Enrolment Policy, St. Mary’s School, Rochestown.

Ref: P002 Rev: 1 Date: 01.12.14 Pg. 1 of 5 Approval: BoM

1.0 School Details

School Name: St. Mary’s School (Roll Number-19759T) Address: Oldcourt, Rochestown, Cork. Phone Number: +353 (0)21 4891431 E-mail address: info@stmarysrochestown.com School Opening Hours: 09:20 to 15:00hrs

2.0 Designation

St. Mary’s is a co-educational special school for children of school age (4 – 18 years) with Mild General Learning Disability (Dept. of Education and Skills designation).

3.0 School Ethos

3.1 The denominational character of the school is Roman Catholic and the Patron body is the Brothers of Charity. The ethos of the school is Christian and in this atmosphere the spiritual, moral, intellectual, social and physical growth of the pupils is nurtured.

3.2 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, Equality of access and participation in the school; Parental choice in relation to enrolment; Respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, language and ways of life in society.

4.0 Staff The current staff comprises eight teachers including a Principal Teacher and seven classroom teachers, as well as part-time teachers of Home Economics, Woodwork & P.E., and eight Special Needs Assistants.

5.0 Funding The school depends on the grants and resources provided by the Department of Education and Science and it operates under the Rules for National Schools, the Education Act 1998, and within the regulations laid down, from time to time, by the Department in the form of circulars. In addition the school receives some support services (in particular Multi-Disciplinary Supports) from the Brothers of Charity Southern Services (excluding direct financial support).
Title: Enrolment Policy, St. Mary’s School, Rochestown.
Ref: P002 Rev: 1 Date: 01.12.14 Pg. 2 of 5 Approval: BoM

6.0 Curriculum Except for Irish, St. Mary’s follows a curriculum derived from the curriculum programme for Primary and Post –Primary Schools in conjunction with the Guidelines for Pupils with Mild General Learning Disability. The school endeavours to provide the pupils with a broad educational experience that caters for their cognitive, social, emotional, psychological and physical welfare. Individual needs are accommodated in so far as staffing levels and resources allow.

7.0 Introduction

In introducing its enrolment policy, the Board of Management of Saint Mary’s School is doing so with reference to the rules for National Schools and in accordance with the provision of the Education Act 1998, the Education Welfare Act, 2000, and the Equal Status Act, 2000.

8.0 Enrolment Procedure

Referrals in relation to enrolment may be made by in a variety of ways, e.g. by phone, letter, personal visit from parent(s) or another school/ professional agency – NEPS, HSE, etc. However none of these constitute an application. The formal application form is available from the school.

Applications will be accepted from January 10th of the year of enrolment or during the year in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the Board of Management. Completed applications received after the 31st May may not be processed until September.

An application will only be considered when all relevant documentation and a completed signed application form have been received. A checklist is provided with the application form. Submission of a completed application form does not guarantee a place.

  Title: Enrolment Policy, St. Mary’s School, Rochestown. 

Ref: P002 Rev: 1 Date: 01.12.14 Pg. 3 of 5 Approval: BoM

8.1 Criteria for enrolment

It is an essential basic requirement that all applicants are assessed by a Psychologist (with a professional qualification recognised in the Irish State) as falling within the Mild Learning Disability range.

Children are eligible for admission to St. Mary’s if they fulfil all of the following criteria-  if they are have been assessed with a mild general learning disability, and this is the primary diagnosis.  if the opinion of the Board of Management is that their educational and social needs can be met in St Mary’s within the existing resource allocation and :

 if they do not have needs beyond the capacity of the school to cater for such as a requirement for highly structured, high support programmes and availability of multidisciplinary services.

The curriculum is broad-based and eclectic in nature and may not be suitable for the needs of pupils who, for example, need highly structured, individualised programmes. Pupils with additional needs will be enrolled provided that the Board of Management can assure the wellbeing, safety and health of all members of the school community can be adequately safeguarded.

8.1.1 Reports to accompany the application

Before a child is considered for enrolment in St. Mary’s the Board of Management will require an up to date (meaning within two years of the date of Application) Psychological Report which indicates the child’s primary disability to be that of Mild General Learning Disability and which outlines the child’s needs. The report should state how these needs might be best met in a school for pupils with Mild General Learning Disability such as Saint Mary’s. In the absence of clear recommendations the report may be referred back to the Psychologist for clarification

Copies of other reports/assessments, where relevant, e.g. medical, psychiatric, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, social and school reports (including IEPs), must also be made available to the Board of Management as part of the application procedure.

All relevant information will be considered alongside the Psychological Report in assisting the Principal in making a recommendation to the Board of Management. The final decision rests with the Board of Management. Any information thus provided will be retained subject to the usual rules of confidentiality and applicable regulations.
Title: Enrolment Policy, St. Mary’s School, Rochestown.
Ref: P002 Rev: 1 Date: 01.12.14 Pg. 4 of 5 Approval: BoM

8.2 Process

8.2.1 Applications will be processed in the first instance by the Admissions Team (Principal & Deputy Principal). In cases where clarification is required the application may be referred to a member of the Multi-Disciplinary Team as appropriate and if available.

8.2.2 The Principal, or another member of staff designated by the Principal, may contact or visit the prior school of the applicant. The applicant’s disciplinary record will be considered as part of the process. At all times the welfare of the other members of the school community, and, in particular, the existing class group will be taken into consideration. If deemed necessary a risk assessment will be undertaken.

8.2.3 The school will usually meet with the parent/legal guardians of the applicant to discuss the child’s needs and the school’s suitability and/or capability in meeting those needs. 8.2.4 Where the Admissions Team recommend offering a place to an applicant, that recommendation will be communicated to the Board for final approval at its next meeting. The principal then communicates the decision of the Board to the parents/legal guardians. Where the Admissions Team recommend refusal of an application the reasons for that recommendation will be communicated by the Principal to the Board of Management. The final decision on admission is always made by the Board of Management.

8.2.5 As part of the admissions process a copy of the child’s birth certificate and the child’s PPS number must be obtained and in the event of enrolment will be retained in the school records.

8.2.6 Decisions re applications will be communicated in writing to the parent/guardian/referral agency within 21 days of the School receiving all relevant information as detailed above and in the Checklist supplied with each application form. 8.2.7 Parents/guardians of unsuccessful applicants will be informed in writing of the reason why their application for admission has been refused and of their right to appeal the decision both locally to the Board and to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science, following the appeals procedure outlined under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998. Appeals may be made on the Appeals Application Form, available on request from the school, within 42 calendar days of receipt of the Board’s decision. This form is also available on the Department’s website at www.irlgov.ie/educ.

  Title: Enrolment Policy, St. Mary’s School, Rochestown. 

Ref: P002 Rev: 1 Date: 01.12.14 Pg. 5 of 5 Approval: BoM

Note: Acceptance for enrolment is not a guarantee of provision of transport. An application for transport is forwarded to the SENO and the DES on behalf of the pupil. However, the Board of Management has no role in the decision making process.

9.0 Code of Behaviour

9.1 The school has a Code of Behaviour, which is regularly reviewed. Pupils enrolled in St. Mary’s are required to co-operate with and support the school’s Code of Behaviour as well as all policies relating to curriculum, organisation and management.

9.2 The Board of Management places parents/guardians responsible for ensuring that their child co-operates with such policies in as appropriate a way as is feasible having due regard to the development state and level of maturity of the individual.

9.3 The enrolment of a child in the school is an acceptance by the child and his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) of the school’s Code of Behaviour. A copy of the Code of Behaviour will be presented to, and must be signed by, each child’s parent/guardian.

  1. Total Enrolment and Pupil/Teacher Ratio

The SERC report of 1994 set down a pupil – teacher ratio for schools who cater for pupils with Mild GLD at 11:1. A trend of increasing numbers seeking enrolment after the commencement of the school year means that some classes may be declared full once a maximum figure is reached.

The Board of Management reserves the right to place a cap (below the maximum of 11) on the number of pupils in any/all classes. This decision will be guided by  The needs of the pupils  Considerations of Health & Safety  The availability of the appropriate resources

A pupil or pupils will not be moved from their allocated class group for the purpose of admitting a new pupil after the beginning of the school year.

This policy will be reviewed in the academic year 2019-20 or sooner if required.

St. Mary’s Enrolment Policy