Polasaí Iontrála 2019

Enrolment Policy 2019


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 – 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
  • Amendment to Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016
  • 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.”
  • Section 9 of the Amendment to Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016 states the follwing; “(9) (a) Notwithstanding subsection (7)(e)(iii), and subject to this subsection, an Irish language school may prioritise the admission of a student where the school is satisfied that the student has attained a reasonable level of fluency in the Irish language and that the said fluency would be likely to regress were the student not admitted to an Irish language school.
  • (b) An applicant may, when making an application for admission to an Irish language school, include a statement confirming that the student in respect of whom the application concerned relates has attained a reasonable level of fluency in the Irish language and that the said fluency would be likely to regress were the student not admitted to an Irish language school.
  • (c) When making an application in accordance with paragraph (b), the applicant shall provide such evidence as he or she considers appropriate in relation to the reasonable level of fluency in the Irish language of the student in respect of whom the application relates, which may include confirmation that the student concerned is available to attend an interview or meeting to demonstrate his or her reasonable level of fluency in the Irish language.
  • (d) In satisfying itself that a student has attained a reasonable level of fluency in the Irish language and that the said fluency would be likely to regress were the student not admitted to an Irish language school, a school shall take into account only the evidence that the applicant has provided in accordance with paragraph (c).  
  • (e) An Irish language school may not rank in order of preference, for the purposes of admission to the school concerned, a student who has satisfied the school in accordance with paragraph (a) relative to other students who have satisfied the school in accordance with that paragraph, by virtue of the students’ relative fluency in the Irish language.
  • (f) Nothing in paragraph (e) shall preclude an Irish language school from applying the selection criteria set out in the school’s admission policy to students who have satisfied the school in accordance with paragraph (a), where the number of such students is greater than the number of places available.
  • (g) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as permitting an Irish language school to require a student attend an interview or other meeting to assess his or her reasonable level of fluency in the Irish language.
  • (h) In this subsection – 4 “reasonable level of fluency in the Irish language”, in relation to a student, means a reasonable age appropriate level of oral fluency in the Irish language taking into account any special educational needs of the student concerned; “Irish language school” means a school that provides education through the medium of Irish.”.

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/guardians 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 expects all parents to pay for activities, services, charges which arise as part of their child’s education in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh.  These charges are fully itemised and explained to parents/guardians each year. Such charges include; use of lock for locker, school journal, 24 Hr pupil insurance, photocopying charges/fees, internet services, etc.  The charges are 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

A Parent Information Handbook, provided to all parents/guardians on registration evening, contains relevant information about the organisation of the school.  In addition, Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh issues a number of 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

  • The Limerick City Area second level schools are obliged to cooperate with 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 September. (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 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) and are available from the college.
  • 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.
  • All application forms are date and time stamped on receipt with a copy returned to parents/guardians.
  • 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 considers 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 twenty places (120) is being offered for First Year 2019.

Group Criteria Number of Places

Category 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.

Category 2.

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

Category 3.

Limerick City Area Gaelscoileanna*.

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

  • An Mhodhscoil
  • Gaelscoil Sáirséal
  • Gaelscoil Sheoirse Clancy
  • Gaelscoil Chaladh an Treoigh
  • Gaelscoil Ráithín

*50.5% of places will be allocated to pupils from Gaelscoileanna (this is to include brothers & sisters.  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.

Category 4.

Any remaining places are allocated randomly for any/all remaining 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.

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 2019/2020 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 2019, 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, 3 and 4 in the event that there is oversubscription of students to the College. Places are be allocated to students randomly.
  6. In the event of oversubscription, in any of the category groupings, the following process will be undertaken.
  7. 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.
  8. Any places available are allocated in numerical order based on the number of the envelope containing the applicant’s form.
  9. The Secretary to the Board of Management is not be present for this process.
  10. 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;

  1. That a place for the student exists in a class in the relevant Year Group.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.


Foirmeacha & Eolais

Forms and Additional Information