Admissions/Enrolment Policy

 

 

 Admission Policy of Wandesforde National School

 Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny, R95 HT21

 Roll number: 14476F

 School Patron: Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

 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 28th April 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 Wandesforde National School’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 requests it.

2.     Characteristic spirit and general objectives of the school

Wandesforde National School is a co-educational primary school with a Church of Ireland ethos under the patronage of the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory.

 “Church of Ireland/Anglican” ethos in the context of a Church of Ireland primary school means the ethos and characteristic spirit of the Anglican Christian tradition. This seeks to nurture and encourage the formation of the intellectual, academic, sporting, social and religious abilities of each child within the framework of the community of faith. A Church of Ireland ethos encourages intellectual diversity of thought and encourages the individual to seek to understand themselves, the world around them and the connection between the world and the Divine. This understanding of school ethos promotes pluralism in thought and living, in the context of a Christian school community. Drawing on its Anglican tradition, the Church of Ireland School encourages home/family involvement, highlighting the importance of the family/home in the social and emotional development of the child, and more broadly, the community of the school and church.

In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management of Wandesforde National School 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.

 Wandesforde National School is under Church of Ireland Management.  It is a community where all the pupils are equally valued and respected.  While we take pride in our Christian heritage, we also give due recognition to children of all other religious beliefs and none.  Moral values such as honesty, truthfulness, justice, fairness, sensitivity to others and civic responsibility are nourished and developed.  We aim to prepare our pupils for their place in a modern multicultural society by actively promoting equality and by celebrating the diversity we have within our school community.  We cherish and foster, co-operative relationships between teachers, staff, pupils, parents and the wider community.

 3.     Admission Statement

Wandesforde National School will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school on any of the following:

  • the gender ground of the student
  • the civil status ground of the student
  • the family status ground of the student
  • the sexual orientation ground of the student
  • the religion ground of the student
  • the disability ground of the student
  • the ground of race of the student
  • the Traveller community ground of the student
  • the ground that the student 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.

 

Primary schools receiving applications from applicants of a minority religion

Wandesforde National School is a school whose objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values and does not discriminate in relation to the admission of a student who has applied for a place in the school in accordance with section 7A of the Equal Status Act 2000.

All denominational schools

Wandesforde National School 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 Church of Ireland 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

 

(a)   In the case of a mainstream school with a SEN class attached

 

Wandesforde National School does not have an established class providing an education exclusively for students with special educational needs.

 

 

 5.     Admission of Students

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

All denominational schools

Wandesforde National School is a Church of Ireland school and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of the Church of Ireland ethos where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

 

 6.     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:

 

Selection Criteria

§  Priority Category 1: An applicant Student who is a member of the Church of Ireland or a Protestant Reformed Church or is a member of a minority religion which has the same religious ethos, or a similar religious ethos to the programme of religious instruction /education which is provided in the school and who lives within the boundary of Castlecomer, The Colliery, Bilboa, Mothel and Church of Ireland parishioners where children cannot locally access a Church of Ireland School, including the parishes of Castletown/Mayo and the part of Leighlin Union within the catchment area for its school.

§  Priority Category 2: All other Applicant Students who comply with the terms of this Policy.

The Board reserves the right to request a letter of confirmation that a pupil is a member of a Parish from the Rector, Priest or Pastor.

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:

 

 Where oversubscription occurs, the following priority will apply:

(1)   Siblings (Priority – Category 1)

(2)   A “lottery” system – (i.e. open draw overseen by the Principal and Chairperson) will apply for remaining applicants from within Priority Category 1, to the extent of places available.  Following this and if further places are still available, the same criteria will apply to those applicants in Priority Category 2.  The names of all unsuccessful applicants will be placed on a waiting list, in the order in which names are drawn and within criteria and applicants will be informed of their place on the waiting list.

 

 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:

 

Points (a) to (g) must be included here by all schools. There are limited exceptions to some of these (highlighted in red below) and schools must retain the exceptions that apply to them and delete those that do not:

 

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

other than in relation to a student’s prior attendance at—

(I) an early intervention class, or

(II) an early start pre-school, specified in a list published by the Minister from time to time;

(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:

–        admission to (a) a special school or (b) a special class insofar as it is necessary in order to ascertain whether or not the student has the category of special educational needs concerned and/or

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

(e)   a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;

(f)     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 (1) siblings of a student attending or having attended the school and/or (2) parents or grandparents of a student having attended the school.

In relation to (2) parents and grandparents having attended, a school may only apply this criteria to a maximum of 25% of the available spaces as set out in the school’s annual admission notice).

(g)   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.

This is also subject to the school making offers based on existing waiting lists (up until 31st January 2025 only).

 

 8.     Decisions on applications

 All decisions on applications for admission to Wandesforde National School 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 Wandesforde National School, 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 Wandesforde National School 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 Wandesforde National School 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 Wandesforde National School 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. 

Applicant students 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. Applicant students will be offered a place if a place is available. In the event that there is no place available, the name of the applicant student will be added to the waiting list in accordance with Section 13 of this policy.

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:

 

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. Applicant students will be offered a place in the relevant class if a place is available. In the event that the number of applications exceeds the number of available places in the relevant class, the school will apply the selection criteria set out in Section 6 of this policy to those applications. In the event that there is no place available, the name of the applicant student will be added to the waiting list in accordance with Section 13 of this policy.

 

  

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:

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. Applicant students 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 student will be added to the waiting list in accordance with Section 13 of this policy.

 

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

The Board of Wandesforde National School 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

This section must be completed by schools that provide religious instruction to students.

 

The following are the school’s arrangements for students, where the parents or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, who has requested that the student attend the school without attending religious instruction 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)/guardians or the student, as the case may be, to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school.

 

18.   Reviews/appeals

Review of decisions by the Board of Management

The parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, 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 student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, 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.

 

Ratified by the Board of Management on 20th August 2020

Signed: Mr. Ken Wilson (Acting Chairperson)

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