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Admissions Policy (2014)

Note: Enrolment & Transfer Application forms, 2015/2016 at end of page.

Preamble

All decisions in relation to pupil enrolment at Ramsgrange Community School are made by the Board of Management of the school in accordance with school policy, the Education Act 1998, the Education Welfare Act 2,000 and the Equal Status Act.

In the event of the school not having the relevant resources to meet the needs of a student with specific needs, such information will be made available to the parents at the earliest opportunity.   The parents will have the option to appeal this decision to enable them appeal for further resources from the Department of Education and Skills.

The Board of Management reserves the right not to enroll a student with specific special needs, if it does not have the resources to provide “quality education” to meet the needs of that particular student.

Admissions Policy Ratified June 302010

 Ramsgrange Community School is a welcoming, open and inclusive school. Our aim is to develop each of our students as a whole person by promoting an atmosphere of respect, honesty, and fairness in which all in the school community can achieve their full potential.

Ramsgrange Community School

This policy has been drawn up in consultation with the Board of Management, Staff, Parents and Students of Ramsgrange Community School and has been approved and adopted by the Board of Management. The policy applies to all pupils who wish to enrol in the school and to their parents but particularly to those children who live within the local community.

  1. This policy is rooted in the schools fundamental aim of providing a diverse and quality system of Post Primary Education open to all the children of the community. The policy sets out procedures to be followed in all the following circumstances.

2.1.              Students applying for a place in First Year

2.2.              Students transferring from another Second Level school or applying for a place in any other year group or programme

2.3.              Students applying to repeat any year of any programme within the school including repeating the Leaving Certificate Programme.

2.4.              Students from within the school applying for a place on any programme within the school (Leaving Certificate Traditional, LCVP, Transition Year, Junior Certificate Schools Programme etc).

The policy should be read in conjunction with:

ü  The School’s Mission Statement (Cover Page)

The School’s Code of Behaviour (WIP)

ü  The School’s Homework Policy

ü  The School’s Attendance Policy (WIP Staff)

ü  The School’s Policy on Disabilities and Special needs ( WIP)

ü  The schools’ Policy on Substance Abuse (review WIP with HSE)

ü  Guidelines for Parent/Teacher Communications & Meetings

ü  Policy on Anti-Bullying

ü  Policy on Internet Acceptable Use

ü  Policy on Mobile Phone Acceptable Use

ü  Policy on Relationships and Sexuality Education (WIP)

ü  School Prospectus

  1. 3.   Relationship to the School Mission Statement.

This policy statement is in line with the objectives set out in the school’s mission statement and in the Deed of Trust for Community Schools to:

‘Provide a comprehensive system of post-primary education open to all the children of the community, combining instruction in academic and practical subjects’.

The school mission statement prescribes that the school is co-educational, multi-denominational and inclusive. This policy statement, therefore, provides for the admission of all boys and girls in the community regardless of religion, social class or educational need within the limits of available accommodation and facilities provided by the Department of Education and Skills.

  1. 4.   Rationale

The School is subject to all legislative requirements and regulations set down from time to time by the Department of Education & Skills (DES). The School is funded by the DES and is provided with staff in accordance with DES staff allocation systems.

The curricular programme of the school is governed by Department of Education and Skills regulation in accordance with sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act of 1998.

Enrolment is limited by school capacity and by the requirements of the school curriculum and organisation as prescribed from time to time by the Board of Management and as determined by DES regulations and standards.

In assessing applications for admission the school will take fully into account:

4.1.  The rights of children living within the local community.

4.2.  The rights of parents to enrol their children in the school of their choice bearing in mind recent High Court decisions.

4.3.  The capacity of the school to provide adequately for the education of all of its pupils.

This policy also aims to ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to enable the school:

4.4.  To make decisions on all applications in an open and transparent manner

consistent with its Ethos, the Mission Statement of the School and legislative requirements.

4.5.  To make an accurate and appropriate assessment of the capacity of the school to cater for the needs of applicants in the light of the resources available to it.

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

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 school’s 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 practicable (but not 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 (Section 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.

The School will comply fully with this legislation and render any application void, which does not comply with this legislation – in particular Section 19(2).

  1. 5.   Context:

Our school is a Community School and as such supports the principle of equality for all students regarding access to and participation in the school.

The school respects the diversity of traditions, values, beliefs, languages and ways of life in society. The school acknowledges the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parents’ choice, subject to the resources available to the school including classroom accommodation, class size, teaching resources and financial resources and subject to the capacity of the school to provide for the needs of those who apply for admission.

Where the school lacks the necessary resources to meet the needs of any applicant or student, it will make every effort to secure those resources – where the resources cannot be secured the school may refuse admission.

The school is managed by a Board of Management, which operates under the Deed of Trust for Community Schools. The school has an active Parents’ Association and Student Council.

  1. 6.   Management, Teaching & Financial Resources:

The school is funded by the Department of Education & Skills as part of the free education scheme. The school is staffed in accordance with the standard pupil-teacher ratios sanctioned by the Department of Education & Skills and any additional teaching hours sanctioned by the Department in respect of curricular concessions, special needs, special programmes, etc. The school operates within the regulations laid down by the Department from time to time.

The capacity of the school to implement its desired curriculum, its broad range of educational programmes, its breadth of extra-curricular activities, its school plan and policies are dependent on the resources it receives. Consequently, in determining its activities and programmes for any school year the school must have due regard to the teaching, management and administrative resources and the accommodation, equipment and funding available to it.

6.1.              Organisation:

Appendix 1 contains relevant information about the organisation of the school.  In addition the school issues a number of Information Bulletins for parents each year setting out relevant information for the current year including dates of holidays, dates of house examination, dates of Parent-Teacher meetings etc.

6.2.              Curriculum:

The school offers a broad curriculum designed to meet the needs of a wide range of abilities and aptitudes. The details of the curriculum on offer are set out each year in the School Prospectus which is available from the school on request. The curriculum is subject to change from time to time as deemed appropriate by the school. The school also endeavours to provide a wide range of extra curricular activities. The provision of these activities is subject to a range of factors and the list of activities is subject to change from time to time.

  1. 7.   Objectives:

The objectives of this policy statement are:

7.1.              To define clearly the procedures to be followed by parents/guardians in  applying for the admission of a child to the school:

7.1.1.           On transfer from primary to post-primary school

7.1.2.           On transfer from another post-primary school

7.1.3.           On seeking admission to a particular programme of course e.g. Transition Year, Leaving Certificate Applied.

 7.2.              To define the criteria to be applied in the consideration of applications in the  event that the number of applications exceeds the number of available  places.

7.3.              To define clearly the means by which enrolment decisions may be appealed to the local school management and/or to the Department of Education & Skills.

  1. 8.   Policy Content:

Procedures – Application, Enrolment Criteria & Decision, Appeal

8.1.   Application Procedures – into First Year

8.1.1. All students entering 1st Year must be a minimum of 12 years of age on the 1st of January in the calendar year following entry.(Original birth certificates will be requested)

8.1.2. The school will have an Open Day/Night each year circa. October/November. This will be published by contacting all Primary Schools in the catchment area and by advertising in the local press.

8.1.3. Application forms will be forwarded to all 6th class students in our school’s catchment area/ and to others on application, together with School Prospectus, Admission Policy and Opening & Closing Dates of application procedure.

8.1.4. Application forms will be accompanied by a Medical Information form and must be completed in their entirety and signed by parents. Incomplete forms will be returned to parents.

8.1.5.    Application Forms will be accepted up to and including February1st in the year of enrolment. For late applications see page 10 – 8.4.7.4.

8.1.6.    Further information will be requested through the school’s enrolment form.

8.1.7.    The school may request to meet with students and parents.

8.1.8.    All parents and students will be required to sign the School’s Code of Behaviour.

8.1.9.    All students will be required to sit an Assessment Test as set out in local agreements.

8.1.10.              It will be the policy of the school to accept all students from its catchment area regardless of ability or special educational needs except where there are limited facilities, shortage of places etc. Criteria for admission from outside catchment area are outlined later in this policy.

Students will be accepted from all backgrounds as well as those from minority groups. If a situation arises where Ramsgrange Community School receives more enrolments than it can cater for the following will apply:

  (a) Priority given to pupils living in the catchment area and attending National Schools in the catchment area.

(b) Students living in the catchment area and attending National School outside the catchment area will also be given priority.

(c) Priority will also be given to brothers and sisters of pupils from the catchment are already enrolled in the school.

If more students enrol from the catchment area than the school can cater for then the following will apply:

                (a) Priority to brothers and sisters attending the school , then

                (b) Lottery.

8.2.       Applications from Outside the Catchment Area – First Year.

As outlined in exceptional circumstances students from outside the Ramsgrange Catchment Area (as outlined by the Department of Education & Skills) will be admitted to Ramsgrange Community School, provided that they can be accommodated. If students cannot be accommodated in individual classes because of class size difficulties, they will be immediately informed and the process will be terminated.

The following procedure will apply:

ü  Application Form completed

ü  Interview with parents/student

ü  Suitable reference from previous school

ü  Good attendance record

ü  Full disclosure of all relevant information

ü  Good behaviour record of previous school

ü  Receipts of written assurances regarding full compliance with school rules and regulations

ü  Overall capacity of school to meet educational needs of the child

ü  Class size

ü  Capacity of the school / sufficient time to deliver programme (late applications only).

All applications must be submitted with full documentation to the Board of Management for decision.

 Failure to complete the necessary documentation listed above or to supply any other relevant documentation / information requested by the school may result in an applicant being refused admission to the school.

Applicants are advised that the Board of Management meets approximately every five weeks.

8.3.      Assessment Test:

 8.3.1   Students will normally be advised of the outcome of their application prior to sitting for the school’s Assessment Test.

8.3.2   All applicants shall be obliged to sit for the school’s Assessment Test, which shall be held on a day, time and place determined by the school. A candidate who fails to sit for the test without good reason (as judged by the school) will put their admission at risk. The Board may decide to revoke an earlier decision to admit such a student and to offer the place to a student on the waiting list.

8.3.3   The Assessment Test will be used to help the school identify whether a student has special educational needs and the results may be used as a basis for seeking additional teaching or other resources from the Department of Education & Skills, in line with the school’s Special Educational Needs Policy.

8.3.4   The Assessment Test guides the school in its assignment of students to certain classes. Details of Class (Appendix 1)

8.4        Application for other Year Groups:

8.4.1  Application Forms are available from the Office, Ramsgrange Community School. These will be accompanied by the Admission Policy/ Code of Behaviour/ Opening and Closing dates.

8.4.2  Any application must be fully completed together with a medical form. Incomplete application forms will be returned to parents.

8.4.3  Normally applications should be submitted by April 1st. Late application procedures are outlined later in this policy.

8.4.4  All applications must be accompanied by a reference from previous school.

8.4.5  Applicants will be required to furnish details about previous 2nd Level education including school reports and other relevant information. The procedures as outlined for students entering first year from outside the catchment area also apply.

8.4.6  All applicants will require the following:

8.4.6.1        Approval of Board of Management/Interview with Principal/Deputy Principal/ Written Assurances regarding compliance with the school’s Code of Behaviour.

8.4.6.2              All new applicants will initially be accepted on a trial period –

Contract to be signed by parents/Students.

8.4.7     Selection Criteria: The following will determine the success of the application:

8.4.7.1        The capacity of the school to cater for the applicants needs i.e.subject choice, class size.

8.4.7.2        The behaviour record of a student in their previous school

8.4.7.3        The attendance record of a student in their previous school

8.4.7.4      Late applicants to year Groups: In the event of applications being received after September 1st but before January 1st  in any academic year from students wishing to enter a particular year group in that academic year the following will apply:

(1) All procedures as outlined previously for ‘Application for other year groups’

(2) Class Size – certain subjects (i.e. practical classes must  comply with Department of Education & Skills capacity limits.

(3) Subject Choice / availability of subjects.

(4) There are certain restrictions on class sizes also in line with Department of Education & Skills guidelines and with school policy such as Transition Year and LCA.

Details of such restrictions may be had from the school.

(5) Applicants must have studied subject in previous school.

(6) A period of at least one week will pass between the acceptance of a student and the student commencing classes   to allow time for the Year Head and Tutor to disseminate relevant information regarding the new student’s arrival.

Because of the lateness of application, applications received after January 1st in a particular school year will not be accepted.

8.5     Admission to specific programmes or subjects (or subjects at a specific level) to students from the school.

If there are limits in LCA, Transition Year, LCVP, or specific subjects the following will apply:

8.5.1  Behavioural record

8.5.2  Attendance record

8.5.3  Performance in subject previously.  If the student has not taken the subject previously the Principal will liaise with Guidance Counsellor and subject teachers in order to ascertain the viability of this option.

8.5.4  Student’s commitment to the programme modules and completion

8.5.5  Student’s willingness to participate in all aspects of the programme

 In relation to the above courses an application process will apply. The school will be the final arbiters of who enters any of the programmes listed above.

 

8.6           Repeat a Year:

8.6.1  Applicants must meet with Principal and outline reasons.

8.6.2  Department of Education & Skills forms to be completed.

8.6.3  Since places are limited the following will apply:

8.6.3.1        Application of Department of Education & Skills criteria

8.6.3.2        Attendance Record

8.6.3.3        Behaviour Record & Work Ethic

8.7          Admission to Repeat the Leaving Certificate.

8.7.1  Applicants must meet with Principal or Deputy Principal or Year Head

8.7.2  Department of Education & Skills forms to be completed and guidelines to

be followed

8.7.3  Since the school does not provide a specific Repeat Year Course and if space

is limited the following will be considered:

8.7.3.1        Subject availability

8.7.3.2        Class size

8.7.3.3        Behaviour Record & Work Ethic

8.7.3.4        Attendance Record.

8.7.4  There is a fee of €200 payable to Ramsgrange Community School for all repeat students. (This fee is refundable on students attaining 90% attendance)

  1. 9.   Appeals Procedures:

 9.1         All applicants will receive a written answer to their request as set out above. Where possible, this will be done within 21 days of receipt of the application. Where it is not possible to make a decision on an application at the time it is received, the procedures to be followed will be explained in writing to the applicant within 21 days of receipt of the application. All applicants have the right to appeal the decision to the Board of Management. This will be dealt with as soon as possible.

9.2         A decision to refuse admission may also be appealed to the Department of Education & Skills as outlined in Appendix 3.

9.3     The policy will be reviewed regularly in the light of experience. It will be reviewed by a representative staff group for ratification by the Board of Management annually. Any staff member, Board member, parent, guardian or student who is unhappy with the content of the implementation of any school policy may request a review at any time and such a request will be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Transfer Application Form 2015

First Year Enrolment Form September 2015