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Scoil Mhuire GanSmal, Enrolment Policy Read Here......
Child Protection Policy of Presentation Convent NS Castlecomer Reviewed April 2012 Read More .......
Scoil Mhuire GanSmal, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny Code of Behaviour Read More.....
Special Educational Needs Policy Read More....
Convent N.S. Attendance Policy Read More....
Enrolment & Admissions Policy Read More....
Homework Policy Read More....
RSE Policy Read More....
Internet safety Read More....
Medicines Policy Read More....
Health & Safety Read More....
Critical Incident Plan Read More....
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Reviewed February 2015

The School:

Presentation Convent N.S. Castlecomer is a Catholic Primary School in the Diocese of Ossory.  It is under the patronage of the Bishop of Ossory, and the Trusteeship of The Presentation Congregation.

School Mission Statement
As a Presentation Catholic School the Board of Management, staff and parents aim at promoting the full and harmonious development of all pupils cognitively, intellectually, physically, culturally, morally and spiritually, including a living relationship with God and other people. The school models and promotes a philosophy of life inspired by a belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

School Details
The school caters for the full range of classes from Junior Infants to Sixth class.  It is an inclusive school and caters for children of all abilities. It enrols boys and girls in the infant classes and in first class. From second class it is a girls’ only school. 
The school has a Board of Management and a Parents’ Council.  At present, it has six teachers, comprising of the teaching principal, four other classroom teachers and a full time learning support teacher. Two part-time teachers also provide support to pupils in the school. The school operates under The Rules for National Schools and Departmental Circulars.
It is financially dependent on grants from the D.E.S. and increasingly on fund raising activities, mainly raised by the Parents’ Council of the school.  The teacher resources are provided by the D.E.S.
School Policy and the implementation of our School Plan have regard to the resources (staffing and funding) available.
The school follows the curricular programmes laid down by the D.E.S. which may be amended from time to time in accordance with section 9 and 30 of the Education Act 1998

School Time Table
Starting time                    9.05a.m.
Lunch Time        12.30 – 1.00p.m.

Closure Time

Infant Classes   1.45p.m.

Classes 1st to 6th  2.45p.m.

Organisation of classes
In 2015/16 the children are organised into five classes.  Some are single standard classes and some are multigrade.  The classes that are multigrade vary each year according to numbers through the school. Class organisation is therefore reviewed on an annual basis and is subject to change. Sometimes classes have to be rearranged and split. When a particular class has to be split, children are placed by the principal in consultation with the class teachers. When rearranging a class grouping for a particular year all the relevant factors are taken into consideration including: 

  • assessment information and professional judgements of teaching staff regarding the learning needs of each child, in terms of learning ability, social skills and interaction with other members of the class and the school.
  • The dynamics of each class e.g. the educational, social, behavioural and emotional dynamics
  • Age and maturity
  • The need to ensure a fair distribution of numbers per class grouping
  • The need to ensure as even as possible a distribution of gender per class grouping (in junior classes)


While every effort is made to ensure that each child feels friendship towards other children in his/her class, it is not possible to deliberately place children with a particular friend or friends. We urge parents to remember that the process of forming new friendships is a life skill which is important to develop.
The teachers are mindful of the anxiety that children and, subsequently, parents sometimes attribute to a class split. Accordingly there are several measures in place in school practices which support continued interaction between the two sides of a class split:
A.        Break-times are spent together outside.
B.         The split class is, where possible and practical, reunited for teaching purposes for part of the week/year and thus experience tuition time together in one or more curricular subjects.
C.         Extra-curricular activities and excursions (e.g. Dance, Swimming, School Tours) are taken together during the year. Teachers of the split class will make every effort to provide equal opportunities for both sides of the split and to ensure children continue to feel a sense of belonging with their original class group.
Student distribution into classes each year is the responsibility of the Principal, as per Circular 16/73 “the principal in consultation with the staff, should decide on the organisation of the pupils for teaching purposes.” The decision, once communicated, is final.

This policy aims to ensure that the appropriate procedures are in place to enable the school

  • To make decisions on all applications in an open and transparent manner consistent with the ethos, the mission Statement of the school and legislative requirements
  • To make an accurate and appropriate assessment of the capacity of the school 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 school

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 admissions policy which provides for maximum accessibility to the school”.

Section 15 (2) (d) states the Board of Management shall “publish …. The policy of the school concerning admission to and participation in the school and ensure 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 possible (but no 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, assess to programmes, participation in the school or regarding expulsion or any other sanction.  There are limited exceptions regarding single-sex schools and schools promoting particular religious values [Section 7 (3)].

Context, Resources, School Organisation & Curriculum
The school supports the principle of equality for all students regarding access to and participation in the school.  The school respects the diversity of traditions, values, beliefs, languages and ways of life in society.  The school acknowledges the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parent’s choice, subject to the resources available to the school including classroom accommodation, class size, teaching resources and financial resources and subject to the capacity of the school to provide for the needs of any applicant or student.  It will make every effort to secure those resources – where the resources cannot be secured the school may refuse admission.  The school is staffed in accordance with the standard pupil – 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.  The school operates within the regulations laid down by the Department from time to time.
The capacity of the school 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 programme for any school year the school must have due regard to the teaching, management and administrative resources and the accommodation, equipment and funding available to it.

Procedures: Application, Enrolment Criteria, Decision

The admissions policy has been formulated in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998 in order to assist parents in relation to enrolment matters. The chairperson of the Board of Management or the principal will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from the policy.

Following receipt of a satisfactorily completed application form with relevant documentation attached, the acceptance of a child is always subject to Board of Management approval. To ensure a fully informed decision can be made the provision of any relevant, most recent legal documentation concerning the guardianship of the child should be provided as a basic requirement.
 In the event of there being more than one legal guardian it is desirable that there is formal agreement, in writing, concerning the application for enrolment.

 The registration process is initiated on receipt by the school of a completed enrolment application form. This form must be signed and dated by one or both parents or guardians (see above). The form will be date stamped on receipt by the school, and is attached as appendix 1 to this policy. Early applicants fill an Intention to Enrol form giving name and date of birth of the child/ children to be enrolled and contact details to be used to send an enrolment application form at the appropriate time (attached as appendix 2). Telephone calls or personal school visits concerning enrolment will be facilitated, but are not in themselves enrolment applications.

Date of application, child's date of birth, address and telephone contact numbers are recorded in the School record of applications, and the attached receipt acknowledgement is sent to parents. (Appendix 3). The acknowledgement of an application merely confirms that it will be assessed under the criteria outlined, and does not confer any further status on that application.
Entry in the school record of applications means that an application will be considered in March of the relevant enrolment year, and will be evaluated on the basis of the criteria outlined in this policy.
Following this evaluation, the Principal will make a recommendation to the Board, listing proposed enrolments for the forthcoming year.
Once an enrolment list is approved by the Board, all applicants will be notified in writing of the availability of a place.   If refused admission, applicants will be notified of their entitlement to appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

Please note:
Notification of intention to enrol a child in the Junior Infant Class should be made as soon as possible in the year in which it is expected that the child will start school.

Information Sought from Parents on the Enrolment Form

 Parents/Guardians of applicant children accepting a place are required to complete a Registration Form before commencing school. As a condition of enrolment the following information is required:

  • Pupil’s name, age and address. Child’s name in Irish (otherwise school will translate)
  • Names and addresses of pupil’s parents/guardians and details related to guardianship of the child
  • Contact telephone numbers, email addresses etc.
  • Pupil’s PPSN
  • Date of Birth (Original Birth Certificate required as a condition of registration )
  • Religion and Ethnicity
  • Parish
  • Date and place of Baptism (If applicable)
  • Father’s Occupation & Work Telephone No
  • Mother’s Occupation & Work Telephone No.
  • Family Doctor & Telephone No.
  • Details of any medical conditions which the school should be aware of.
  • Permissions: e.g. for photographs to be used on website, to take child to Accident and Emergency Unit, if parent cannot be contacted, to pass information to the DES, HSE, parish; to go on tours, field trips, to attend learning support, to circulate contact information of parents for the purpose of making contact with each other to organise birthday parties etc.
  • Previous schools attended if any and reasons for transfer, and any other relevant information (including any such other information as may be prescribed under the Education Welfare Act 2000)

Applications containing inaccurate information will be rendered null and void. In signing the application form, parents agree to the terms of the school Code of Behaviour and all other policies including this Enrolment and Admisssions policy and undertake to cooperate with and support the school in implementing the Code of Behaviour  and other school policies both in their general application and in their application to their own child.

Induction of New Junior Infants

New junior infants spend an informal period in school on a selected day near the end of the year to familiarise themselves with the new environment.  Parents who have submitted a completed enrolment form will be notified of this date. Information material regarding uniform, start times, normal school routines etc. is also sent to new parents along with booklists and the school calendar before the school closes for the summer holidays. An information evening for parents of new entrants to the school is also held and all parents are encouraged to attend.

At the start of the school year new junior infants go home at 12.30 p.m. for a period of two weeks.  This helps young children to adapt to the routine of the school day without becoming too tired.  Parents are asked to collect children promptly at the appointed time, as children left waiting can become anxious and frightened. Following this initial period the Junior Infants’ day ends at 1.45p.m.

Enrolment Criteria for Incoming Junior Infants   

Equality of access is the key value that determines the enrolment of children to our school. The Board will have regard for the relevant conditions prescribed by the DES concerning class size, staffing provisions, accommodation, physical space, health and welfare of children and eligibility for admission.

The school will not refuse a child on the basis of ethnicity, special education needs, disability, traveller status, refugee status, political or religious beliefs, family or social circumstances, provided the necessary supports are in place in the school.
While recognising the right of parents/guardians to enrol a child in the school of their choice, the Board of Management 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 and acting in the best interest of all children. Consequently, the Board of Management reserves the right to refuse an application for admission, in exceptional circumstances, as stated in the Education Act of 1998 (Section 29). The board also reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each class, bearing in mind:

  • Health & Safety concerns regarding staff and children
  • Available classroom space
  • Multi-grade classes
  • Educational needs of the children
  • Presence of children with special needs
  • Department of Education & Science class size directives
  • Appropriate Supports and Resources are available
  • Time of school year


  • Junior Infants are enrolled in September provided the child has reached his/her fourth birthday.
  • Normally Junior Infants will not be enrolled during the year, unless transferring from another school. This is for educational reasons as the curriculum is progressive and it is necessary for the child to complete a full year.
  • Decisions in relation to application for enrolment are always made by the Board of Management. The completion of an application form or the placement of a child’s name on a list, however early, does not confer an automatic right to a place in the school. Should a child be refused admission to our school, parents have leave to appeal the decision to the Board of Management. The Board of Management is bound by the Department of Education and Science, Rules for National Schools which provides that pupils may only be enrolled from the age of 4 years and upwards, though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of 6 years.

In the event of the number of children seeking enrolment exceeding the number of places available, the following criteria will be used to prioritise children for enrolment:

  • Brothers and sisters of children already enrolled (including stepsiblings, resident at same address)
  • Children living within the parish.
  • Children from outside the parish.

In the event that priority is required to be given to children within any one of the above categories, older children will be given priority. In the event of being unable to enrol a child(ren) in a given class at the beginning of a year, or mid-year, such children will receive priority for the subsequent school year over other children on the class waiting list
The school will maintain a list of refused applicants for each class, their place on that list having been determined under the criteria outlined. The school will maintain a list of refused applicants for each class, their place on that list having been determined under the criteria outlined.

Transfer from other schools

Pupils may transfer to the school during the school year provided:

  • The transfer is in accordance with our enrolment policy and the above referenced criteria.
  • The school is satisfied with the reasons for the transfer.
  • The transfer is in the best interest of the pupil transferring.
  • All relevant information, including reports from the pupil’s former school, is made available.
  • Space is available in the school to facilitate the transfer.

The Educational Welfare Officer is consulted, if necessary. Acceptance of an application is always subject to Board of Management approval.
In accordance with Education Welfare Act 2000 the principal will request information concerning attendance and the child’s educational progress, including behaviour, from the previous school.

Discipline and School Regulations

  • Children enrolled in our school are required to cooperate with and support the School/Board of Management’s Code of Behaviour as well as all other policies on curriculum, organisation and management.
  • The Board of Management considers parents/guardians responsible for ensuring that their child(ren) cooperate (s) with these school policies in an age-appropriate way.
  • In accordance with school policy, the Department of Education’s rules for National Schools and current relevant legislation, a child may be subject to a variety of appropriate sanctions including suspension, for failure to cooperate with school behaviour policy.
  • School policies may be added to and revised from time-to-time and current policy documents are available for inspection in the school office/on the school website.

Appeals Procedure

In line with section 28 of the Education Act 1998, Parents or guardians have the right to appeal a refusal by the Board to admit their child.  The Board's decision will be given in writing and the reason for the refusal will be clearly stated.  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 results of this appeal may appeal to the Dept. of Education And Skills under section 29 of the Education Act on the official form provided by the Department.  The school will issue an Appeal form to the parents/guardians. (Circular 22/02) This appeal must be lodged The General Secretary, Appeals Administration Unit, Department of Education and Science, Marlborough Street, Dublin 1 within 42 days of receipt of the refusal from the school to enrol.

Monitoring Procedures

The implementation of this policy will be monitored by the Board of Management at the appropriate time.  It will also be referred by the Principal for consideration by the full staff at the same time.  The Principal will report to the Board of Management regarding the process of enrolment in December each year and regularly thereafter until enrolment is complete.  Where the Principal refuses admission to any applicant, by the authority delegated to her by the Board in line with this policy, any such refusal shall be communicated to the Board at the earliest opportunity.

Review Procedure

The policy will be reviewed regularly in the light of experience or a change in legislation.  It will also be reviewed by the full staff and board of Management every five years.  Any staff member, board member, parent, guardian or student who is unhappy 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.  Next review of this policy will occur before or during the school year 2019.

Reviewed by the Board of Management

Signed Pat Parle: Chairman

Date: 22/2/2016

Appendices to this document:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Intention to enrol form
  • Letter of offer of a place from BOM
  • Acknowledgement of receipt of Intention to enrol form
  • Application for admission form
Presentation Convent N.S. Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny.
Phone:056 444 1426 E-mail:
Website by Graham Kenny