Enrolment Policy 2019/2020

Chairperson:             Susan Kenny

ENROLMENT POLICY 2019/2020 of WOODLAND NATIONAL SCHOOL

(Woodland N.S. is under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Raphoe, Most Rev. Alan McGuckian SJ)

 

  1. Relevant School Background Information

1.1    The primary objective of Woodland National School is to provide a child-centred, broad and balanced education for pupils in a safe and happy learning environment which promotes the Catholic ethos while at the same time giving due regard to the terms and conditions set out in the Equal Status Act (2000).

 

1.2    Woodland National School is a 35-teacher co-educational school including the Principal Teacher, Administrative Deputy Principal, 18 class teachers, 9 learning support/resource teachers, 2 teachers for pupils with specific speech and language disorders and 4 teachers for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The school has a full-time caretaker, a full-time secretary and 21.49 special needs assistant posts.

 

1.3    The school is managed by a Board of Management, comprising the following representatives: 2 nominees of the Patron, 2 people representing the community, 2 parents of children enrolled in the school elected by the general body of parents, the Principal Teacher and a teacher on the staff of the school, elected by the teaching staff. Woodland National School (Junior Infants – 6th Class) is sanctioned and funded by the Department of Education and Skills. The school is governed by the Rules for National Schools (1965), which have been updated by subsequent Circulars of the Department of Education and Skills. The school follows the revised Primary Curriculum (1999) as prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills. The curriculum may be amended from time to time in accordance with sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act (1998).

 

1.4    Woodland National School supports the principles of:

  • Inclusiveness (particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational needs)
  • Equality of access to and participation in the school
  • The right of a parent/guardian to send his/her children to a school of the parent/guardian’s choice (having regard to the rights of the patron and the effective use of resources)
  • Respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, and language.

1.5   The enrolment policy of Woodland National School can be made available in audio version and in
larger print.

 

  1. Enrolment Policy

2.1    Introduction

The enrolment policy of the Board of Management of Woodland National School is set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act (1998).

This policy has been formulated by the Board of Management in an open and transparent manner and in consultation with the parents, teachers and school community of Woodland National School.

In line with all other aspects of school development planning and best practice, the enrolment policy of our school is subject to amendment and review.

The Board of Management of Woodland National School views the enrolment policy in operation in this school as a singular policy with five key constituent elements as follows:

(1)         Enrolment of pupils in Junior Infant Class (i.e. first time entry for eligible children to primary school)
(2)         Enrolment of pupils who transfer from another school in the Republic of Ireland
(3)        Enrolment of pupils who transfer from another school outside the Republic of Ireland
(4)         Enrolment of pupils in the classes for pupils with specific speech and language disorders
(5)         Enrolment of pupils in classes for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders

All information relating to enrolment, progress of pupils and critical incidents are treated with great care and respect in the school. In line with General Data Protection Regulation legislation, confidentiality relating to pupil data is rigorously safeguarded.

Parents/guardians of all children who make an application for enrolment for their child/children to Woodland National School are requested to furnish proof of address. Failure to provide proof of address will render the application invalid.

 

A detailed map of the designated school catchment area is displayed in the secretary’s office (opening hours: 9.20 a.m. – 3.30 p.m.)

2.2   Enrolment of Pupils in Junior Infant Class

As set out in the Rules for National Schools, pupils seeking a place in the school must be 4 years old on the first of September of the relevant year. Compulsory attendance at primary school does not begin before the age of 6 years.

A parent/guardian must complete an application form for enrolment for each child wishing to enrol in the school. The parent/guardian is required to sign a declaration stating that all information submitted by them on the form is correct, complete and up-to-date. The application for enrolment will not be processed if information given on the application for enrolment form is found to be inaccurate or is incomplete.

The Board of Management, in accordance with school policy, will make decisions in relation to all applications for enrolment to the school. The Board of Management will have due regard for the Department of Education and Skills guidelines in relation to class size and staffing provisions. The Board will notify parents/guardians of its decision within 21 days.

Parents/guardians will be asked to indicate in writing to the school if they wish to accept the place offered to their child/children, before the date specified on the letter of offer and failure to do so will forfeit the place.

As a general principle and in so far as is practicable, having regard to the school’s enrolment policy, children will be enrolled in Woodland National School provided that there are places available. Parents/guardians have a right to appeal the decision of the board. Further information on the appeals procedure is available from the Board of Management of Woodland National School and from the Department of Education and Skills.

Junior Infants will only be admitted to the school on the first day of the new academic year, except in the case of a pupil transferring from another school.

Where applications for enrolment exceed the number of places available, places will be allocated in the following order:

  1. Children from inside the designated school catchment area at the time of application for enrolment and children of staff members. If the list of eligible applicants in this group exceeds the number of places available, dates of birth will apply and oldest children will be allocated places first.
  2. If all the places have not been filled from the above category, places will next be offered to applicants from outside the designated school catchment area who have siblings attending Woodland National School. If the list of eligible applicants in this group exceeds the number of places available, dates of birth will apply and oldest children will be allocated places first.
  3. All other applications. If the list of applicants in this group exceeds the number of places available, dates of birth will apply and oldest children will be allocated places first.

Should a family who have a child enrolled in the school subsequently move out of the school’s defined catchment area, application for enrolment for further children from that family will be processed in line with the enrolment policy.

Proof of Address, Birth Certificate and Baptismal Certificate, where appropriate, should be provided within 14 days of enrolment to allow the application for enrolment to be processed by the school’s Board of Management. If the proof of address and/or the birth certificate is not provided during this 14-day period the application for enrolment will be invalid and will not be processed.

PPS Numbers are now required in accordance with a directive from the Department of Education and Skills (Circular Letter 0017/2014, January 2014) and must be supplied within 14 days of enrolment.

The dates for application for enrolment in Junior Infant Class are published in the local newspaper, the Derry People/Donegal News, Letterkenny Post, in the Aughaninshin (Church of the Irish Martyrs, Ballyraine) parish newsletter and on the school website at least two weeks in advance of enrolment week. A text will also be sent to all current families in the school two weeks in advance of the enrolment week.

Application for enrolment for Junior Infants in September 2019 will be accepted in Woodland National School from Wednesday 30th January to Friday 1st February 2019 inclusive from 9:30a.m. to 3:30p.m. Parents/guardians wishing to apply to enrol a child in Junior Infants should come to the school during those days and fill out an application for enrolment form.

 

Parents/guardians whose children have not been allocated a place should indicate, in writing, if they wish to have their child’s name placed on a waiting list should a place become available before September 2019. Should places become available they will be allocated according to the criteria as outlined in paragraph 2.2 (1), (2) and (3)

Late applications will only be considered when all other applications for enrolment have been processed and the waiting list cleared. If there is more than one application in this category, places, should they become available, will be allocated according to the date on which the application was received (allocation being made on a first-come first-served basis).

2.3    Enrolment of Pupils who transfer from another School in the Republic of Ireland

From time to time, a parent/guardian may make application for transfer of his/her child/children to Woodland National School from another primary school in the Republic of Ireland. Applications for transfer to Woodland National School from another school are subject to the enrolment policy of Woodland National School, and must be made in writing to the Chairperson of the Board of Management. An application for transfer enrolment form should be completed for each child who wishes to be considered for enrolment in Woodland National School. As a general principle and in so far as is practicable, having regard to the school’s enrolment policy, children will be enrolled in Woodland National School provided that there are places available in the class grouping from which the child is transferring.

If there are no available places when an application for transfer is made, parents/guardians should notify the Board of Management in writing if they wish to have their child’s/children’s name(s) placed on a waiting list, indicating the length of time they wish to remain on the waiting list. Parents/guardians will be notified should a place become available. Places will be allocated to the children on this waiting list as follows in the following order:

  • Resident within the school catchment area at the time of application for enrolment. If there is more than one application in this category places will be allocated according to the date on which the application was received (allocation being made on a first-come first-served basis).
  • Children from outside the designated catchment area who have siblings already enrolled in the school. If there is more than one application in this category places will be allocated according to the date on which the application was received (allocation being made on a first-come first-served basis).
  • All other applications. If there is more than one application in this category places will be allocated according to the date on which the application was received (allocation being made on a first-come first-served basis).

 

The following information will be required when applications for transfer to Woodland National School are being processed:

  • Details of previous school attended
  • Appropriate information and relevant reports and test scores relating to the child’s educational progress.
  • Proof of Address
  • PPS Number
  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptismal Certificate, where appropriate

 

2.4    Enrolment of Pupils who transfer from another School outside the Republic of Ireland

From time to time, a parent/guardian may make application for transfer of his/her child/children to Woodland National School from another primary school outside the Republic of Ireland. Applications for transfer to Woodland National School from another school are subject to the enrolment policy of Woodland National School, and must be made in writing to the Chairperson of the Board of Management. An application for transfer enrolment form should be completed for each child who wishes to be considered for enrolment in Woodland National School. As a general principle and in so far as practicable, having regard to the school’s enrolment policy, children will be enrolled in Woodland National School provided that there are places available in the class grouping from which the child is transferring.

If there are no available places when an application for transfer is made, parents/guardians should notify the Board of Management in writing if they wish to have their child’s/children’s name(s) placed on a waiting list, indicating the length of time they wish to remain on the waiting list. Parents/guardians will be notified should a place become available. Places will be allocated to the children on this waiting list as follows in the following order:

  • Resident within the school catchment area at the time of application for enrolment. If there is more than one application in this category places will be allocated according to the date on which the application was received (allocation being made on a first-come first-served basis).
  • Children from outside the designated catchment area who have siblings already enrolled in the school. If there is more than one application in this category places will be allocated according to the date on which the application was received (allocation being made on a first-come first-served basis).
  • All other applications. If there is more than one application in this category places will be allocated according to the date on which the application was received (allocation being made on a first-come first-served basis).

 

The following information will be required when applications for transfer to Woodland National School are being processed:

  • Details of previous school attended
  • Appropriate information and relevant reports and test scores relating to the child’s educational progress.
  • Proof of Address
  • PPS Number
  • Birth Certificate
  • Baptismal Certificate, where appropriate

 

2.5    Enrolment of Pupils in the Classes for Pupils with Specific Speech and Language Disorders

Special educational provision is made for pupils with specific speech and language disorders. This provision is sanctioned by the Department of Education and Skills and delivered in partnership with the Department of Health and Children. Pupils in these classes (a maximum of 7 pupils in each class) are taught by a primary teacher, with intensive speech and language therapy provided by a speech and language therapist.

Eligible pupils for the classes for pupils with specific speech and language disorders must in the first instance fulfil the 4 specified criteria as outlined in the Report of the Special Education Review Committee (1993, p. 95) and in Circular 0038/2007 by the Department of Education and Skills.

Applicants must meet each of the following criteria:

(a)  The pupil has been assessed by a psychologist on a standardised test of intellectual ability that places non-verbal ability within the average range or above (i.e. non-verbal IQ of 90, or above).

(b) The pupil has been assessed by a speech and language therapist on a standardised test of language development that places performance in one or more of the main areas of speech and language development at two standard deviations or more below the mean, or at a generally equivalent level. (i.e. 2 standard deviations or below, at or below a standard score of 70).

(c) The pupil’s difficulties are not attributable to hearing impairment; where the pupil is affected to some degree by hearing impairment, the hearing threshold for the speech-related frequencies should be 40Db

(d) Emotional and behavioural disorders or a physical disability are not considered to be primary causes.

 

ENROLMENT PROCEDURE

a) Registration process begins with a telephone call/visit from the parents or a referral from Speech and Language Therapy Services, NEPS or HSE Psychology Service.
b) Application forms available from late January.
c) Application form is completed and will only be processed on the basis of a current diagnosis of Specific Speech and Language Disorder as per the DES guidelines and a recommendation for placement in this class (this does not guarantee a place in the class).
d) Application form must be accompanied by proof of address in order to be considered.

 

All eligible applications together with relevant medical, psychological and educational reports are considered at the annual Admission Committee meeting. This committee consists of the Principal Teacher of Woodland National School, the Class Teacher(s), Special Needs Co-ordinator, One Assistant Principal 1, Principal Speech and Language Therapist of HSE, Class Speech & Language Therapist and N.E.P.S. Psychologist, (if available). Decisions in relation to applications are conveyed by the school’s Board of Management to the parents/guardians concerned.

 

Placement in these classes is offered on an annual basis for one year. Applicants may be granted a second year if they continue to meet the criteria for Specific Speech and Language Disorder only and no other concerns have been raised by parents and/or professionals. Two years is the maximum for a child to avail of a place.

Before a child’s placement concludes, a transition process will be but in place to support the child returning to their original school.

Transition from the classes may be recommended at any time if the Admission Team, after consultation with the parents/guardians, feel that placement is not appropriate or that the child’s needs would be better met in an alternative educational setting.

2.4   Enrolment of Pupils in Classes for Pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders

A special educational provision is made for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. This provision is sanctioned and delivered by the Department of Education & Skills.

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

The goal of these classes is to promote and facilitate the integration of the children into mainstream classes, having regard for levels of disability, available resources and suitability of such integration.

If, after 4 years in the ASD classes integration with mainstream classes has not commenced or is unlikely to commence, the placement may be considered unsuitable. The Admissions Committee may consult with parents/guardians regarding a more appropriate placement.

The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse enrolment to any student where:

–        The student has special needs such that even with additional resources available from the Department of Education & Skills the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the student with an appropriate education.

–        In the opinion of the Board of Managemen,t the student poses an unacceptable risk to other students, to school staff or to school property.

 

ENROLMENT PROCEDURE

  1. Registration process begins with a telephone call/visit from the parents or a referral from Autism Services.
  2. Application forms available from late January.
  3. Application form is completed and will only be processed on the basis of a current diagnosis of Autism by a Child Psychiatrist/Psychologist and a recommendation for placement in this class (this does not guarantee a place in the class).
  4. Application form must be accompanied by Proof of Address in order to be considered
  5. An arrangement will be made to facilitate a visit by parents accompanied by the child.

 

All eligible applications together with relevant medical, psychological and educational reports are considered at the annual Admission Committee meeting. This committee consists of the Principal Teacher of Woodland National School, the Class Teacher(s), Special Needs Co-ordinator, One Assistant Principal 1 and N.E.P.S. Psychologist (if available). Decisions in relation to applications are conveyed by the school’s Board of Management to the parents/guardians concerned.

The maximum class size is six pupils.

Early Intervention Class

A child may take up a place in this class on/or after his/her third birthday. The upper age limit for this class is five. A child cannot be six during the school year. Placement in this class is subject to a yearly review. Parents will be advised of the options available for future schooling. These include the following:

  • Mainstream class in this school or other (as per policy)
  • Special Class attached to mainstream school
  • Special Class in Special School
  • Special School
  • Home tuition

Enrolment in the Early Intervention Class does not automatically entitle the child to a place in the Junior ASD class or a place in the mainstream school. Application for these classes should be made according to procedure.

If the number of applicants for places exceeds the number of places available the following criteria will be applied to eligible applications in the following order:

  1. Children from inside the designated school catchment area.
  2. Children geographically closest to Woodland National School.

 

Taking all of the above into account and based on the advice of the Admission Team, the Board of Management reserves the right of admission.

ASD Classes 

Children applying for places should be aged 4 or over. Placement in these classes is subject to a yearly review. Enrolment in these classes does not automatically entitle a child to a place in the mainstream school.

 

If the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available, the following criteria will be applied to eligible applications in the following order:

  1. Children from inside the designated school catchment area.
  2. Children outside the designated school catchment area who are already enrolled in the school.
  3. Children geographically closed to Woodland National School.

 

Taking all of the above into account and based on the advice of the Admission Team, the Board of Management reserves the right of admission.

 

TRANSITION POLICY 

It is school policy to facilitate the transition of pupils once they have reached the age of twelve. Pupils who reach the age of 13 after 30th September in any year will be permitted to complete that academic year. This means a June transition in the following year.

 

Transition may also be recommended at any time from both the Early Intervention Class and ASD classes if the Admission Team, after consultation with the parents/guardians, feel that placement is not appropriate or that the child’s needs would be better met in an alternative educational setting.

 

The Board of Management reserves the right to discharge any student where:

  1. The student has special needs such that even with additional resources available from the Department of Education & Skills the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the student with an appropriate education
  2. In the opinion of the Board of Management the student poses an unacceptable risk to other students, to school staff or to school property

 

EVALUATION

The Board of Management will monitor the implementation of all aspects of this policy. This policy will be amended and updated as required.

___________________________________________

 

  1. Review of General Policy: This policy will be reviewed in November 2019
  2. Conclusion

The Board of Management of Woodland National School makes every effort to facilitate parents/guardians who seek application for their child’s/ children’s enrolment in Woodland National School.

 

Should any parent/guardian wish further clarification on any matter related to enrolment issues, the Board of Management will be delighted to meet with him/her and to illuminate the policy further.

Susan Kenny

Chairperson

 

On behalf of the Board of Management of Woodland National School

 

Signed: Susan Kenny

 

Date:   20th November 2018