Polasaí Iontrála/Enrolment

                                Gaelscoil na Dúglaise Enrolment Policy

Introductory Statement

Gaelscoil na Dúglaise’s ‘Enrolment Policy’ was initially formulated in 2003 involving consultations among staff, parents and Board of Management members. The Policy was formally ratified by the BOM. It was formulated in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998 and the Welfare Act 2000 in order to assist Parents/Guardians in relation to enrolment matters.  The Enrolment Policy was reviewed, updated and formally approved at Meetings of the BOM  September 2017. Decisions of the Supreme Court, High Court and Equality Tribunal and advice received from the Catholic Primary School Management Association  led the BOM to undertake this  review of the Enrolment Policy.

Mission Statement
Gaelscoil na Dúglaise’s Enrolment Policy seeks to preserve and enhance the characteristic spirit and ethos of the school. The Enrolment Policy is formulated in support of, and having regard to, other school policies, including among others its ‘Code of Behaviour’, ‘Safety, Health and Welfare Statement’, ‘Child Protection’.

Catholic Ethos
Gaelscoil na Dúglaise is founded upon Gospel values and our Catholic tradition.  Our mission is to inspire and enable each unique student to achieve their full spiritual, academic and personal potential and, at all times strive for excellence.
We are a welcoming school where tolerance, honesty, co-operation and mutual respect for others are fostered.  We believe every student to be equal and we are committed to the development of the whole person within a secure and creative environment which is supportive of the individual regardless of their age, sex, race, colour, religion or disability.  We provide a broad, balanced curriculum which we believe provides equal opportunity for all students to flourish and develop their given talents.
At Gaelscoil na Dúglaise we aim to promote equality and tackle any form of discrimination.  We actively promote harmonious relationships in all areas of school life.  We seek to remove any barriers to access, participation, progression, attainment and achievement.  We take seriously our contribution towards community cohesion.

The Board of Management of Gaelscoil na Dúglaise hereby sets out its Enrolment Policy in accordance with the provisions Section 15(2) of the Education Act (1998) and the Equal Status Act (2000). The Board of Management trusts that in so doing parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters. The Chairperson of the Board of Management, Mr. Séamus Ó Laoi, and the Principal Teacher, Andrias Ó Foghlú, (Ph. 021-4364193/Email: gaelscoilnaduglaise@eircom.net.) will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from the policy.


a) To provide guidance and information to all concerned with enrolment and participation matters in the school, in particular to the parents/guardians of prospective pupils.
b) To ensure that all applications for enrolment are dealt with in a fair, transparent and verifiable manner.
c) To establish criteria under which applications shall be considered.
d) To ensure that the school has access to the information and documentation deemed necessary for the completion of the enrolment process.

General Information

Gaelscoil na Dúglaise is an early total immersion Catholic Primary School where Irish is the medium of instruction for all subjects (except other languages).  Gaelscoil na Dúglaise operates under the Rules for National Schools, The Education Act (1998), The Education Welfare Act (2000), enacted sections of The Education of Persons with Special Education Needs Act (2004), all relevant equality legislation and Department of Education and Skills (DES) Circulars.

School Name:   Gaelscoil na Dúglaise
School Roll Number:  1988S
School Address:         Douglas, Cork
Telephone No.:          021-4364193
Denominational Character: Caitliceach
Name of Patron:               Dr Fintan Gavin, Easpag Chorcaí
Total No. of Teachers:  23
Range of Classes Taught:  All primary classes
Gender Orientation of School: Co-educational

The school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills and it operates within the regulations laid down, from time to time, by the Department.  School policy has regard to the resources and funding available.
The school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills, which may be amended from time to time, in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act (1998).
Within the context and parameters of Department regulations and programmes, the rights of the patron as set out in the Education Act (1998), and 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 need;
• equality of access and participation in the school;
• parental choice in relation to enrolment;
• respect for diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.

Enrolment Procedures

Application Procedure
• Enrolment applications to this school must be made using the prescribed preregistration application form (foirm réamhchláraithe) available from Gaelscoil na Dúglaise or online at www.gaelscoilnaduglaise.com.  (Appendix 1)

• The timeline for the submission of written applications will be notified in the month of October  each year both in the Parish newsletter and in the Gaelscoil newsletter  and on the Gaelscoil Website at www.gaelscoilnaduglaise.ie

• Parent(s)/Guardian(s) who wish to apply to enrol a first level entry pupil are required to complete and return the enrolment application form to Gaelscoil na Dúglaise, on or before the closing date for the receipt of enrolment applications.

Provision of Key Information by Parents/Guardians
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) are in the first instance required to complete the enrolment application form.
This information will be treated in a confidential manner and will not be shared with any other party or used for any purposes other than that of enrolment application. The completion of an enrolment application form or the placement of your child’s/ward’s name on a list, however early, does not confer an automatic right to a place in the school.

An enrolment form (Foirm Iontrála) (Appendix 2) also forms part of the enrolment procedure. This form will accompany the letter of offer that will be sent to parents/guardians of successful applicants. The completed enrolment form must be returned to the school within the timeline specified in the letter of offer. Failure to do so will be interpreted as a refusal of the offer to enrol. A child will only be considered for enrolment in Gaelscoil na Dúglaise upon receipt of a fully completed enrolment form together with a copy of the child’s Official Birth Certificate. If/when a place in the Sept. 2017 Junior Infants’ class is offered, the parents/guardians must accept by written response by a stipulated date, indicated in the letter of offer, acceptance of the place offered. A deposit of €100  will also be required as part of the Acceptance process. This deposit will be set against the cost of the Junior Infants Booklist but will not be otherwise refundable.

When deciding on enrolment matters, the Board has to have regard for relevant Dept. of Education and Skills guidelines in relation to class size and staffing provisions and/or any other relevant requirements/issues concerning accommodation, including physical space, optimisation of the teaching/learning process, and the health and welfare of children, including their appropriate supervision.

The address at which the applicant resides will be the address used by the school for correspondence regarding enrolment.

Applications for Enrolment to Junior Infants for 2017-2018 school year received after the 23rd November  2016 will only be considered for enrolment if/when there are additional places available and only after all applications on the waiting list have first been offered a place. Late applications will be ranked in order of date of receipt of the applications.
Applicants offered a place of enrolment who choose to defer enrolment until the following year cannot be guaranteed an automatic right to a place the following year. The Enrolment Application for the following year will be considered in the context of the criteria laid down in the Enrolment Policy applicable to the school year.

Admissions Day
Junior Infants, starting primary school for the first time, are admitted to Gaelscoil na Dúglaise on a day decided by the Board of Management, usually during the last week of August or the first week of September.
Induction Process
The Induction Process operated by Gaelscoil na Dúglaise is intended to facilitate the transition of the pupil from home to school so as to ensure that the child’s first experience of the ‘big school’ is both pleasant and positive. In this regard parents of the new Junior Infants are given a special booklet, ‘Gaelscoil na Dúglaise Leabhrán Eolais which details information relating to the school and its operation, and outlines the school’s Code of Good Behaviour, Administration of Medication Policy and Request Form, Homework Policy and Internet Acceptable Use policy. 
New Junior Infants are invited to ‘attend’ school for a one-hour visit during the month of May.
Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment of pupils are made by the Board of Management in accordance with school policy. The Board will notify parents in writing of its decision within 21 days of the closing date for receipt of applications. Decisions in respect of Applications for Enrolment in all other classes will be given in writing to parents/guardians within 21 days of receipt of the completed Application for Admission Form.

In the event that applications for enrolment exceed/is expected to exceed the number of places available the following decision making process will apply. 
In the event that applications for enrolment exceeds/is expected to exceed the number of places available the following decision making process will apply.

1. Applicants with siblings currently enrolled in the school (including stepsiblings, resident at the same address), priority eldest;
2. On an equal basis, children of school staff, including ancillary staff, siblings of past pupils, children from Irish speaking or bilingual Irish/another language families including children that have attended the Naíonra for a full year, priority eldest;
3. Children of past pupils, priority eldest;
4. All other applicants, priority eldest.
In the event that mid criterion the number of eligible applicants sharing the same birthday exceeds the number of available places independently verified random selection (of this group) will apply.

Names of unsuccessful applicants will be placed on a Waiting List, in accordance with the ranking determined by the above criteria.

The Board of Management of Gaelscoil na Dúglaise in compliance with section 19(3) of the Educational Welfare Act 2000 will make a decision in writing in respect of an application for enrolment within 21 days of the closing date for the receipt of enrolment applications and will inform the parents/guardians in writing of that decision.

Parents/guardians will be informed of their entitlement to appeal a decision of the Board of Management in relation to a refusal to enrol in the letter issued 21 days after the closing date for the receipt of applications. (Please note the address at which the applicant resides will be the address used by the school for correspondence regarding enrolment).

If the Board of Management refuses to enrol a student in the school, the parent/guardian of the student may appeal the decision at local level. The appeal must be submitted within 10 days of the date of the refusal to enrol. It must be made in writing, addressed to the Chairperson of the Board, and clearly state the grounds for the appeal. The Board of Management will respond within 10 days of the receipt of such an appeal.

If following the conclusion of the appeal procedures at school level, a parent/guardian is dissatisfied with the decision made that parent/guardian has a statutory entitlement under section 29 of the Education Act (as amended by Section 4 of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007, to appeal that decision to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills. It should be noted that such an appeal must be lodged within 42 days of the schools refusal to enrol.

Details on appealing decisions on enrolment under section 29 of the Education Act (as amended by Section 4 of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2007), are available on the Department of Education and Skills website at www.education.ie

Enrolment of Pupils with Special Needs
The Board of Management accepts applications for enrolment from parents/guardians of pupils with special needs. However, in order that the Board of Management can properly consider what is in the best interest of the child and what additional resources/equipment the school might need in order to facilitate the child’s attendance at Gaelscoil na Dúglaise, the following points should also be noted:
1. A copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological reports and/or any other relevant reports will be required by the Board of Management.
2. Where such reports are not available, the Board of Management reserves the right to request that the pupil be assessed immediately. The purpose of such an assessment report is to assist the school in establishing the educational and training needs of the child relevant to his/her disability or special needs and to profile the support services required.
3. Following receipt of the report, the Board will assess how the school could best meet the needs specified in the report.
4. Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it may, prior to enrolment, request the Special Education Needs Organiser (see Circular 01/05 on www.ncse.ie) to provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child as outlined in the medical/psychological/other report. These resources may include for example, access to or the 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 others.
5. Prior to enrolment a meeting will be arranged with the child’s parents/guardians and/or the Special Education Needs Organiser to discuss the child’s needs and the school’s suitability or capability in meeting those needs. If considered necessary, a full conference involving all parties will be held which may include parents/guardians, Principal, class teacher, learning/language support teacher, special class teacher, resource teacher for special needs, speech therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist, Special Education Needs Organiser or any other as appropriate.
6. The Board of Management reserves the right to defer enrolment of a particular child, pending
- the receipt of an assessment report; and/or
- the provision of appropriate resources by the Department of Education and Skills to meet the needs specified in the appropriate reports and/or as identified by the school authorities.

The Board of Management of Gaelscoil na Dúglaise reserves the right to refuse enrolment or, to rescind an offer of enrolment to any child, in exceptional cases.  Such an exceptional case could arise where either:

1. The child has special needs such that, even with additional resources available from the Department of Education and Skills, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the student with an appropriate education, or
2. In the opinion of the Board of Management, the student poses an unacceptable risk to other students, to school staff or to school property.

Pupils Transferring to Gaelscoil na Dúglaise
The Board of Management will allow and facilitate the enrolment of pupils who wish to transfer to Gaelscoil na Dúglaise from another school at any time during the school year subject to available space, the Rules for National Schools, the terms of this Enrolment Policy, and in some cases, the approval of the Dept. of Education and Skills.
Parents who wish to transfer their child to Gaelscoil na Dúglaise from another school will be required to complete and present an application for enrolment on the official Application for Admission Form. If there is a space available in the class required, the child will be enrolled as per the guidelines outlined above. If there is not a space available at the time of enrolment, the Application for Admission Form will be retained on file as a valid Application for Admission for a period of one year only from the date of receipt of the Application for Admission. If a space becomes available within that period of one year, the place shall be offered to the first ranked applicant based on date of receipt of the Application for Admission Form. To extend an Application for Admission beyond the one year limit as referred to above, parents must submit a letter indicating that they wish to keep the application open for a further year.

It should be noted that the Education Welfare Act (2000) contains some specific new provisions in relation to the transfer of pupils including the requirement that information concerning attendance and the child’s educational progress should be communicated between schools. The Principal and/or Board of Management will request from parents receipt of copies of all relevant School/Assessment and Attendance Reports, and the Board further reserves the right to make direct contact if deemed necessary or desirable with the Principal and/or the Board of Management of the child’s previous school regarding the child’s attendance, progress and educational records.

Code of Behaviour
Gaelscoil na Dúglaise’s Code of Behaviour (appended hereto) should be read in conjunction with this Enrolment Policy. Written acceptance by parents/guardians of the school’s Code of Behaviour is a requirement of this Enrolment Policy. The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse a child’s enrolment in Gaelscoil na Dúglaise if his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) refuse to accept the current Code of Behaviour. The school’s procedures regarding suspension and expulsion are clearly outlined in the Code of Behaviour.

Success Evaluation:
The suitability and effectiveness of this ‘Enrolment Policy’ will be reviewed from time to time regard to:
a) Efficient and successful operation of the enrolment process
b) Feedback received from parents/guardians and members of staff
c) Feedback received from other ‘stakeholders’, including Cumann na dTuismitheoirí, Cork and Ross Diocesan Office, Dept. of Education and Skills personnel, etc.

Review and Implementation:
The Board of Management of Gaelscoil na Dúglaise is keenly aware of how challenging the transition from home to school can be for its younger pupils and their parents. Likewise, the Board recognises the demands that can be involved where a pupil is transferring from another school to Gaelscoil na Dúglaise. The Board of Management is anxious to ensure that it facilitates the enrolment of all its pupils in a manner that is as pleasant and as positive as possible. Sensitive to the needs and concerns of the pupils, their parents/guardians, and their teachers and other staff members, and in the interest of the best management of the school, the Board of Management has outlined the above Enrolment Policy. The responsibility for its day to day implementation rests with the Principal and the teaching staff subject to the direction and authority of the Board of Management. This Policy is subject to review at the discretion of the Board of Management and will be kept under on-going review.
Communication and Ratification:
A copy of this Enrolment Policy, as approved by the BOM, has been forwarded to the Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross as Patron of Gaelscoil na Dúglaise. The Enrolment Policy is available for perusal on the school’s website (www.gaelscoilnaduglaise.ie). The Enrolment Policy is available on ‘Pobal’ our internal school server. In addition, hard copies of the Enrolment Policy are issued upon request to staff members and to parents/guardians.
This revised ‘Enrolment Policy’ was reviewed and formally approved by the Board of Management at its Meeting 12th November 2019.
Signed on behalf of the Board of Management:


Séamus Ó Laoi, Chairperson of the Board of Management.


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