Springdale National School Admissions Policy

1. Introduction

1.1 This Admissions Policy for Springdale National School has been devised in  accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998, the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, Equal Status legislation, the relevant sections of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018, directives of the School’s Patron and following consultation with the School community.

1.2 In this Policy, any reference to parents is to be taken as including reference to guardians, any reference to child is to be taken to include a child who has been adopted or fostered, any reference to siblings is to be taken as including reference to step siblings and foster siblings.

2. General Information

2.1 While recognising the rights of parents to enrol their child in a school of their choice, the Board of Management (the Board) reserves the right to determine maximum school and class size capacity, in order to ensure the safety and educational needs of students.

2.2 In determining the level of admissions, the Board shall take account of Department of Education & Skills (DES) regulations/circulars in relation to staffing, class size and pupil teacher ratios; health and safety requirements, including, for example, traffic restrictions. It shall also have regard to issues such as physical space, multi-grade classes, the presence of pupils with special educational and/or behavioural needs, the number of pupils expected to leave the school, the size of classrooms/play areas/school premises, the deployment of teachers and the resources of the School.

3. Springdale National School Ethos

Springdale National School is a co-educational primary school under the patronage of the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin. While we have due recognition and respect for all other religions, the characteristic spirit of the school is informed by Christian belief as understood and practised within the Church of Ireland. This Christian ethos informs our lessons in religious education (RE) and permeates every area of the curriculum and our life together as a school community. Prior to admission of their children, parents will be required to accept and uphold the Christian ethos and characteristic spirit of the school.

We endeavour to provide a well-ordered, caring, happy and secure environment, where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and addressed.

We actively encourage the involvement of parents through home/school contact and through a vibrant Parent Teacher Association.

We aim to enhance the self-esteem of everyone in the school community. We encourage the children to develop a respect for people and property and a sense of responsibility.

We promote gender equity amongst teachers and pupils.

We strive to promote, both individually and collectively, the professional and personal development of teachers through staff development programmes.

4. Notification of Intention to Apply Form

4.1 Those intending to apply for enrolment of a student in the School (the Intending Applicant) should contact the School and request a copy of the Notification of Intention to Apply Form. Submission of the Notification of Intention to Apply Form does not offer any priority whatsoever to the Intending Applicant nor does it in any way guarantee a place for him/her either for the term and year requested nor for any other term or year.

4.2 If the intention is to seek to enrol a child in less than 21 days, an Application Form should be requested and there will have to be full compliance with this Policy in terms of the application.

4.3 Those who have returned a Notification of Intention to Apply Form will be sent an Application Form in the third week in January of the proposed year of proposed enrolment in the School.

5. Applications for Admissions

5.1 All applications for a place in the School shall be submitted to the School Principal on the approved Application Form. An Ethos statement and Code of Behaviour will be furnished to each Applicant with a copy of the Application Form in advance of the Admissions Application period. By completing the Application Form, Applicants agree to accept and uphold the school’s Code of Behaviour and the Christian ethos and characteristic spirit of the school which is in line with the teaching and practices of the Church of Ireland.

5.2 The strict deadline for receipt of fully completed Applications form is 12 noon on the first Tuesday in February.

5.3 Only those Application Forms that have been completed in full, signed, dated, accompanied by relevant supporting documentation and submitted by the closing date will be considered by the Board. In order for an application to be considered, all required accompanying documentation must be provided prior to the closing date.

5.4 An Application Form must be accompanied by:
(i) A birth certificate for the student in respect to whom the application has been made (the Applicant Student)
(ii) Proof of address in the form of a utility bill in the Applicant’s name (or in one of the Applicant’s names where there is more than one Applicant), which must be dated no later than three months prior to the closing date
(iii) Statement confirming that the Applicant Student is a member of a minority religion, where applicable, as outlined below
(iv) Evidence to support the statement that the Applicant Student is a member of a minority religion, where applicable, as outlined below.

5.5 It should be noted that submission of an Application Form does not confer a right to admission nor does it guarantee a place in the School.

5.6 Submitting inaccurate information on an Application Form or in accompanying documentation will render the application void ab initio. Where a place has been offered, this will result in the offer of the place being withdrawn, the place being reallocated and the Applicant Student being placed last on the waiting list.

5.7 Submission of the Application Form early in the Admissions Application period is not a factor in the allocation of places in the School. If an application is submitted prior to the Admissions Application Period, the application will not be considered by the Board.

5.8 Applicant Students, in respect of whom applications are made for Junior Infants, must have attained their 4th birthday by 1st April in the school year in respect of which the application for enrolment is made.

6. Consideration of the Applications

6.1 The Board having considered the applications, will issue its decisions in writing within 21 days of the closing date.

6.2 Waiting lists for Applicant Students only apply for the school year in respect of which the application for enrolment was made and do not carry forward to subsequent years.

6.3 Applicants who have been offered a place and wish to accept it must inform the School in writing within seven calendar days of being offered a place. Failure to do so within this timeframe will result in the place being forfeited and being reallocated.

6.4 Any contact with and/or lobbying of school personnel and/or board members regarding an application for admission will automatically disqualify the applicant and a place will not be offered.

6.5 The foregoing conditions are subject to internal review from time to time and may be changed pursuant to other factors including DES/Patron requirements, changes in legislation etc.

7. Priority

7.1 Springdale National School is a Church of Ireland school. In the event that the number of applications exceeds the number of available places, the priority categories below, which are listed in order of priority, are used to determine the priority given to applications in the descending order outlined below from (a) to (c), as follows:

(a) Priority Category 1: An Applicant Student who is a member of the Church of Ireland or a Protestant reformed church or is a member of a minority religion which has the same religious ethos, or a similar religious ethos to the programme of religious instruction/education which is provided in the school and who lives within the boundaries of the parishes of Raheny and Coolock.

(b) Priority Category 2: Children of current permanent teachers.

(c) Priority Category 3: All other Applicant Students who comply with the terms of this Policy.

7.2 Where oversubscription occurs in any category above, siblings within such category will be given priority and any remaining places will be allocated to those normally resident closest to the school. Those children in this category who are not successful in achieving a place will have their names placed on a waiting list in order of proximity to the school. Applicants will be informed of their place on the waiting list as it applies in the particular category.

7.3 In respect of Priority Category 1, the Applicant must provide the following documentation with the application form in order for the application to be complete, as the School must satisfy itself that the Applicant Student is a member of a minority religion and that it provides a programme of religious instruction or religious education which is of the same religious ethos as, or a similar religious ethos to, the religious ethos of the minority religion of the Applicant Student:

(i) a statement from the Applicant confirming (a) that the Applicant Student is a member of a minority religion and (b) that the Applicant wishes the Applicant Student to be educated in a school that provides a programme of religious instruction/education which is of the same religious ethos, or a similar religious ethos to, the religious ethos of the minority religion of the Applicant Student

and

(ii) evidence from the Applicant to support the statement that the Applicant Student is a member of the minority religion. This evidence will consist of:
• a letter from the relevant religious leader confirming, that the Applicant Student is a member of the minority religion or
• the signature and stamp of the relevant Church leader on the application form confirming, that the Applicant Student is a member of the minority religion

8. Refusal to Enrol

8.1 The School reserves the right to refuse enrolment where an Applicant does not comply with the terms of this Policy.

8.2 In exceptional circumstances, the School reserves the right to refuse enrolment where:

(i) The Applicant Student has special needs such that, even with additional resources being made available from the DES/NCSE, the School cannot meet such needs and/or provide the Applicant Student with an appropriate education;
(ii) The Applicant Student poses unacceptable risk(s) to other pupils, staff and/or school property.

8.3 Applicants refused under any of the above criteria will be advised of their right to appeal the Board’s decision as outlined below.

9. Appeals Procedure

Applicants who are unhappy with an enrolment decision may appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 to the DES on the official Section 29 Appeal Application Form which can be downloaded from www.education.ie. This appeal must be submitted to the DES within 42 days of receipt of the decision of the Board to refuse enrolment.

10. Ratification and Review

10.1 This Policy was ratified by the Board on 8th January, 2019 and follows guidelines issued by the Patron in respect of admissions.

10.2 This Admissions Policy will be regularly reviewed by the Board of Management.