Enrolment Policy

Scoil Ghobnatan is a co-educational primary school under the patronage of the Catholic Bishop of Cloyne. The 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.

There are 30 full time teachers, including the principal and 10 support teachers in the school. The school caters for the full range of classes from Junior Infants to Sixth class. There is also a Language Class. Scoil Ghobnatan is an inclusive school and caters for children of all abilities.  There are 10 Special Needs Assistants and a School Completion Programme assigned to the school by the Department of Education and Skills to enable the inclusion of children with special educational needs. The school also has the services of a secretary, caretaker and cleaning staff.

Children enrolled in Scoil Ghobnatan, are required to co-operate with and support the school’s Code of Behaviour as well as all other policies. Parents/Guardians are responsible for ensuring that their child(ren) co-operate with these policies in an age-appropriate way. A copy of the Code of Behaviour can be viewed on the school website. A copy is also available in the Principal’s office. The school rules are published in pupils’ Homework Diary.  All parents are asked to read these with their child  and sign them at the beginning of the school year.

Scoil Ghobnatan operates under the Rules for National Schools and Departmental Circulars and is funded by grants and teachers 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 relevant equality legislation. Scoil Ghobnatan follows the curricular programmes laid down by the Department of Education and Science.


The Admissions Policy

The Admissions Policy has been formulated in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998 in order to assist parents in relation to enrolment matters. The chairman of the Board of Management, Dan O’Mahony, or the Principal, Michael Walsh, will be happy to clarify any matters arising from the policy.


Application Procedure

The Board of Management will communicate generally to the school community through the parish bulletin, letters to parents and the school website to outline the application for enrolment procedures.

Application forms are available in the school office. Closing date for applications is April 30th. Applications may be taken after this date should there be any further available places. Parents seeking to enrol children should return a completed enrolment application form with an original birth/adoption certificate and Baptismal certificate where appropriate, to the school. Parents of children enrolled in Junior Infants will be invited to an open day in the school in May/June.

Children will be enrolled on application provided that there is space available.Junior Infants are enrolled in September provided the child has reached his/her 4th birthday. Normally, Junior Infants will not be enrolled during the year unless transferring from another school. This is for educational reasons as the curriculum is progressive and it is necessary for the child to complete a full year. Decisions in relation to application for enrolment are made by the Board of Management.Parents will be informed of acceptance of the child to the school as soon as possible.No child is refused admission for reasons of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, language/accent, gender, traveller status, asylum-seeker/refugee status, religious/political beliefs and values, family or social circumstances. The completion of an application form or the placement of your child’s name on a list, however early, does not confer an automatic right to a place in the school.


Decision making

Decisions in relation to application for enrolment are made by the Board of Management. Parents will be notified of acceptance of their children and as a general principle, children will be enrolled on application provided that there is space available and the child has reached his/her 4th birthday.

To assist the school in such circumstances of overcrowding, the Board of Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each separate classroom bearing in mind Department of Education and Science guidelines in relation to class size and staffing provisions. Other factors that may be considered are:

1        Size of and available space in classrooms.

2        Educational needs of children of a particular age.

3        Multi-grade classes.

4        Presence of children with special educational/behavioural needs.

In the event of the number of children seeking enrolment in any given class/standard exceeding the number of places available the following criteria will be used to prioritise children for enrolment:

A.    Brothers and sisters (including stepsiblings, resident at same address) of children already enrolled with priority going to the eldest.

B.     Children from Catholic families living in the parish.

C.     Children living within the parish – priority oldest.

D.    Children of current school staff – priority oldest.

E.     Children whose home address is closest to the school (as measured by a straight line on an O.S. map) if the child is normally resident outside of the parish/agreed catchment area.

F.      In the event of being unable to enrol a child(ren) from categories A, B, C, D in a given class at the beginning of a year, or mid-year, such children will receive priority (in order of A, B, C, D) for the subsequent school year over other children on the class waiting on the class waiting list.

Other pupils may be enrolled during the school year if newly resident in the area. Pupils wishing to transfer from other schools are enrolled subject to the Rules for National Schools, Education Welfare Act and school’s enrolment policy.


Children with Special Needs

Children with special needs enrolling in Scoil Ghobnatan will be resourced in accordance with the level of resources provided by the Department of Education and Science to the Board of Management

The Board of Management will request a copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological report or request that the child be assessed immediately in order to assist the school in establishing the educational needs of the child and to profile the support services required. The Board of Management will endeavour to have all resources and supports in place before the child is admitted to the school. This may include visiting teacher service, resource teacher, special needs assistants, specialised equipment or furniture, transport services etc.

The school will meet with the parents of the special needs child to discuss the school’s suitability for the child. If necessary a full case conference may be called including parents, class teacher, learning support teacher, resource teacher and psychologist or social workers as appropriate.

Notwithstanding the availability of such resources, parents of children who are unsatisfied with level of educational provision in our school are advised to consider a special school, which is designed and resourced to specifically cater for the needs of children with special educational needs.


Speech and Language Class

Children applying for a place in the Speech and Language class must apply to the school by February 21st 2018. Application forms and information pack are available from the school.  Applications must be supported by current psychological and speech and language therapy reports.  Only those children who fulfill specific criteria laid down by the Department of Education and Science are considered for placement in the class.

To gain admission to the Speech and Language Class children must meet each of the following criteria:

1        A recommendation by a psychologist stating that the child’s non-verbal or performance ability lies within the average range or above; (i.e. non-verbal or performance IQ of 90 or above.)

2        A recommendation from a speech and language therapist which states that the child’s performance in one or more of the main areas of speech and language development is 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.)

3        Confirmation that the child’s difficulties are not attributable to hearing impairment; where the child is affected to some degree by hearing impairment, the hearing threshold for the speech-related frequencies should be 40db.

4        Confirmation that emotional and behavioural disorders or a physical disability are not considered to be primary causes of the child’s language disorder.

(See also “Scoil Ghobnatan/HSE Joint Policies & Procedures for Specific Speech and Language Class” for further information.)


Appeals Procedure

Parents who are dissatisfied with an enrolment decision, may appeal to the Board of Management.  It must be addressed, in writing, to the Chairperson of the Board, stating the grounds for the appeal, and lodged within ten days of receiving the refusal.  Parents, if unhappy with the result of this appeal, may appeal to the Department of Education and Science under Section 29 of the Education Act on the official form provided by the Department.  This appeal must be lodged within 42 days of receipt of the refusal from the school to enrol.

In May 2011 a group of teachers, consisting of the Principal, mainstream teachers and support teachers met to discuss the existing Admissions/Enrolment Policy. Amendments were made and the attached policy was agreed.

Ratified by Board of Management on       __________________

Signed      _____________________________________

Chairperson, Board of Management