Polasaí Iontrála / Admissions Policy

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following;

  • College Mission Statement
  • School Ethos
  • Pastoral Care Policy
  • Code of Behaviour Policy

Policy Availability

This policy is available on the College website – http://www.gcluimnigh.ie, and further copies can be requested from the Principal.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to have a written Enrolment Policy, as required by the Department of Education and Skills and to ensure that a policy is in place that reflects the principles, values and educational philosophy of the school.

Scope of policy
This document sets out the policy of Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh in respect of Enrolment to the College in the following circumstances:

  • Students applying for a place in First Year
  • Students from outside of Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh applying for a place in any other year-group. i.e. students applying to transfer from another second-level school
  • Students applying to repeat any year of any programme within the school, including repeating the Leaving Certificate programme
  • Students from outside or within Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh applying for a place on any programme within Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh (e.g. Leaving Certificate, Transition Year, etc.)

This policy should be read in conjunction with the following;

  • The Education Act, 1998
  • ‘A Handbook for Vocational Education Committees and Boards of Management of Schools and Community Colleges’ (IVEA, 2006)
  • The College’s Mission Statement, Ethos & Educational Aims
  • The College’s Special Educational Needs Policy (Available on request from the College Management)
  • The College’s Behaviour & Disciplinary Policy (Available on request from the College Management)
  • The College’s Annual Information Booklet
  • The College’s Attendance policy (Available on request from the College Management)

Link to College’s Mission
Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh is an all-Irish Post-Primary college. All subjects (except other languages) are taught through the medium of Irish. Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh is inclusive in its intake and is comprehensive in its curriculum. It is a centre of excellence in the development and learning of each individual student where each person is special. Staff and students work together to realise his or her full potential in a secure and friendly environment where the atmosphere is one of learning and development, mutual respect and co-operation. Irish language and culture are central in every aspect of the college’s life.

Rationale
This policy aims to ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to enable Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh to make decisions on all applications in an open and transparent manner consistent with the Mission Statement of Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh and legislative requirements.
It also exists to demonstrate an accurate and appropriate assessment of the capacity of Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh to cater for the needs of applicants in the light of the resources available to it and to put in place a framework which will ensure effective and productive relations between students, parents and teachers where a student is admitted to the College.

Legal Framework

  • Section 9 (j) of the Education Act 1998 specifies, that “A recognised school shall ….. subject to this Act and in particular section 15 (2) (d), establish and maintain an Enrolment policy which provides for maximum accessibility to the school.”
  • Section 15 (2) (d) states that Boards of Management shall “publish………..the policy of the School concerning admission to and participation in the school and ensure that as regards that policy principles of equality and the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parents’ choice are respected”
  • Section 27 (1) states that “A board shall establish and maintain procedures for the purposes of informing students in a school of the activities of the school” and (2) that “ the procedures established and maintained under subsection (1) shall facilitate the involvement of the students in the operation of the school, having regard to the age and experience of the students, in association with their parents and teachers”.
  • The Education Welfare Act, 2000 [Section 19 (1)] requires that a Board of Management shall not refuse to admit a child except where such refusal is in accordance with the school’s Admission Policy.
  • Section 19 (2) requires that parents must provide relevant information to the School while Section 19 (3) requires that the Board of Management shall, as soon as practicable (but not later than 21 days) after receiving such information “ make a decision in respect of the application concerned and inform the parent in writing thereof ”
  • The Equal Status Act, 2000 [Sections 5 & 7 (2)] prohibits discrimination on the grounds of “gender, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the Travelling Community” regarding admission, access to programmes, participation in the School regarding expulsion or any other sanction.
  • Section 3.4 states that “For the purposes of this Act discrimination includes a refusal or failure by the provider of a service to do all that is reasonable to accommodate the needs of a person with a disability by providing special treatment or facilities, if without such special treatment or facilities it would be impossible or unduly difficult for the person to avail himself or herself of the service.”

Information Dissemination
Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh utilises appropriate channels of promotion and procedures to inform parents about the school, its programmes, activities and procedures. Adverts are placed in local papers with the date of each year’s Open Night. Sixth Class students are invited together with their parents to the evening. Parents receive an information pack on the evening of the Open Night, and are informed to refer to the College’s website for a copy of the Enrolment policy.

Context
Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh is an Education and Training Board (ETB) Post- Primary College which is under the patronage of the Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board.

  • Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh supports the principle of equality for all students regarding access to and participation in the College.
  • Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh respects the diversity of traditions, values, beliefs, languages and ways of life in society.
  • Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh acknowledges the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parents’ choice, subject to the resources available to Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh including classroom accommodation, class size, teaching resources and financial resources and subject to the capacity of Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh to provide for the needs of those who apply for admission.
  • Where Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh lacks the necessary resources to meet the needs of any applicant or student it will make every effort to secure those resources – where the resources cannot be secured Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh may have no recourse but to decline admission. Notwithstanding this, however, the College is currently accommodated in rented buildings.
  • Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh is managed by a Board of Management which operates under the auspices of the Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board.
  • Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh has an active Parents’ Association, highly engaged Parents’ Council and a very effective Student Council.

Management, Teaching & Financial Resources
Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh is funded by the Department of Education & Skills as part of the free education scheme. Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh is staffed in accordance with the standard student-teacher ratios sanctioned by the Department and any additional teaching hours sanctioned by the Department in respect of curricular concessions, special needs, special programmes etc. Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh operates within the regulations laid down by the Department.

In order to provide better for the needs of students Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh encourages all parents to make a school contribution to Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh each year. This amount is determined by the College’s Board of Management each year. From time to time Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh or its Parents’ Council or its Student Council may, with the permission of the Board, engage in fundraising activities for a specified purpose. All parents and guardians are encouraged to contribute to such fundraising efforts.

The capacity of Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh to implement its desired curriculum, its broad range of educational programmes, its breadth of extra-curricular activities, its school plan and policies are dependent on the resources it receives. Consequently, in determining its activities and programmes for any school year Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh is obliged to have due regard to the teaching, management and administrative resources and the accommodation, equipment and funding available to it.

Organisation
An Information Booklet, available in the College, contains relevant information about the organisation of the school. In addition, Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh issues a number of Information Newsletters, letters and an end of year Yearbook for parents each year setting out relevant information for the current year including activities of the College.

Curriculum
Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh offers a broad curriculum designed to meet the needs of a wide range of ability and aptitudes. The details of the curriculum on offer are set out in the separate College Prospectus which is distributed to all who apply for admission and which is available from Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh on request. The curriculum may be subject to change from time to time as deemed appropriate by the College management.
Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh also endeavours to provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities. The range of activities on offer each year is scheduled, in consultation with teachers and other individuals who are interested in being involved. A programme of extra-curricular activities is formulated by the College’s games and activities officer, and posted to students and parents for their convenience.

Procedures – Application, Enrolment Criteria & Decision, Appeal

Application to First Year Process

  • Limerick City Area second level schools are obliged to operate a Common Application Procedure since 2005.
  • Application to Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, as directed by the College’s patron, the Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board, is processed through the Common Application System.
  • Parents/Guardians and students are invited to an Open Night each October. (Advertisements are placed in several weeks’ publication of the following local newspapers; Limerick Leader (City and County editions) and the Limerick Post. Information regarding the College’s Open Night may be posted to all Feeder primary schools.
  • Common Application Forms (provided by the Limerick Education Centre as part of the Limerick Area Post-Primary Common Application System) are given to all Sixth Class students whose parents/guardians attend the College’s ‘Oíche Oscailte’ (Open Night)
  • Completed Application forms are required to be returned to the College on or prior to the closing date for receipt of Application Forms, as agreed by the Limerick Principals’ and Deputy Principals’ Association.
  • Application Forms received are date and time stamped.
  • Forms are receipted with a copy of the form received.
  • Students are required to be twelve years of age on the 1st January in the calendar year following the child’s entry into 1st year. (Birth Certificates are required prior to acceptance of a student into the College).
  • Late applications cannot be considered.
  • Places are allocated as soon as is practicable but not later than twenty-one (21 days) after the closing date.
  • One application form may only be returned for each prospective student.
  • The College’s Board of Management considers all application forms and approves the final list of students for enrolment to the College.
  • The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse application for admission in exceptional circumstances in the interests of the school and its community of learners.

Selection Procedure
Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh nominates a sub-committee from the College’s Board of Management to oversee the allocation of the College’s places in First Year to prospective students.
This sub-committee is comprised of a Parent Representative, a Teacher and two other members of the Board of Management. The committee examines each application with regard to the agreed criteria of the College’s Enrolment Policy.
The sub-committee also includes the College Principal who is Secretary to the Board of Management.

Criteria used for the allocation of places
Each prospective student’s application form is examined and classified according to the following criteria. Places at the College are allocated to those who satisfy the requirements from Group 1 to the remaining groups.

A total of one-hundred and ten places (110) is being offered for First Year 2018.

Group Criteria Number of Places
1. Students whose Brother(s) or Sister(s) currently attend Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh (Gaelscoil or Non-Gaelscoil) will receive first priority.
Note: Siblings cannot be considered for a place in the school unless a form expressing Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh as their number one choice, is submitted to Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, in accordance with the operation of the Limerick Area Common Application System. Determined by number applying to the College on an annual basis.

2. Students whose parents work at Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh will receive second priority. Determined by allocation of places to pupils in Group 1.

3. Students from the Limerick City Area Gaelscoileanna* will receive priority after places in Group 1 & Group 2 have been allocated. A lottery for these places may apply in the event of oversubscription in this category.

Note: Schools are listed in order of the Year of Establishment.

  • An Mhodhscoil
  • Gaelscoil Sáirséal
  • Gaelscoil Sheoirse Clancy
  • Gaelscoil Chaladh an Treoigh
  • Gaelscoil Ráithín Determined by allocation of places to pupils in Group 2.

4. Any remaining places are allocated randomly for all other applicant pupils.
Note: Within any of the categories 1, 2, 3 allocations will be random if necessary. Determined by allocation of places to pupils in Group 3.

*50.5% of places will be allocated to pupils from Gaelscoileanna (this is to include brothers & sisters) Determined by number applying to the College on an annual basis.

*Gaelscoileanna
(Please refer to Appendix 1 – Minister Hanafin’s Press Release)

Oversubscription
To date, given that Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh is a relatively new College, the numbers applying to the College were absorbed without difficulty.

However, the number of students applying to the College for the academic year 2015/2016 is expected to be greater than the number of places which will be available.
Consequently, there may be a limited number of places for students who apply.
Therefore, the College proposes to allocate places to students in the following way;
1. The College’s sub-committee on Enrolment oversees the allocation of places to the various category groupings – as per table above.
2. The sub-committee consists of the Chairperson of the Board of Management, Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board representatives on the Board, parent representatives and staff representatives.
3. The sub-committee meets to complete this process in the College in mid-January 2017, after the closing date for receipt of application forms.
4. Brothers and Sisters of current students will automatically be given a place (provided that Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh is his/her first choice of school).
5. A lottery will apply to category 2, in the event that there is oversubscription of students to the College. Places are be allocated to students randomly.
6. A lottery will apply to category 3 and 4, in the event that there is oversubscription of students to the College under these category groupings.
7. In the event of oversubscription, in any of the category groupings, the following process will be undertaken.
a. Each applicant’s application form is placed in an unmarked white A4 envelope (not revealing the identity of the applicant) and placed in random-order in a box. The box is passed around to each of the Members of the sub-committee and envelopes are removed, at random, from the box and given a number by the Chairperson until all envelopes have been processed.
b. Any places available are allocated in numerical order based on the number of the envelope containing the applicant’s form.
c. The Secretary to the Board of Management is not be present for this process.
d. Once all places have been allocated, all remaining applicants, if any, are given a number and form a panel of students who may, at a later stage, be offered a place in the College. This will occur if a student(s), already offered a place, declines to accept his/her place at the College.

Entrance Assessment
Students are advised of the outcome of their application prior to sitting for the school’s Assessment Test.
All applicants shall be obliged to sit for the College’s Assessment Test which shall be held on a day, time and place determined by the College. A candidate who fails to sit for the test without good reason (as judged by the College) supported by appropriate documentation, will put their admission at risk. The Board may decide to revoke an earlier decision to admit such a student and to offer the place to a student on the Waiting List.
The Assessment Test will be used to help Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh to identify whether a student may have special educational needs and the results may be used as a basis for seeking additional teaching or other resources from the Department of Education & Skills, in line with the school’s Special Educational Needs Policy.
All class groups at Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh are mixed ability, with no streaming of students based on assessment.

Note: Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh has developed a Special Educational Needs Policy. The Special Educational Needs policy and any other relevant policies or documents are available to parents on request.

Application for other year groups
Application Forms are available from the College to other Year Groups. However, students wishing to transfer into Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh may be required to comply with the following conditions;

a. That a place for the student exists in a class in the relevant Year Group.
b. That the student has an acceptable degree of competency in Gaeilge. (The student may be interviewed by the Principal and another teacher of the College in the company of his/her parents/guardians).
c. Applicants will be required to furnish details about their prior second-level education with a reference from the previous school stating their reasons for leaving.

Failure to comply with any of the conditions listed above, or to supply any other relevant documentation requested by Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh may result in an applicant being refused admission to the College

How Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh will decide
The College Principal will hold two meetings with a prospective student and his/her parents/guardians.
If the Principal is satisfied that the student is seeking a place in the College for the correct reasons, then the Principal will recommend to the College Board of Management Sub-Committee on Enrolment that the student be offered a place.
If the Sub-Committee is satisfied with the recommendations made by the Principal, the student will be offered a place at Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh. This will be ratified by the entire Board of Management at its next meeting.
The donor school will be informed as a matter of courtesy of the College’s decision with a phone-call, and subsequently, by letter to that school’s Board of Management.

Appeals Procedures
All applicants will receive a written answer to their request as set out above. Where possible, this will be done within 21 days of receipt of the application. Where it is not possible to make a decision on an application at the time it is received, the procedures to be followed will be explained in writing to the applicant within 21 days of receipt of the application.

A decision to refuse admission may be appealed to the Department of Education & Skills under Section 29 of the Education Act. The name and address of the persons to whom an appeal should be addressed will be included in the notification to refuse admission, as will the time constraints involved. An Appeals Form will be enclosed with the letter.

Success Criteria
The applications process is managed effectively each year. There is clarity and transparency about the process operated by the College Management. Applicants are informed in good time about the status of their application and, where an application is refused in accordance with this policy, have reasonable opportunity to make alternative arrangements for their child(ren).

Review Procedures
This policy is reviewed every September and approved by the College’s Board of Management. A copy of the approved Enrolment Policy is forwarded to the Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board for its approval.
Any staff member, board member, parent, guardian or student who is dissatisfied with the content or the implementation of any school policy may request a review at any time and such a request will be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Patron Approval
On adoption of the policy by the Board and on each subsequent review, the policy will be forwarded to the Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board Education Officer for approval by Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board.

*Appendix 1 – Minister Hanafin’s Press Release

“The establishment of a new All-Irish post primary school in Limerick city is a natural consequence of the success of the city’s Gaelscoileanna in fostering a renewed interest in learning through Irish in recent years”, Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin TD, said today.
The Minister said that Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh will become part of the ever-growing family of all-Irish schools throughout the country, a trend which “is a hugely important factor in reviving our native language.” “Enthusing more young people to use Irish naturally in everyday life is central to the future of the language”, she said.
Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, which is under the auspices of the Limerick and Clare Education & Training Board, will open its doors for the first time in September 2006.
Enrolment in the Gaelcholáiste will be open not only to children who attended all-Irish primary schools but also to all pupils with an interest in pursuing their post primary education through the medium of Irish”.

Application Form