Admissions Policy

Below is our admissions policy.

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Admission Policy

Our Lady Immaculate Junior National School

Darndale

Dublin 17

Phone: 01-8476643

Roll number: 19454U

School Patron: Archbishop of Dublin

 

1.       Introduction

Our Lady Immaculate Junior School

Our Lady Immaculate Junior School is a co-educational primary school under the patronage of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin. The school operates under the Rules for National Schools and Departmental Circulars. The school is funded by grants and teachers are resourced by the Department of Education and Science. The school is subject to the Education Act (1998), The Education Welfare Act (2000), The Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act (2004) and all the relevant equality legislation. Our Lady Immaculate JNS is managed on behalf of the Patron and the Department by a board of management.

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 29/09/2020.  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 Our Lady Immaculate Junior 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 needs it.

The Board of Management is bound by the Rules for National Schools which provides that pupils may only be enrolled from the age of 4 years and upwards (with the exception of children in the Early Intervention Class who can enrol from the age of 3 years), though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of 6 years.

2.      Characteristic spirit and general objectives of the school

Our Lady Immaculate is a Catholic co-educational junior primary school with a Catholic ethos under the patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin.

“Catholic Ethos” in the context of a Catholic primary school means the ethos and characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church, which aims at promoting:

  • the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil, including the intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual aspects; and
  • a living relationship with God and with other people; and
  • a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and
  • the formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith,
  • and which school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, and/or such ethos and/or characteristic spirit as may be determined or interpreted from time to time by the Irish Episcopal Conference.

In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management of Our Lady Immaculate 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.

Our Lady Immaculate Junior School aims to promote the full and harmonious development of all pupils: cognitive, intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual, including a living relationship with God and other people and promotes a Christian philosophy of life.

Children enrolled in Our Lady Immaculate Junior School are required to co-operate with and support the school’s Code of Behaviour as well as other policies. Parents/Guardians are responsible for ensuring that their children co-operate with these policies in an age-appropriate way.

Our Lady Immaculate Junior School strives to create a happy, friendly, caring atmosphere where all pupils and staff are valued equally, regardless of gender, civil status, family status, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and membership of the Traveler community. Our Lady Immaculate Junior School encourages respect, honesty, understanding and courtesy towards others among pupils, staff and the wider school community. Our Lady Immaculate Junior National School recognises parents as the primary educators of their children and encourages communication and involvement in a spirit of mutual trust and understanding. Our Lady Immaculate Junior School endeavours to provide a safe and healthy school environment for all pupils, staff and the wider school community.

3.      Admission Statement

Our Lady Immaculate will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school on any of the following:

  • the gender ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the civil status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the family status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the sexual orientation ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the religion ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the disability ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the ground of race of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,
  • the Traveller community ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned, or
  • the ground that the student or the applicant in respect of 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.

Our Lady Immaculate JNS 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 Catholic 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

Our Lady Immaculate Junior National School is a school, which has established one Special Class, with the approval of the Minister of Education and Skills. Our Junior Special Class for children with Autism provides an education exclusively for pupils with a category of Autism and will refuse to admit to the class a pupil who does not have Autism.

5a. Applications for admission to Special Class for pupils with an Autism diagnosis.

Enrolment in Our Lady Immaculate Junior National School for the purpose of attending the Special Class for children with autism is subject to the standard criteria by the Department of Education and Skills and NCSE, following a diagnosis of autism as defined by DSM V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Our special class is non-cognitive specific. Thereafter the following criteria apply.

  1. Children with ASD in a mainstream class in Our Lady Immaculate JNS who receive a recommendation for a Special Class for children with autism.
  2. Children living in the parish of Darndale/Belcamp
  3. Brothers and sisters of current pupils in Our Lady Immaculate JNS or who have attended Our Lady Immaculate JNS in the past.
  4. Children who live in the adjacent parishes of Ayrfield, Coolock, Kilbarrack, Raheny, Baldoyle and Donaghmede.
  5. Applicants not covered by 1-4 above.

Children may gain admission to the special class for children with a diagnosis of autism following submission to the Principal of the appropriate documentation from the approved services. For example Early Intervention Services, HSE Beechpark or St Michael’s House. The application must be accompanied by written psychological report recommending placement in a special class.

Children in our special class will be resourced in accordance with the level of resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills and the HSE. These resources may include, for example, access to the provision of any or a combination of the following: SNA, speech therapist, occupational therapist, behavioural therapist, home liaison nurse, psychologist and psychiatrist. If the above services are not available or deemed inappropriate to the suitability of the placement or to meet the needs of the child this will be considered in an annual review.

Other considerations

The maximum class size in the Special class is six pupils. If the number of children on the list of applicants to enrol exceeds the number of places available, the criteria as laid out above will apply once a confirmed diagnosis of Autism has been provided by a qualified, approved professional and acceptable to the criteria as laid down by the National Council for Special Education. (NCSE)

The first year will be used to:

  • Assess the child’s educational needs
  • Develop a Pupil Support File to address needs
  • Assess whether the child’s placement is appropriate

Aims of our Special Class for children with a diagnosis of autism:

To provide a quality driven, appropriate educational service to all children, within the requirements of all recent legislation pertaining to Special Needs Education.

To enhance the communicative and social skills of the children

To strive towards the integration of children in our special class into mainstream education, having regard for levels of disability, available resources and suitability for such integration.

Discharge policy

It is school policy to facilitate the discharge of pupils from our Special Class once they have reached the age of nine or have completed 4 years in total. Pupils who reach the age of nine after September 30th in any year will be permitted to complete that academic year (provided they have not completed 4 years). This means a June discharge in the following year. Discharge may also be recommended at any stage by the Board of Management, after consultation with the appropriate agencies and if the parents/guardians feel that the placement is not appropriate. Discharge from the Special Class may also happen if a pupil is fully integrated into the mainstream school.

Parents will be notified about admission to the special class on a case by case basis.

5b. Admission of Students

This school shall admit each pupil seeking admission except where –

  1. the school is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details)
  • a parent of a pupil, 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 pupil.

Our Lady Immaculate Junior National School is a Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of the Catholic faith where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

  • 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:

  1. Children living within the parish of Darndale/Belcamp – priority given to those who have attended Early Start and then to the oldest.
  2. Brothers and sisters (including stepsiblings’ resident at the same address) of children already enrolled in the school and living in the Parish of Darndale/Belcamp– priority to oldest.
  3. Children who attend Early Start (those who live outside the area)
  4. Travellers from other local Halting sites (outside the parish)
  5. Applicants not covered by numbers 1-4 above.

In the event that applications still exceed availability, places will be allocated on the basis of age i.e. priority will be given to older children.

In the event that there are two or more pupils 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 place will be decided by lottery with an independent person present.

6.      What will not be considered or taken into account when applying for a place in Our Lady Immaculate Junior School

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 pupil on a waiting list for admission to the school:

  • a pupil’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service other than in relation to a student’s prior attendance at—

(1) an early intervention class, or

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

  • the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;
  • a pupil’s academic ability, skills or aptitude;
  • the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a pupil’s parents;
  • a requirement that a pupil, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;
  • 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 siblings of a student attending or having attended the school as per Enrolment Criteria.
  • the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school, unless the application is for Junior Infants and the closing date for application has passed.

 

7.      Decisions on applications

All decisions on applications for admission to Our Lady Immaculate Junior 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 13 below in relation to applications received outside of the admissions period and section 14 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.

8.      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 pupil 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 pupil’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the pupil’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 17 below for further details).

9.       Acceptance of an offer of a place by an applicant

In accepting an offer of admission from Our Lady Immaculate Junior School the applicant must indicate:

(i) Whether or not they have accepted an offer of admission for another school or schools. If they have accepted such an offer, they must also provide details of the offer or offers concerned and

(ii) Whether or not they have applied for and awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school or schools, and if so, they 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 Our Lady Immaculate Junior 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 pupil, 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 pupil; or
  • an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 9 above.

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 pupils.

Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a list of the pupils 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 pupil’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 pupils whose applications for admission to Our Lady Immaculate Junior 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 Our Lady Immaculate is in the order of priority assigned to the pupils’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this admission policy. 

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 pupils on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the pupils 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.  Late applicants 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 will be added to the waiting list as set out in Section 14.

15.   Procedures for admission of pupils to other years and during the school year

All applications for admission after the commencement of the school year as outlined in the annual admission notice/Sections 5 and 6 above, 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.

The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of pupils who are not already admitted to the school to classes or years other than the school’s intake group are as follows:

  • Application form must be completed
  • Pupil will be admitted to the appropriate class level only if the class is not deemed already full
  • In the case where an offer is made places can be held only for a limited time i.e. 4 weeks or until there is another application for the same place and that applicant is willing to take the place immediately or sooner.

The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of pupils to Junior Infants, who are not already admitted to the school, after the commencement of the school year in which admission is sought, are as follows:

  1. Application form must be completed
  2. The pupil will be placed on the waiting list
  3. The pupil will only be admitted if the Junior Infant classes are not already full

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

The board of Our Lady Immaculate 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 pupil to the school, or
  • The admission or continued enrolment of a pupil in the school.

17. Arrangements regarding pupils not attending religious instruction

The following are the school’s arrangements for pupils, where the parents have requested that the pupil attend the school without attending religious instruction in the school.  These arrangements will not result in a reduction in the school day of such pupils:

A written request should be made to the Principal of the school.  A meeting will then be arranged with the parent(s) to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school.

18. Reviews/appeals

The parent of the pupil 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.  

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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 makinq 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.

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