St. Oliver Plunkett B.N.S. School is a Roman Catholic boys school in the Parish of Moate, Co. Westmeath under the Patronage of the Bishop of Ardagh & Clonmacnois, Bishop Francis Duffy. Classes from 2nd to 6th are taught in mixed class groups.
There are 4 mainstream class teachers and 3 special education teachers, including the principal.
This admissions policy is set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act (1998) and the Education (Admissions to Schools) Bill 2016. The Board of Management trusts that through this policy, parents will be assisted in relation to admission matters.
This policy has been drawn up in a consultative process between the Board of Management, staff and parents.
This policy is necessary to comply with the curricular programmes as 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). This policy is also necessary to comply with the provisions of the Education (Admissions to Schools) Bill 2016. This school teaches the Religious Education Programme as prescribed by the Education Secretariat of the diocese of Ardagh & Clonmacnois, in accordance with the characteristic spirit of the school.
Relationship of the Admissions Policy to the School Ethos
As a Roman Catholic school, this school aims at promoting the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the pupil: intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual, including a living relationship with God and other people. The school models and promotes a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Catholic school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church and promotes the formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith.
Within the context and parameters of DES regulations and programmes, the rights of the patron as set out in the Education Act 1998 and in the Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016, and the funding and resources available to it, 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.
Respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.
In keeping with the provisions of Section 62 (6) (c) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016, all applicants will be admitted to the school, except in the following cases:
- Where the number of students seeking admission is greater than the number of places available in the school.
- Where the parents of a student fail to confirm in writing that the school’s Code of Behaviour is acceptable to them and that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with the code by the student.
Selection criteria for admission to this school
In the event of the number of children seeking admission exceeds the number of places available preceding or during the school year (due to the Board being unable to provide suitable accommodation, or recruit the required teaching staff), The following criteria will be used to prioritise children for admission:
- Brothers of (a) current pupils and (b) past pupils. These children will be prioritised in order of age, with the oldest children being given priority.
- All children who live within the parish boundaries. These children will be prioritised in order of age, with the oldest children being given priority.
No criteria other than those included above will be used to prioritise children in the event that applications exceed available places.
Parents of children applying for places will receive an application form upon request or may fill in a form online.
The following documentation must be provided with the application:
- Proof of address (i.e. utility bill in the parent/guardian’s full names)
- Birth/Adoption Certificate/other relevant documentation, e.g. legal – custody arrangements/court orders.
- Baptismal Certificate (if pupil will be receiving sacraments).
- If applicable, all documentation regarding a child’s special educational needs, e.g. psychologist’s report, occupational therapist’s report, speech and language therapist’s report, medical reports etc. This is necessary so that the school may put any relevant support in place before the child enters the Failure to provide the school with all relevant documentation may result in an application being refused.
- Oliver Plunkett B.N.S. hold an information evening for parents in Term 3. Enrolment forms will be available to complete at this time.
- In the interest of planning, children should be enrolled on or before May 31stof each year.
- As the majority of our pupils are transferring from St. Brigid’s National School, enrolment forms are distributed to parents of all boys who have completed 1st class.
Notification of successful application:
- All successful applicants will be notified.
- All unsuccessful applicants will be placed on a waiting list, in accordance with the criteria set out for places that may become available at a later date.
- All unsuccessful applicants will have the right of appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998.
- Parents must notify the school in writing by a specific date, usually ten working days after the issue of offers, whether they intend to accept the place offered.
- The new 2nd class children will be invited to the school on a day in the month of June preceding their entry in August/September to meet their teacher and to familiarise themselves with the school.
- Certain information will be required when children are being enrolled. The Board of Management will provide a Registration Form for this purpose.
Such information will include:-
- Pupil’s name, sex, age and address
- Names and addresses of pupil’s parents/guardians
- Contact telephone numbers
- Contact e-mail addresses
- Contact telephone numbers in case of emergency
- Details of any medical condition of which the school should be aware
- Previous schools and/or pre-schools attended (if applicable)
- Any other information which the parents/guardians consider relevant
- Special needs requirements/assessments/reports
- Signing agreement to uphold the school’s Code of Behaviour.
Admission of pupils to classes other than 2nd class, or during the school year:
Parents of children who are transferring from another school and/or entering this school after the beginning of the school year will apply in the same way and will be informed as soon as possible if their application has been successful.
Right of appeal
Parents have the right to appeal a decision by the Board of Management to refuse enrolment under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998. Parents will be advised of the appeal process if enrolment is refused.
Parents of children who are not offered a place in the school may appeal this decision using the procedures laid down by the Department of Education and Skills from time to time.
Arrangements for pupils who do not wish to attend religious instruction
Pupils whose parents do not wish them to attend religious instruction will remain in class and will be assigned work from another area of the curriculum.
This policy is available on the school website www.stoliverp.ie
Equality of Access:
Equality of access is the key value that determines the enrolment of children to St. Oliver Plunkett B.N.S., Moate. No child is refused admission for reasons of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, religious beliefs, traveller status, asylum-seeker/refugee status, family or social circumstances.
In relation to applications for the enrolment of children with special needs, it is open to the Board of Management to request a copy of all relevant documents relating to the needs of the child, to include medical and/or psychological reports, or where such report is not available, to request that the child be assessed immediately.
The purpose of the assessment report is to assist the school in establishing the educational and behavioural needs of the child and to profile the support services required. Following receipt of the reports, the Board of Management will assess how the school can meet the needs specified in the report.
Following receipt of an application to enrol a pupil with special needs, the Board of Management will request that the Department of Education and Skills provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child outlined in the relevant report. These resources may include, access to or the provision of any of the following: resource teaching hours, special needs assistant support, specialised equipment or furniture, transport services or other.
The school will meet with the parents/guardians of the child to discuss the child’s needs and the school’s suitability or capability in meeting those needs. If necessary, a meeting with all relevant personnel may be held. This will include parents, principal, class teacher, SET, SNA, psychologist and SENO if required.
Refusal to Enrol:
It may be necessary for the Board of Management to refuse enrolment of a particular child:
- Where important information regarding the special needs or assessment documentation has been withheld or not submitted on time to the school.
- Where the pupil has special needs such that, even with additional resources from DES, the school cannot meet such needs or provide an appropriate education.
- Where, in the opinion of the Board of Management of the school, the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to himself, other pupils, school staff and/or property.
In the interests of the continuity of pupil education, it sis the policy of the Board of Management of St. Oliver Plunkett B.N.S. Moate to discourage the transfer of pupils from other schools, other than in certain exceptional circumstances, eg change of residence or family moving into area.
It is a matter for the Board of Management to determine if such exceptional circumstances exist. The reason(s) for requesting a transfer must be clearly stated on the attached enrolment form. The Board of Management will issue a reply to this application within 21 days of receipt of same.
Applications for enrolment under this category will be assessed under the following criteria:
- Is the transfer in the best interest of the pupil.
- Is the transfer in the best interest of the pupils & staff of St. Oliver Plunkett BNS.
- Is the transfer of educational benefit to the applicant.
- Is the transfer accompanied by all relevant information from the applicant’s previous school.
- Has the pupil resources in the current school setting.
The Board of Management reserves the right to consult with all agencies involved with the applicant, including other schools attended by the applicant and where necessary, social workers, special educational needs organisers, National Educational Welfare Board and any other agency involved with this applicant.
In considering such criteria, The Board of Management, cognisant of the rights of the applicant and those of current pupils and staff, reserve the right to refuse to enrol (even in exceptional circumstances) on grounds where:
- Places are not available at the class level sought by the applicant.
- There is a lack of availability of special needs resources.
- There is a lack of appropriate accommodation.
- Following consultation with all relevant parties, the needs of the applicant would not be met to an appropriate standard.
- An established prior record of poor behaviour exists.