Second Class under the patronage of the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin. The school is subject to the Rules for National Schools of the Department of Education and Science. Pupils who complete their junior school education in Scoil Bhríde generally proceed to finish their primary education in Holy Trinity Senior National School. Scoil Bhríde is managed on behalf of the Patron and the Department by a board of management.

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 14 July 2020.  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 Bhríde’s admission process are set out in the school’s annual admission notice which is published annually on the school’s website at least one week before the commencement of the admission process for the school year concerned.

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 and will be made available in hardcopy on request to any person who needs it.

The Board of Management is bound by the Rules for National Schools which provides that pupils may only be enrolled from the age of 4 years and upwards (with the exception of children in the Early Intervention ASD Class who can enrol from the age of 3 years), though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of 6 years

2.    Characteristic spirit and general objectives of the school

Scoil Bhríde is a Catholic co-educational junior primary school with a Catholic ethos under the patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin.

“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, including the intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual aspects; and
  • a living relationship with God and with other people; 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 Bhríde 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.

Scoil Bhríde cherishes the individuality of every pupil and every staff member. Scoil Bhríde strives to develop the spiritual, intellectual, artistic, physical, emotional and social potential of each individual pupil while helping him or her to lead a full life as a child. Scoil Bhríde endeavours to provide all pupils with many and varied educational, social and cultural experiences in order to equip them to develop as mature well-rounded citizens.

Scoil Bhríde strives to create a happy, friendly, caring atmosphere where all pupils and staff are valued equally, regardless of gender, civil status, family status, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and membership of the traveller community. Scoil Bhríde encourages respect, honesty, understanding and courtesy towards others among pupils, staff and the wider school community. Scoil Bhríde recognises parents as the primary educators of their children and encourages communication and involvement in a spirit of mutual trust and understanding. Scoil Bhríde endeavours to provide a safe and healthy school environment for all pupils, staff and the wider school community.

3.    Admission Statement

Scoil Bhríde will not discriminate in its admission of a pupil to the school on any of the following:

  • the gender ground of the pupil or the applicant in respect of the pupil concerned,
  • the civil status ground of the pupil or the applicant in respect of the pupil concerned,
  • the family status ground of the pupil or the applicant in respect of the pupil concerned,
  • the sexual orientation ground of the pupil or the applicant in respect of the pupil concerned,
  • the religion ground of the pupil or the applicant in respect of the pupil concerned,
  • the disability ground of the pupil or the applicant in respect of the pupil concerned,
  • the ground of race of the pupil or the applicant in respect of the pupil concerned,
  • the Traveller community ground of the pupil or the applicant in respect of the pupil concerned, or
  • the ground that the pupil or the applicant in respect of the pupil concerned has special educational needs

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 Bhríde 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 Catholic and it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school

4.    Categories of Special Educational Needs catered for in the school/special class

Scoil Bhríde is a school which has established two special classes, with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills. Our Early Intervention Autism Class/Junior Class and our Junior Autism Class provide an education exclusively for pupils with a category of Autism and will refuse to admit to the class a pupil who does not have Autism.

5.    Admission of Pupils

This school shall admit each pupil seeking admission except where –

a) the school is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details)

b) a parent of a pupil, 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 pupil.

c) Scoil Bhríde is a Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a pupil a person who is not of Catholic denomination where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

6. Applications for Admission to Mainstream Classes

The Board of Management may decide on an annual closing date for application for admission to Scoil Bhríde Junior Infant Classes and will give reasonable notice of that closing date on the school website and otherwise. (It is usually the second Friday in January of the year of admission).

The Board of Management has determined criteria for admission of pupils to Scoil Bhríde and these criteria are set out hereunder. The criteria are based on

  1. The primary responsibility of the Board to cater for the children of Holy Trinity Parish and
  2. A desire to give effect to family friendly policies allowing children of the parish community to attend school with their brothers and sisters.
Oversubscription

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. Siblings and stepsiblings of children already enrolled in the school[1] and children resident in the parish[2] (the eldest child will have priority in this ranking)
  2. Children of staff (the eldest child will have priority in this ranking).
  3. Children residing outside the parish (the eldest child will also have priority).

In the event that applications still exceed availability, places will be allocated on the basis of age i.e. priority will be given to older children.

In the event that there are two or more pupils 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 place will be decided by lottery with an independent party present.

7. Applications for Admission to ASD Classes

Enrolment in Scoil Bhríde for the purpose of attending an ASD class is subject to the standard criteria by the Department of Education and Skills, following a diagnosis of autism as defined by DSM V. Our Autism Classes are non-cognitive specific. Thereafter the following criteria apply:

  1. Children with ASD in a mainstream class in Scoil Bhride who receive a recommendation for an ASD specific class.
  2. Brothers and sisters of current pupils in Scoil Bhríde or Holy Trinity school or who have attended Scoil Bhríde in the past.
  3. Children resident in Holy Trinity Parish.
  4. Children of current Scoil Bhríde and Holy Trinity staff members.
  5. Children who live in the adjacent parishes of Baldoyle, Raheny, Ayrfield, Kilbarrack, Coolock and Kinsealy.
  6. Applicants not covered by criteria 1 – 4 above.

Subject to criteria outlined above for our Early-Intervention Class children will be prioritised by age. Youngest children will receive priority. (Note: we accept children from the age of three years to our Early Intervention ASD Class)

Children will only transition from one class to another following a review. An ASD Committee, comprising the principal, teachers and a board member, will be established in the school to examine the reports, recommendations and liaise with the ASD class teachers.

Children may gain admission to an ASD Class following submission to the Principal of appropriate documentation from approved services e.g. Early Intervention Services, HSE Beechpark or St. Michael’s House. The application must be accompanied by a written psychological report recommending placement in an ASD class.

Children in our ASD Classes will be resourced in accordance with the level of resources provided by the Dept. of Education & Skills and the HSE. These resources may include, for example, access to the provision of any or a combination of the following: speech therapist, occupational therapist, behavioural therapist, home liaison nurse, psychologist, and psychiatrist. If the above services are not available or deemed inappropriate to the suitability of the placement or to meet the needs of the child this will be considered in the annual review.

All placements for children in our ASD classes are subject to an annual review by the ASD Committee and external services where appropriate.

Other considerations

The maximum class size in the each ASD class is six pupils.  If the number of children on the list of applicants to enrol exceeds the number of places available, the criteria as laid out above will apply once a confirmed diagnosis of Autism has been provided by a qualified, approved professional and acceptable to the criteria as laid down by the National Council for Special Education (NCSE).

The first year will be used to;

  • Assess the child’s educational needs
  • Develop a Pupil Support File to address identified needs
  • Assess whether the child’s placement is appropriate

Aims of our ASD classes

  • To provide a quality driven, appropriate educational service to all children, within the requirements of all recent legislation pertaining to Special Needs Education
  • To enhance the communicative and social skills of the children
  • To strive towards the integration of children in our ASD classes into mainstream education, having regard for levels of disability, available resources and suitability for such integration

Discharge Policy   

It is school policy to facilitate the discharge of pupils from our ASD classes once they have reached the age of nine or have completed 5 years in total between the two ASD classes. Pupils who reach the age of nine after September 30th in any year will be permitted to complete that academic year (provided they have not completed 5 years). This means a June discharge in the following year. Discharge may also be recommended at any stage if the Board of Management, after consultation with the appropriate agencies and the parents/guardians, feels that placement is not appropriate. Discharge from the ASD class may also happen if a pupil is fully integrated into the mainstream school.

Parents will be notified about admission to the ASD classes on a case by case basis.

8.    What will not be considered or taken into account when applying for a place in Scoil Bhríde

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 pupil on a waiting list for admission to the school:

  • a pupil’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service
  • the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;
  • a pupil’s academic ability, skills or aptitude; other than in relation to admission to one of our ASD classes insofar as it is necessary in order to ascertain whether or not the pupil has the category of special educational needs concerned
  • the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a pupil’s parents;
  • a requirement that a pupil, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;
  • a pupil’s connection to the school by virtue of a member of his or her family attending or having previously attended the school; (other than siblings of a pupil attending or having attended the school)
  • the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school, unless the application is for Junior Infants and the closing date for application has passed.

9.    Decisions on applications

All decisions on applications for admission to Scoil Bhríde 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 15 below in relation to applications received outside of the admissions period and section 16 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.

10.  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 pupil 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 pupil’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the pupil’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 19 below for further details).

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

In accepting an offer of admission from Scoil Bhríde, the applicant must indicate—

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

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

12. 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 Bhríde 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 pupil, 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 pupil; or
  • an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 11

13. 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 pupils.

Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a list of the pupils 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 pupil’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).

14. 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 pupils whose applications for admission to Scoil Bhríde 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 Bhríde is in the order of priority assigned to the pupils’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this admission policy.

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 pupils on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the pupils have been placed on the list.

15. 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 a 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 14.

16. Procedures for admission of pupils to other years and during the school year

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

  • Application form must be completed
  • Pupil will be admitted to the appropriate class level only if the class is not deemed already full
  • In the case where an offer is made places can be held only for a limited time i.e. 4 weeks or until there is another application for the same place and that applicant is willing to take the place immediately or sooner.

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

  1. Application form must be completed
  2. The pupil will be placed on the waiting list
  3. The pupil will only be admitted if the Junior Infant classes are not already full

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

The board of Scoil Bhríde 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 pupil to the school, or
  • the admission or continued enrolment of a pupil in the school.

18.  Arrangements regarding pupils not attending religious instruction

The following are the school’s arrangements for pupils, where the parents have requested that the pupil attend the school without attending religious instruction in the school.  These arrangements will not result in a reduction in the school day of such pupils:

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

Please note the following:

  • It is impossible to opt out of a Religious Ethos
  • As Scoil Bhríde is a Primary School, all teachers teach all day and do not have free time for supervision.

19. Reviews/appeals

Review of decisions by the board of management

The parent of the pupil, may request the board 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 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 parent of the pupil 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.

 

Policy ratified by the Board of Management

Signed: ________________________________   (Chairperson)        Date:  ______________

_________________________________   (Principal)            Date:  ______________

 

 

 

1 Proper documentation as determined by the Board of Management will have to be provided to prove their residency status in the parish area.