Admissions Policy

 

Convent of Mercy NS,  

Church Street  

Kanturk  

Co.Cork  

Roll number: 17087J  

School Patron/s: Bishop William Crean, Cloyne  

1. Introduction  

This Admission Policy complies with the requirements of the Education Act 1998, the  Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and the Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting this  policy, the board of management of the school has consulted with school staff, the school  patron and with parents of children attending the school.  

The policy was approved by the school patron on 14th September 2020. It is published on  the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who  requests it.  

The relevant dates and timelines for Convent of Mercy NS, Kanturk admission process are  set out in the school’s annual admission notice which is published annually on the school’s  website at least one week before the commencement of the admission process for the  school year concerned.  

This policy must be read in conjunction with the annual admission notice for the school year  concerned.  

The application form for admission is published on the school’s website and will be made  available in hardcopy on request to any person who requests it.  

2. Characteristic spirit and general objectives of the school  

Convent of Mercy NS, Kanturk is a Catholic primary school with a Catholic ethos under the  patronage of the Bishop of Cloyne.  

“Catholic Ethos” in the context of a Catholic primary school means the ethos and  characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church, which aims at promoting:  (a) the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil,  including the intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual aspects; and  (b) a living relationship with God and with other people; and  

(c) a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of  Jesus; and  

(d) the formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith,  

and which school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the  doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, and/or such ethos and/or  characteristic spirit as may be determined or interpreted from time to time by the Irish  Episcopal Conference. 

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In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management of  [Insert the name of the school] shall uphold, and be accountable to the patron for so  upholding, the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational,  moral, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are  characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school.  

Convent of Mercy NS actively seeks, through word and action to create a happy climate of  physical, emotional, social and intellectual security for students, staff and parent/guardians.  In this way teaching and learning can take place within the context of mutual valuing and  respecting relationships. The teachers of Convent of Mercy N.S. see education not just as  providing students with knowledge and skills but also providing for the all-round development  of the individual.  

We believe each child has a unique and special contribution to make.  We believe every child matters.  

We strive to foster independence in our students together with the ability to self-evaluate,  Self-motivate and internalise discipline. We want our students to be happy with themselves,  others and their world.  

• We place a strong emphasis on respect for ourselves and others. Our motto   is “Give Respect Get Respect”  

• We want our pupils to enjoy school.  

• We endeavour to achieve quality in all that we do.  

These aspirations can only be achieved through the cooperation of students, teachers  support staff, parents/guardians, Board of Management and Parish.  

3. Admission Statement  

Convent of Mercy NS Kanturk will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school  on any of the following:  

(a) the gender ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student  concerned,  

(b) the civil status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student  concerned,  

(c) the family status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student  concerned,  

(d) the sexual orientation ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student  concerned,  

(e) the religion ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student  concerned,  

(f) the disability ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student  concerned,  

(g) the ground of race of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned,  (h) the Traveller community ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the  student concerned, or  

(i) the ground that the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned has  special educational needs  

As per section 61 (3) of the Education Act 1998, ‘civil status ground’, ‘disability ground’,  ‘discriminate’, ‘family status ground’, ‘gender ground’, ‘ground of race’, ‘religion ground’,  ‘sexual orientation ground’ and ‘Traveller community ground’ shall be construed in accordance  with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000. 

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Convent of Mercy NS is an all-girls school with boys up to Senior Infants and 2  Special mixed classes and does not discriminate where it refuses to admit a boy  applying for admission to 1s class to 6th class.  

Convent of Mercy is a school whose objective is to provide education in an  environment which promotes certain religious values and does not discriminate  where it refuses to admit as a student a person who is not Catholic and it is proved  that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school. 

Convent of Mercy NS, Kanturk is a school which has established two class, with  the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, which provides an education  exclusively for students with a category or categories of special educational needs  specified by the Minister and may refuse to admit to the classes a student who  does not have the category of needs specified.  

4. Categories of Special Educational Needs catered for in the school/special class  

Convent of Mercy NS, Kanturk with the approval of the Minister for Education and  Skills, has established 2 classes to provide an education exclusively for students  with ASD  

Early Intervention Class :  

Where places arise within the existing Early Intervention ASD special classes,  places will be allocated on the basis of the applicant being of suitable age to fill the  place, have the reports required and approval of SENO.  

Junior Class :  

Early Intervention Placement in the Convent of Mercy NS does not guarantee a  place in the Junior Class and is subject to places being available and the criteria for  Junior Class placement below  

Note for schools: The act does not require schools and special classes providing for a  category or categories of special educational needs to change their current status. The  current arrangements in relation to the category or categories of special educational needs  provided by schools will continue as in previous years unless otherwise directed by the  NCSE or the Department.  

5 Admission of Students  

This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where –  a) the school is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details) 

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b) a parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section 23(4)  of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of  behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all  reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student  

Convent of Mercy NS provides education exclusively for girls in mainstream from first to  Sixth class and may refuse to admit a pupil who is not of the gender provided by the school  in these classes. Other classes, namely, Junior & Senior Infants and ASD classes accept  Boys and Girls.  

Convent of Mercy NS is a Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a student a person  who is not of Catholic Religion where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the  ethos of the school.  

The special class attached to Convent of Mercy NS provides an education exclusively for  students with ASD and the school may refuse admission to this class, where the student  concerned does not have the specified category of special educational needs provided for  in this class.  

6. Oversubscription (this section must be completed by all schools including  schools that do not anticipate being oversubscribed)  

In the event that the school is oversubscribed, the school will, when deciding on applications  for admission, apply the following selection criteria in the order listed below to those  applications that are received within the timeline for receipt of applications as set out in the  school’s annual admission notice:  

  

Criteria used: 

Mainstream  

(1) Siblings(includes step siblings, foster children living at the same address) of  children already enrolled in the Convent of Mercy N. S. Kanturk  

(2) Children who live within the Parish.  

(3) Children from outside the Parish  

Priority will be given to the eldest in all of above  

Early Intervention Class Where places arise within the existing Early Intervention  ASD special classes, places will be allocated on the basis of the applicant being of  suitable age to fill the place, have the reports required and approval of SENO .  

In the event of being oversubscribed the above criteria apply to the Early  Intervention class.  

Junior Class  

Early Intervention Placement in the Convent of Mercy NS does not guarantee a  place in the Junior Class and is subject to places being available and the criteria for  Junior Class placement below  

Should a place arise in the Junior Class 

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The following criteria apply to pupils enrolling for a Junior/Senior ASD class in the  Convent of Mercy N.S. Kanturk.  

Recommendation by a Psychologist/Multi-Disciplinary Team for a placement in a  Junior/Senior ASD class.  

(1) Pupils in the early Intervention class who have siblings in Mainstream  classes in the school.  

(2) Children in mainstream in the Convent of Mercy NS who are eligible  for a Special Class  

(3) Siblings of children already enrolled in the Convent of Mercy N.S.  Kanturk  

(4) Children presently in the Early Intervention Class in the Convent of  Mercy Primary School who are from outside the Parish  

(5) Children who live within the parish who are already enrolled in Early  Intervention in another school.  

(6) Children from St Colman’s Boys NS who are eligible for a special class (7) Children outside the parish/town boundaries in seniority of age (Date  of Birth)  

As stated above these are all subject to a recommendation for a placement in  Junior/Senior Class  

In the event that there are two or more students tied for a place or places in any of the selection  criteria categories above (the number of applicants exceeds the number of remaining places),  the following arrangements will apply:  

In the event of a tie the outcome will be determined by the drawing of lots / random selection,  Independently verified in the presence of staff and parents.  

7. What will not be considered or taken into account  

In accordance with section 62(7)(e) of the Education Act, the school will not consider or take  into account any of the following in deciding on applications for admission or when placing a  student on a waiting list for admission to the school:  

(a)a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service, including  naíonraí,  

other than in relation to a student’s prior attendance at—  

(I) an early intervention class,  

(b) the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;  

(c) a student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude;  

(other than in relation to:  

- admission to (a) a special school or (b) a special class insofar as it is  necessary in order to ascertain whether or not the student has the  category of special educational needs concerned and/or 

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(d) the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a  student’s parents;  

(e) a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview,  open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;  

(f) a student’s connection to the school by virtue of a member of his or her  family attending or having previously attended the school;  

other than, in the case of (1) siblings of a student attending or having  attended the school.  

(g) the date and time on which an application for admission was received by  the school,  

This is subject to the application being received at any time during the  period specified for receiving applications set out in the annual admission  notice of the school for the school year concerned. 

This is also subject to the school making offers based on existing waiting  lists (up until 31st January 2025 only).  

8. Decisions on applications  

All decisions on applications for admission to Convent of Mercy NS, will be based on the  following:  

Our school’s admission policy 

The school’s annual admission notice (where applicable) 

The information provided by the applicant in the school’s official application form  received during the period specified in our annual admission notice for receiving  applications 

(Please see section 15 below in relation to applications received outside of the  admissions period and section 16 below in relation to applications for places in years  other than the intake group.)  

Selection criteria that are not included in our school admission policy will not be used to  make a decision on an application for a place in our school.  

9. Notifying applicants of decisions  

Applicants will be informed in writing as to the decision of the school, within the timeline  outlined in the annual admissions notice.  

If a student is not offered a place in our school, the reasons why they were not offered a  place will be communicated in writing to the applicant, including, where applicable, details of  the student’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the student’s place on the  waiting list for the school year concerned.  

Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the school’s  decision (see section 18 below for further details). 

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10. Acceptance of an offer of a place by an applicant  

In accepting an offer of admission from the Convent of Mercy NS, Kanturk, you must  indicate—  

(i) whether or not you have accepted an offer of admission for another school or schools. If  you have accepted such an offer, you must also provide details of the offer or offers  concerned and  

(ii) whether or not you have applied for and awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission  from another school or schools, and if so, you must provide details of the other school or  schools concerned.  

11. Circumstances in which offers may not be made or may be withdrawn  

An offer of admission may not be made or may be withdrawn by [school name] where—  (i) it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading.  (ii) an applicant fails to confirm acceptance of an offer of admission on or before the  date set out in the annual admission notice of the school.  

(iii) the parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section  23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of  behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all  reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student; or  

(iv) an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’  as set out in section 10 above.  

12. Sharing of Data with other schools  

Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act  2018 allows for the sharing of certain information between schools in order to facilitate the  efficient admission of students.  

Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a list  of the students in relation to whom—  

(i) an application for admission to the school has been received,  

(ii) an offer of admission to the school has been made, or  

(iii) an offer of admission to the school has been accepted.  

The list may include any or all of the following:  

(i) the date on which an application for admission was received by the school;  (ii) the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school;  

(iii) the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant;  

(iv) a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth and  personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social  Welfare Consolidation Act 2005). 

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13. Waiting list in the event of oversubscription  

In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places  available, a waiting list of students whose applications for admission to Convent of Mercy NS  were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled and will remain  valid for the school year in which admission is being sought.  

Placement on the waiting list of Convent of Mercy NS in the order of priority assigned to the  students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with  this admission policy.  

Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in  relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those students on the waiting list,  in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the students have been placed on  the list.  

14. Late Applications  

All applications for admission received after the closing date as outlined in the annual  admission notice will be considered and decided upon in accordance with our school’s  admissions policy, the Education Admissions to School Act 2018 and any regulations made  under that Act.  

15. Procedures for admission of students to other years and during the school  year  

The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already  admitted to the school to classes or years other than the school’s intake group are as  follows:  

• Parents request an application form / form is available on website / by contacting  the school.  

• Parents complete and submit application form.  

• Applicants for ASD Special Classes must submit the appropriate reports to ensure  eligibility for a place in one of the classes.  

• School makes decisions on applications received.  

• Parents notified within the timeframe – as per Annual Admission Notice.  School offers a place or School places applicant on waiting list for the year  concerned.  

• Applicant accepts the place & accepts the Code of Behaviour (Section 11) or  Applicant refuses place.  

If refused, the applicant will be notified of their entitlement to appeal the decision under  Section 29 of the Education Act 1998.  

The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already  admitted to the school, after the commencement of the school year in which admission is  sought, are as follows:  

The child on enrolment will be placed in a suitable age appropriate class under the  discretion of the Principal and relevant class teachers & procedures apply as above 

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16. Declaration in relation to the non-charging of fees  

The Board of Management of Convent of Mercy NS or any persons acting on its behalf will  not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-  

(a) an application for admission of a student to the school, or  

(b) the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.  

17. Arrangements regarding students not attending religious instruction    

The following are the school’s arrangements for students, where the parents /guardians  have requested that the student attend the school without attending religious instruction in  the school. These arrangements will not result in a reduction in the school day of such  students:  

A written request should be made to the Principal of the school. A meeting will then be  arranged with the Parent(s) or the student, as the case may be, to discuss how the  request may be accommodated by the school. An agreement is drawn up and signed by  the parent.  

18. Reviews/appeals  

Review of decisions by the board of Management  

The parent of the student, may request the board to review a decision to refuse admission.  Such requests must be made in accordance with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998.  

The timeline within which such a review must be requested and the other requirements  applicable to such reviews are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under  section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the  Department of Education and Skills.  

The board will conduct such reviews in accordance with the requirements of the procedures  determined under Section 29B and with section 29C of the Education Act 1998.  

Note: Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being  oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of  management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.  

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being  oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of  management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.  

Right of appeal  

Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parent of the student, may appeal a  decision of this school to refuse admission.  

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1)(c)(i) of the Education Act 1998 where the  refusal to admit was due to the school being oversubscribed. 

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An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1)(c)(ii) of the Education Act 1998 where the  refusal to admit was due a reason other than the school being oversubscribed.  

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the  applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to  making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by  the Board of Management)  

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being  oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of  management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see  Review of decisions by the Board of Management)  

Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will be considered and determined by  an independent appeals committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.  

The timeline within which such an appeal must be made and the other requirements  applicable to such appeals are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under  section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the  Department of Education and Skills.  

Chairperson__________________  

Date ______________________ 

 

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