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Enrolment Policy


Enrolment Policy of Four Masters National School

The Board of Management of Four Masters National School, Kinlough, Co. Leitrim in this document sets out its enrolment policy in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act, 1998 and the Board trusts that by so doing parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters and that furthermore, the Chairperson of the Board of Management, Rev. Fr. Thomas Keogan, and the Principal teacher, Mr. John Britton, will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from the policy.

General Information:
The school is called The Four Masters National School and it is co-educational.  It was established in 1847, though it has only been in the present building since 1985.  The school is governed by a Board of Management consisting of eight members which has representatives of parents, teachers, the patron and the local community.  The school is under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Kilmore, Most Rev. Leo O’Reilly and the chairperson of the Board of Management is Rev. Fr. Thomas Keogan, Parish Priest.  The school’s principal is Mr. John Britton.  The following are the contact details for the school: Telephone: 071 9841123, email address: fmastersns@eircom.net and school website: www.fourmastersns.com

Our Mission Statement

Ní neart go cur le chéile.
There is no strength without unity.

Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí.
Praise youth and she will flourish.

Our Vision Statement
Our vision is that management teachers, parents and children would work together to facilitate a positive, safe and welcoming learning environment where children can receive a comprehensive education.  Mutual valuing and respect will be encouraged, as will respect for the environment.  Each individual pupil and staff member will be helped reach his/her full potential.

Additional information on the school:

The school has a Catholic ethos, but welcomes pupils from all (or no) religious background.  At present there are fifteen whole-time teachers on the staff.  There are ten mainstream class teachers, four full time SEN teachers and an administrative principal.  The school has a full time secretary and also a part-time caretaker and part-time cleaner.  There are three Special Needs Assistants in the school also.

The full range of classes, Junior Infants – 6th, are catered for.  The school caters for all aspects of the Primary Curriculum as prescribed by D.E.S., which may be amended from time to time in accordance with Education Act (1998).

The curriculum includes language (i.e. Irish and English), Maths, Religious Education (Roman Catholic), Social Environmental and Scientific Education (i.e. History, Geography and Science) Arts Education (i.e. Visual Arts, Music and Drama). Physical Education and Social Personal and Health Education.
The school is funded largely by the D.E.S. which provides grants both for maintenance and the purchase of materials/resources for various subject areas.  The school operates within the regulations laid down by the Department.  School policy can only reflect the resources and funding available.
HOURS OF OPENING                                            
Junior and Senior Infants ……..…………………….……9.20am - 2.00pm
All other classes ………….………………………………9.20am - 3.00pm
Assembly 9.20 – 9.40 am - classes commence at 9.40 am.

Within the context and parameters of Department Regulations and Programmes, the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act, and the funding and resources available, the school supports the following principles:

Inclusiveness:  All children, including those with a disability, are welcome in the school.  The school is wheelchair accessible and also has a toilet for the disabled.

Equality of Access:  While the school is a Catholic one, we welcome children from other religious backgrounds (or none).  While the teaching of the Irish language, traditions, customs, music, etc is given pride of place, we also welcome and respect the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages etc. which other children may bring.

Parental Choice: We respect the right of parents/guardians to choose what school they send their child to.

Specific Procedures for Enrolment.

Parents should register pre-school children with the school as soon as convenient - usually not later than the last Friday in February before they intend to send their child to the school.  It may be necessary occasionally to restrict the intake of Junior Infants to avoid over- crowding.  In order to register your child you must (a) speak to the school secretary / principal and ask her to post you out an enrolment form plus information booklet (b) meet with the principal / deputy principal to discuss your child’s enrolment.  The Board will issue reminders regarding enrolment on school newsletters, the parish bulletin, through the local media and school website.

Certain information will be required when children are being enrolled, some of which is for the school’s own records and some is for the Department of Education and Skills recently set up Primary Online Database.  This includes pupil's name, age; address and P.P.S. number; birth certificate.  If Roman Catholic baptismal certificate, if child was born outside the Parish (we have baptismal records of children born in the parish) the names and address of pupil's parents/guardians; to include the mother’s maiden name; contact telephone numbers; contact telephone number in case of emergency; details of any medical conditions which the school should be aware of; religion; previous schools attended, if any and reasons for transfer, if applicable.  Any other relevant information (including any such information as may be prescribed under Education Welfare Act, 2000).  All pupils must have reached their 4th birthday prior to starting school.

Decision-making regarding Enrolment:
Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management in accordance with school policy.  In making decisions in relation to enrolment, the Board shall take account of any relevant D.E.S. guidelines in relation to class size, staff provisions or other relevant matters. As a general principle, and in so far as is practicable, having regard to the school's enrolment policy, children will be enrolled on application, provided there is space available.  In the event that applications for enrolment should exceed the number of places available, the following criteria will apply to determine who is enrolled first:

1. Children from within the Parish boundaries will be enrolled if possible.
NB. Junior Infants are normally admitted on September 1st but may start school (depending on numbers) up until and including the last day of September of the year in question.

2. Proposed new entrants who already have siblings in the school.

3. Children of staff members.

4. All other applicants, provided there is space available.

N.B. If the number of applications for Junior Infant places is bigger than the number of places available the Board of Management may have to operate a cut off minimum age requirement.  Decisions for applications regarding enrolment are made by the Board of Management in accordance with school policy and will be communicated to parents within twenty one days of enrolment closing date or within twenty one days of receipt of application.

Children with Special Needs:

Where a parent requests to have a child with special needs enrolled the Board will request a copy of the child's medical and /or psychological report or where such a report is not available, request that the child be assessed immediately as per D.E.S. guidelines.  The purpose of same is to assist the school in establishing the education and training needs of the child relevant to his/her disability or special needs and to profile the support services required.  Following receipt of the report, the Board will assess how the school could meet the needs specified in the report.  Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it will, prior to enrolment, request the D.E.S. to provide the resources.  These resources may include access to a visiting teacher service, resource teacher for special needs, special needs assistant, specialised equipment or furniture, etc.

The school may have to meet with the parents of the child to discuss the child's needs and the school's suitability or capability in meeting those needs.  It may be necessary to hold a full case conference, involving all parties, which will be involved with the child.

It may be necessary for the Board to defer enrolment of a particular child pending; - the receipt of an assessment report and/or - the provision of appropriate resources by D.E.S. to meet the needs specified in the Psychological and/or medical report.

Pupils transferring from other schools:

Children will not normally be enrolled throughout the school year except in the case of children newly resident in the catchment area according to the conditions outlined above. Enrolment from other schools in the parish are not normally accepted during the school year.

The Education Welfare Act (2000) requires that information concerning attendance and educational progress should be communicated between schools.  

Grievances and Appeals:

Any grievance in relation to an enrolment decision of the Board of Management must be notified in writing to the chairperson within fourteen days of receipt of the decision-giving rise thereto.  The chairperson shall convene a meeting of the full Board to consider same and to hear any representations which the aggrieved party may wish to make.  No further places shall be offered until such meeting has been convened.  A statutory right to appeal against a refusal to enroll a student exists under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.  The appeal is made in writing to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science and must be made within a reasonable time from the date on which the refusal of the Board is notified to the applicant parent or parents.

Ratification and review
This policy will be reviewed once every two years or more often if deemed necessary.

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management at a meeting in March 2018.

Signed: ___________________________ (Principal)        

Date: ____________________________________

Signed: ___________________________ (Chairperson)      

Date: ________________________

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