Enrolment Policy

Enrolment Policy

Our Mission Statement

Convent of Mercy N.S. actively seeks, through word and action, to create a happy climate of physical, emotional, social and intellectual security for students, staff and parents/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.




School Details:

Convent of Mercy National School

Church Street                                                                     Chairperson:          AnneMaria Bourke

Kanturk                                                                             Principal:                Derval Vaughan

Co. Cork                                                                            Email:                    office@gnskanturk.com

Roll No.  17087J                                                               Website:                 www.kanturkgns.com

Tel.:                                                                            029 50021


General Information

  • Convent of Mercy National School is a Catholic school, under the patronage of the Bishop of Cloyne and managed by the school’s Board of Management. The school caters for boys at Junior and Senior Infants level and girls from Junior Infants to Sixth Class and currently have 11 full time teachers, including a SET (Special Education Teacher) and an administrative Principal. The school has 2 part - time Special Education Teachers. The school also has a part-time secretary, part-time cleaner, and part- caretaker. The school currently has two ASD classrooms.
  • The school day is as follows: 9.10 a.m. – 2.50 p.m. for classes from first class standard to sixth class standard and 9.10 a.m. – 1.50 p.m. for Infant standards. Children on the school premises, before or after these times, are the responsibility of parents.
  • In compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation Act 2018, Convent of Mercy National School will follow the principles of data processing, both in manual and electronic form.
  • The school’s Personal Data Protection policy and relevant policies, forms and associated documents will be shared with parents.
  • Personal data will be retained as per school’s Retention Policy.
  • In accordance with the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 all visitors, volunteers and those on work experience  who attend or visit the school, will receive and agree to abide by the policy and procedures set out in our school’s Child Safeguarding Statement.

Purpose of this policy:

  • The policy covers all matters pertaining to admission of pupils to Convent of Mercy National School.
  • To assist parents / guardians in making an informed decision in relation to pupil enrolment. To comply with the Admissions to School Act, 2018
  • To comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018
  • To comply with Equal Status Act 2000, Education Welfare Act 2000 and the Special Educational Needs Act 2004.


  • This policy applies to the admission of all pupils to Convent of Mercy National School


This policy has been set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998. It has been formulated in a consultation process with parents, staff, Board of Management and Patron, the Bishop of Cloyne.

Role of Board of Management

  • To formulate a policy in consultation with the teaching staff, parents and Board of Management
  • To publish the enrolment policy.
  • To review the policy annually
  • To decide on appeals by parents or students with respect to any decision(s) made by the Principal.

Role of the Principal

  • The principal will be responsible for the implementation of the admission process, including making decisions on individual applications.
  • To apply for and acquire such resources as are available in accordance with government policies
  • Where a child is refused admission, to advise the parents of their right of appeal to the Board of Management, or Department of Education & Skills thereafter, and advising of time limits (see Appeals Procedure below).
  • The principal will need, on the appeal of an unsuccessful applicant, to justify the refusal to enrol to the Board of Management, possibly to the NCSE or TUSLA, and thereafter to a Section 29 Appeals Committee

Role of Parents

  • To support the policy and to cooperate fully with the school in its implementation
  • To bring to the attention of the school authorities any concern they may have in relation to the school’s provision for the educational needs of their child when enrolling
  • To appraise this policy with regard to its suitability and the effectiveness of its implementation and to make recommendations for improvement where appropriate, to be considered when policy review is scheduled.

Admission to School Oversight Provision

Provision is provided in the Admissions to School Act 2018 for the:

Role of School Patron: Bishop of Cloyne

The Patron:

  • May review and advise modifications to an Admissions Policy
  • May give direction to the Board on a refusal to admit application, or
  • May appoint an independent person:

when a Board has failed to publish an admission statement, or

when a Board fails to comply with legislative requirements in relation to admission.


  • Reference Documents  
    • Section 11 of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018
    • Amendment of the Equal Status Act 2000
  • Policy
    • Enrolment Procedures

The school will initiate the enrolment process in early January for the forthcoming year.

  1. The school will publish a notice in the parish newsletter, as well as notifying the local playschools indicating the open night for Junior Infants.
  2. The notice will include a notification date, notice of the admission policy, application form and a closing date (to include a minimum 3-week period).

Parents or guardians, who wish to enrol their child, must complete and return to the school a Pre Enrolment form.

  1. This form may be obtained from the local playschool, contacting the school office at 029 50021 or by emailing: office@gnsKanturk.com.

An enrolment pack will be distributed to parents or guardians of a prospective pupil on the enrolment night.

  1. Parents and guardians are requested to return the completed Enrolment Application Form to the Principal with a copy or original Birth or Adoption Certificate or Passport by the specified closing date, which will be returned to the parent. The form will be date stamped upon receipt by the school.
  2. It is essential that the principal is informed of children with special needs as soon as possible (closing date: early January). This is to accommodate the Department of Education & Skills’ deadline re: applications for resources for specific pupils at the end of January, if appropriate. 
  3. Enrolment for the following year will close at the end of February, 2019. Any applications for enrolments after this date are subject to our enrolment criteria. (See Policy Considerations)
  4. Parents and guardians are asked to enclose a copy of the Baptismal Cert (if baptised outside the Parish), only if applicable.
  5. Information, provided by parents on the enrolment form:
    1. This will be retained as per the school's Personal Data Retention policy, ie. until the pupil is aged 25 years.
    2. This information is shared with the Department of Education & Skills on the POD portal.
    3. It is used for school administration and shared only with relevant third parties, who provide services for your child or as required under relevant legal obligations (see Data Protection policy)
  6. Under the Education Act 1998, a child may not be allowed to attend or be enrolled in a primary school before the fourth anniversary of his birth.  In Convent of Mercy National School Kanturk all children must have reached their 4th birthday by the 1st September of the year of enrolment and cannot be enrolled if not.
  • Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Principal of the school in accordance with the Admissions to School Act 2018 and will be issued to parents within 21 days of receipt of application for enrolment. Note: an offer of placement may be withdrawn if any information provided is fraudulent.

An orientation evening will be arranged in June when the children get an opportunity to view the classroom and school and Parents are invited to an information talk.

Infants are enrolled on the school register on the opening day of the school year.

Older pupils are enrolled at any time during the school year (eg. if newly resident in the area). Pupils may transfer to the school from other schools and may be enrolled subject to the Rules governing National Schools, as well as our own school's enrolment policy, available space and in some cases, the approval of the Department of Education and Skills, and local agreements with other schools. It is a requirement of the Board of Management that information concerning attendance and the child's educational progress be communicated upon transfer to the school and resulting enrolment (as per Education Welfare Act (2000)).

In order to facilitate class size and the special requirements of some children, it is important that the school is aware of the needs of all entrants by early January.


Policy Considerations

While recognising the right of parents to enrol their child in the school of their choice, the Board of Management of Convent of Mercy N.S. Kanturk must also respect the rights of the existing school community and, in particular, the children already enrolled. This requires balanced judgements, which are guided by the principles of natural justice. Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each separate classroom bearing in mind:

  • Size of available space in classrooms,
  • Educational needs of children of a particular age
  • Multi-grade classes
  • Presence of children with special educational / behavioural needs e.g. DES maximum class average directives.
  • Time of school year
  • Classes may be split, merged or be doubled during their school career, according to school needs.

Equality of access is the key value that determines the enrolment of children to our school.

  1. No child is refused admission for reasons of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, language/accent, traveller status, asylum-seeker/refugee status, religious/political beliefs & values, sexual orientation, family or social circumstances.
  2. Convent of Mercy National School Kanturk is very fortunate to have a premises which presently has sufficient capacity to be able to accept all pupils seeking enrolment and need not operate a policy where applications are in excess of the number of places available. Parents seeking enrolment for their child are facilitated, subject to enrolment criteria as outlined in this policy.

Our school can refuse enrolment in the following circumstances:

  • School is oversubscribed;
  • In the event that applications for enrolment exceed or are expected to exceed the number of places available, the following decision making process will apply.  The B.O.M. will exercise its discretion in the application of the following criteria.
  • (1) Siblings of Children already enrolled in the Convent of Mercy N. S. Kanturk.
  • (2) Children who live within the Parish/Town boundaries.
  • (3) Children of present Staff Members.


  • Parents refuse to sign acceptance of the Code of Behaviour;
  • Gardaí or HSE write to the school and give an opinion that the admission of a student would have a seriously detrimental effect on the safety of other students or staff of the school.
    • Children of other faiths or of no faith:

           Bearing in mind the Catholic ethos of the school, every effort will be made so that the school is as inclusive as possible. While Catholic education and a Christian ethos of the school permeates the day, children of other faiths or of none, will be excused from attendance at formal religious instruction classes and specifically Catholic liturgies (where a request is made in writing). As far as is possible, in consultation with parents, suitable alternative arrangements will be made in order to facilitate this. It will not be possible, however, to provide religious instruction in other faiths.

  • Enrolment of Children with Special Needs:   
    Children with special educational needs are welcome to enrol in our school and every effort will be made to provide them with an appropriate education as well as to include them in every aspect of school life. The child enrolling in our school will be resourced in accordance with the level of resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills to the Board of Management. when completing the enrolment form, it is of paramount importance that the principal is notified as soon as possible of a child with any special educational needs to facilitate an application to the DES for resources particular to the child.


In relation to applications for the enrolment of children with special needs, the Board of Management will request a copy of the child's medical and/or educational psychological report, or other. Where such a report is not available, the Principal will request that the child be assessed immediately. The purpose of the assessment report is to assist the school in establishing the educational and training needs of the child relevant to his disability or special needs and to profile the support services required.


Following receipt of the report, the Board will assess how the school can meet the needs specified in the report. Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it will request that the Department of Education and Skills provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child, as outlined in the report.


  • The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) or Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)

The NCSE or TUSLA can designate a school where parents have failed to find a school place after reasonable efforts  in relation to a pupil with special educational needs or otherwise.

  • Appeals Procedure

In line with Section 28 of the Education Act 1998, parents who are dissatisfied with an enrolment decision:

May appeal to the Board of Management. This appeal 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 from the Board of an appeal, may appeal to the Department of Education and Skills under Section 29 of the Education Act on the official form provided by the Department. An appeal form will be issued by the school to the parents/guardians. This appeal must be lodged within 42 days of receipt of the refusal from the school to enrol. In the case where the Board refuses to allow the parents' appeal, the assistance of the NCSE and the NEWB is available.

The Patron/Minister of Education can appoint an independent person to operate the admissions policy of a school if the Board is not operating the admission policy in accordance with the Act.

  • Compliance and obligation

A copy of the Code of Behaviour as well as other relevant policies, policy overviews and statements will be issued to parents/guardians. 

Parents/Guardians are responsible for ensuring that their child cooperate with these policies in an age appropriate way.

Completing the enrolment and signing the appropriate Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying forms is considered to be an acceptance and agreement of compliance with the rules, practices and policies of the school.


Enrolment for Convent of Mercy Kanturk A.S.D. Classes

The Board of Management agree with the Department of Education and Science to provide a diagnosis   class for children with Autism, who come within the average to mild range of intellectual ability.


This document sets out the Admissions Policy for Convent of Mercy N.S.  This policy has been drawn up in consultation with the Board of Management and Staff of Convent of Mercy N.S and has been approved and adopted by the Board of Management.


The policy applies to all staff/parents/pupils within the school.


The principal, teachers, BOM and the admissions board will ensure that the terms and conditions of the policy are adhered to in order to make sure that a fair and just process exists to safeguard the good of the school community.



NEPS – National Education Psychological Services.

BOM – Board of Management

DES – Department of Education and Skills

OT – Occupational Therapist.

SLT- Speech and Language Therapist

CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

IEP – Individual Education Plan.

DCD – Developmental Coordination Disorder

SENO – special Education Needs Organiser Categories of Special Needs.


Reference Documents

  • Child Protection Policy/Safeguarding Children Statement.
  • Code of Conduct Policy
  • Intimate Care Policy
  • DES Circular 32/02



Convent of Mercy N.S. and ASD Special Classes (The Rainbow Room and The Butterfly Room ) provide a co-education, interdisciplinary and multicultural mainstream primary school with a facility for children who are diagnosed with ASD. Class groupings are organised to promote integration and interaction between peers in order to promote positive social development and peer to peer relationships.  In some instances, specific class groups may be deemed in the best interests of the pupils however these groupings may be subject to change from year to year.  The school depends on grants provided by the Department of Education and Skills and the school operates within the regulations laid down, from time to time by the Department. Within the context and parameters of the Department regulations and programmes, the rights of the patron as set out in the Education Act (1998) and the funding and resources available, the school supports the principles of:

  • Equality of access and participation
  • Parental choice in relation to enrolment
  • Respect for diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, language and ways of life.


Multi - Disciplinary Team    

The multi-disciplinary team from various external agencies currently provide the services for Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy.  These agencies are determined by the initial assessment and diagnosis.



In ASD classes the Revised Primary School Curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of the pupils.  Oral and written language, reading skills and maths are framed in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) Comprehensive interdisciplinary assessment.


 Admission Procedure

1. A school report will be requested from the child’s previous school with parental permission.

2. Professional recommendations (Psychologist, MDT, SLT, OT) must be presented in support of the application in relation to the Pupil’s education needs, and how the education context may be best placed to meet them.

3. Details of the applicant’s conditions matching the above Criteria for Admission documented by the relevant professional(s) within the previous 3 years to application must be provided with the application.


Enrolment Criteria

While recognising the desire of parent(s) guardians to enrol their child in a school of their choice, the BOM also recognise that in deciding on which applicants to enrol in the school, regard must be given to the number of places approved and funded by the Department, availability of resources and the current pupil cohort.  Decisions as to enrolment therefore require balanced judgements and acting in the best interest of pupils and prospective pupils.

Assisting the Admissions Board and the school in such circumstances the BOM reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each class having regard to:

  1. The size and space available in the school’s classrooms.
  2. The educational needs of the children at ages/stages.
  3. The presence in the school of children with behavioural needs.
  4. The DES guidelines as to maximum class size.
  5. Recommendations of external agencies/professionals such as NEPS, CAMHS, SLT and OT services.
  6. The BOM decide that the school is unable to adequately meet the needs of the child.

 An Admission Board will convene within 10 days to review all applications.  Admissions Board will consist of: Principal/Vice-Principal, SEN coordinator, ASD teacher member of BOM. The advice of the Admission Board will be communicated in writing to the Board of Management by the Principal within 10 working days.


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 and cognitive profile to fill the place and following this date of receipt of application.


In recognition of the specific educational context suited to pupils with ASD application for pupils with ADS must fulfil the following criteria: Mild General Learning Difficulty/No diagnosis of a General Learning Difficulty.  A diagnosis of ASD according to DSM-IV, DSM V or ICD-10 from a Psychologist/Psychiatrist and /or MDT.


All reports have to be forwarded to SENO to be approve that Kanturk GNS is a correct placement.

Admission on the Early Intervention class does not necessarily meant that a place will be offered in the Junior Class.

The following criteria applies 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 class.

For enrolment to a Junior/Senior ASD class the Board of Management will exercise its discretion in the application of the following criteria.

  1. Pupils currently in the mainstream in the Convent of Mercy N.S. who require a place in the ASD class.
  2. Siblings of children already enrolled in the Convent of Mercy N.S. Kanturk.
  3. Children who live within the parish/town boundaries.
  4. Children presently in the Early Intervention Class in the Convent of Mercy Primary School who are from outside the Parish/town boundaries.

Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be informed following the decision by the BOM .  The Board of Management will inform Parents/guardians of unsuccessful applicants in writing of the reason/s why their application was unsuccessful.


Right of Appeal

Parents have a right to appeal the decision in writing to:

  1. The school’s Board of Management within two calendar weeks.
  2. The BOM then considers the appeal and advises the parent in writing of its decision.
  3. If the parent is dissatisfied with the outcome, the parent may then make an appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Refusal to enrol

The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse enrolment or, to rescind an offer of enrolment to any child, in exceptional cases. Such an exceptional case could arise where either:


Policy Ratified by Board of Management


Signed By Chairperson ________________________________

                                          Ann Maria Bourke


Dated ________________________
































Convent of Mercy  National School, Kanturk Co. Cork


Convent of Mercy National School Kanturk    Enrolment Policy


Child’s Name:             ___________________________


Mother’s Name:         ___________________________


Father’s Name:           ___________________________










Mobile No:                  ___________________________

Other relevant Number: _______________________      



Class for which child is being pre- enrolled:


Thank you