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Diocese of Ossory

School Admission Policy

 Name of School:   Gaelscoil Osraí

 Address:                  Loch Buí, Cill Chainnigh

 Roll Number:         19856R

 Patron:                    Most Rev. Dermot Farrell, Bishop of 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 15th September 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 Gaelscoil Osraí’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

 Gaelscoil Osraí is a Catholic, all-Irish medium co-educational primary school with a Catholic ethos. The Bishop of Ossory is the Patron of this school.

‘Catholic schools are communities which are open, welcoming and inclusive. Therefore, Catholic schools may include children who adhere to other religions or other stances for living. While mindful of their duty to educate in the distinctive beliefs, values, and practices of the Catholic community, teachers will bear witness to an attitude of respect for and appreciation of all’. ‘The Catholic Preschool & Primary Religious Education Curriculum p15’

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:

In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management of Gaelscoil Osraí 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 principal aim in Gaelscoil Osraí is to provide an excellent education for all of the pupils under our care. It is our objective that the life of the school would have a positive impact on the lives of our pupils for as long as they attend our school and that they would have positive memories of their school lives afterwards.

The aim of the school is to develop the goodness in each child to our maximum ability and to encourage the child to always seek the good in all around them.

Our school aims to provide an excellent education for all our students, through the medium of the Irish language and to foster a love of our national language and national culture in terms of our national games, music and traditions.

3.       Admission Statement

 

Gaelscoil Osraí will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school on any of the following:

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.

Gaelscoil Osraí 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 Roman 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

Gaelscoil Osraí is not a designated Special School nor does it have any special classes currently.

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

Gaelscoil Osraí is a Roman Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of the Roman Catholic faith 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

The Board of Management may set down the number of pupils in any class and in the school in total.  The maximum number of children in Junior Infants will be 28 in each class.

In case of excess demand, this is how places will be allocated:

Junior Infants

Applicants for Junior Infants must not be less than 4 years of age before the 1stSeptember for the year for which they are applying.

If there are more applicants than there are places available, places will be allocated in the following order:

1.          Children who will be 4 years of age before 1st September in the year for which they are applying for a place who have attained a level of fluency in the Irish language indicative of what would be expected of a student who uses the Irish language as a normal means of communication in a non-educational environment, taking into account the age and any special educational needs of the student concerned and that the said fluency would be likely to regress were the student not admitted to an Irish language school. Priority in this category will be given to the oldest child.

2.  A sibling of a pupil who is attending the school who will be 4 years of age before 1st September in the year for which they are applying for a place. Priority in this category will be based on the chronological age of children.

3.   A sibling of a past pupil who attended the school and who will be 4 years of age before 1st September in the year for which they are applying for a place. Priority in this category will be given to the oldest child.

4.   Other applicants whose applications were received in the timeframe outlined in our Annual Admission Notice and who will be 4 years of age before 1st September in the year for which they are applying for a place. Priority in this category will be given to the oldest child.

5.    Applications received outside the timeframe outlined in our Annual Admission Notice. Priority in the event of late applications will be given in order of date of receipt of the application.

 Note: Where parent(s)/guardian(s) wish their child to be considered under the ‘level of fluency in the Irish language’ provision above, that parent is invited to provide evidence to display the level of fluency in the Irish language of the student in respect  of whom the application relates, which may include confirmation that the student concerned is available to attend an interview or meeting to demonstrate his/her level of fluency in the Irish language. The school will facilitate such a meeting on request , within available resources in accordance with the school’s arrangements for such a meeting(i.e. in an informal setting that parents/guardians and child will be facilitated to display in conversation/comhrá that they can speak to each other through the medium of Irish.).In the event that the level of fluency is deemed insufficient, the applicant will be placed in one of either category 2,3 or 4 above, as appropriate, and assessed in accordance with this admissions policy.

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:
Applicants will be assigned a place in on order of the oldest child.

 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:

(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

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.

 8. Decisions on applications

All decisions on applications for admission to Gaelscoil Osraí will be based on the following:

(Please see section 14below 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 18below for further details).

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

 In accepting an offer of admission from Gaelscoil Osraí, 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 Gaelscoil Osraí where—

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 Gaelscoil Osraí 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 Gaelscoil Osraí 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.

Applicants 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.  Late applicants will be offered a place if there is 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 13.

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:

Applications for classes other than Junior infants

Applications for places to other years and during the school year will be responded to within three weeks of the date of receipt of the application.

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 the same as above.

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

The board of Gaelscoil Osraí or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-

 17. Arrangements regarding students not attending religious instruction

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

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.

 

Signed by Bishop Dermot Farrell, Patron and Fr. Richard Scriven, Chairperson BOM 15th September 2020.