ADMISSION / ENROLMENT POLICY – ST. COLUMBA’S GNS WITH FACILITY FOR DEAF CHILDREN
In accordance with the provision of the Education Act (1998) the following procedures for the enrolment and admission of pupils have been adopted by the Board of Management:
- The Board of Management supports the principles of inclusivity, equality, parental choice and respect for diversity within the context of Departmental regulations and programmes, the funding and resources available to the school and the educational philosophy and distinctive ethos of the school.
- The Principal will make appropriate arrangements to communicate Board policy on enrolment and admissions to the general school community. .
- Applications for enrolment should be directed to the Principal and will be processed by her on behalf of the Board of Management.
- In relation to applications for the enrolment of children with special needs, the Board of Management may request a copy of the child’s psychological report, cognitive assessment and/or medical report to assist the school in establishing the educational and training needs relevant to the child’s disability or special needs and to profile the support services required in meeting these needs. Where such reports are not available the Board of Management will advise that the child be assessed immediately.
- Following receipt of appropriate assessment reports, the Principal will meet with the parents/guardians of the child to discuss the child’s educational and special needs and the school’s suitability or capability in meeting these needs. Meeting the child’s educational and special needs will be paramount. If necessary, a full case conference involving all parties should be convened (to include parents/guardians, principal, relevant school personnel, psychologist, Special Education Needs Officer, schools inspector and/or medical personnel as appropriate) to make recommendations re appropriate placement.
- Where the school deems that additional resources are needed the Board will, prior to enrolment, request the Department of Education & Skills to provide the resources required.
- The Board of Management may defer enrolment of a particular child pending receipt of appropriate assessment reports or the provision of appropriate resources and supports to meet the needs specified in the psychological and/or medical report.
- All relevant information pertaining to the specific needs of a child should be made available to the school on request
- If difficulties present subsequent to the pupil’s enrolment, the school may review its capacity to provide the best possible education for the child and its capacity to cater for the child’s additional needs. This review will include input from all the relevant bodies as listed above at 4 (a).
- In the event of applications exceeding the number of places available the Board of Management shall exercise its discretion in applying the following criteria for enrolment in the following order:
- Siblings of present pupils and past pupils who are living within the parish boundaries
- Siblings of pupils attending St. Columba’s Boys N.S and living within the parish boundaries
- Children of past-pupils living within the parish boundaries
- Children of staff-members
- Children residing within parish boundaries
- Siblings of past pupils not residing within parish boundaries
- Children of past pupils not residing within parish boundaries
- Children residing outside parish boundaries.
- The Board of Management affirms the school’s commitment to provide for the educational needs of deaf children in the region, and will make reasonable provision and accommodation for children presenting with additional, or other, special educational needs.
If difficulties present subsequent to the pupil’s enrolment, the school may review its capacity to provide the best possible education for the child and its capacity to cater for the child’s additional needs. This review will include input from parents/guardians and other relevant bodies. The Deaf Facility within the school operates a dual language approach, whereby communication is through ISL and spoken English.
- In the event of applications exceeding the number of places available in the school’s Facility for Deaf Children, the Board of Management shall exercise its discretion in applying the following criteria:
- Level of hearing impairment
- Children seeking full placement in the school’s Facility for Deaf Children will be offered a place before children seeking dual placement with this school and another school.
- Children whose main need is Hearing Impairment and whose need can only be met in St. Columba’s Facility for Deaf children, will be offered a place before children whose main need is other than Hearing Impairment and has access to another school which can cater for their main need.
- Age of children concerned
- Enrolment will ordinarily take place on 1st Applications during the school year, including the transfer of pupils from other schools, will be processed in accordance with the criteria outlined. Participation in the activities of the school includes abiding by the Code of Behaviour adopted by the Board of Management.
* Parents/guardians are requested to confirm in writing that they will accept and support the school’s Code of Behaviour and Acceptable Use Policies as a condition of enrolment in the school (in accordance with the Education Admission to Schools Bill 2013).
- Unsuccessful applications for enrolment may be appealed to the Board of Management. In all such cases the parents/guardians will be notified in writing of the Board’s decision within 21 days.
- Parents/guardians have the right under Section 29 of the Education Act (2007) to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education & Skills a decision of the Board of Management, or a person acting on behalf of the Board, to refuse enrolment. Accordingly, the Board of Management will advise parents/guardians of this right of appeal and associated time-frame when informing them of such a decision. In general, appeals must be made within 42 days of receipt of the Board of Management’s decision.
The above procedures have been adopted to assist parents/guardians in the enrolment of children at St. Columba’s Girls School with Facility for Deaf Children. The Principal or Chairperson of the Board of Management will be happy to clarify any relevant queries arising from the Board’s policy in this matter. Policy Reviewed May 2017