Download Admissions Policy.

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 29th 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 St. Fiachra’s SNS 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

St. Fiachra’s SNS is a Catholic co-educational primary school with a Catholic ethos under the patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin. “Catholic ethos’ in the context of a Catholic school means the ethos and characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church , which aims to promote:
(a) The full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil, including the intellectual, physical, cultural, emotional, moral and spiritual aspects; and
(b) A living relationship with God and 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.

In accordance with the Section 15 (2) (b) of the Education Act 1998, the Board of Management of St. Fiachra’s SNS 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.

Mission Statement of St. Fiachra’s Senior School
St. Fiachra’s Senior School is a Catholic National School for boys and girls under the patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin, and is situated at Montrose Park, Beaumont, Dublin 5. The school aims to promote the full and harmonious development and wellbeing of all pupils: cognitive, intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual, including a living relationship with God and other people and promotes a Christian philosophy of life.
There are approximately 36 (2020) teachers including an administrative principal and administrative deputy principal, there are 8 special education teachers for children with special educational needs, and 26 mainstream class teachers. The staff also includes three Special Needs Assistants who assist with the care needs of our most vulnerable pupils.
The school caters for pupils from approximately age 9 years to 12 years in classes from Third to Sixth Class.
The school is dependent on grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Science and operates within the rules and regulations laid down by the Department of Education and Science. This enrolment policy will have regard to available funding and resources.
The school is subject to The Education Act (1998), The Education Welfare Act (2000), The Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act (2004) and the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and all relevant equality and employment legislation. St. Fiachra’s Senior School follows the curricular programmes laid down by the Department of Education and Science which may be amended from time to time in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act (1998).
Within the context and parameters of Department of Education and Science regulations and programmes, the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act (1998) and the funding and resources available, the enrolment policy of St. Fiachra’s Senior School supports the principles of:
• Inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational needs;
• Equality of access and participation in the school;
• Parental choice in relation to enrolment and
• Respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.

The Board of the school formally adopted and implemented the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-primary Schools 2017 which are based on ‘Children First: Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017. A copy of the Child Safeguarding statement is on display at reception in the school.
The policies under which the school operates and is managed are published on the school website at www.fiachras.ie

St. Fiachra’s SNS today continues an exemplary tradition established since its foundation in 1978.The family, as the primary educator, through its commitment to the values of the school, shares the responsibility for the students’ education.

We are committed to providing a learning environment which is free from discrimination, threats, bullying and/or harassment for all our staff and pupils. In a caring and respectful way, we affirm each person’s self-worth and dignity and provide a student-centred education that nurtures the strengths, talents and potential of all.
The school strives for excellence in sport and culture, social concern and spiritual values where students are encouraged and challenged to realise their full potential. We aim to provide an holistic and child centred education that equips children to take part in lifelong learning and supports their development as civic-minded members of society.

3. Admission Statement

St. Fiachra’s SNS 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.

St. Fiachra’s SNS 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 of the Roman Catholic faith and it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

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

St. Fiachra’s SNS is a mainstream school and has no special class or ASD unit.
A team of eight special education teachers work with the class teachers and the children’s parents to cater for the educational needs of the SEN students. Pupils with special educational needs are resourced in accordance with the level of resources provided by the DES and NCSE.

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)

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

c) St. Fiachra’s SNS is a Catholic School and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of the Catholic faith where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

Application for enrolment must be made via the school’s official Application for Enrolment form which is available from the school website or the secretary’s office. The application must include the pupil’s PPS number, a copy of the birth certificate, two acceptable forms of proof of address and any relevant medical/psychological/ speech and language reports.

In determining enrolment, the Board of Management shall take into account Department of Education and Science regulations regarding
• staffing provisions,
• maximum class size and maximum class average and any other relevant requirements concerning accommodation such as
o physical space,
o the educational needs and rights of children already enrolled,
o the presence of children with special educational/behavioural needs.

In this regard, the Board will be guided by the Department pupil / teacher ratio for average class size and will endeavour not to exceed that number. Currently the DES guidelines provide for a pupil/teacher ratio of 28:1. (In 2020 the school has been sanctioned for 26 mainstream classes, this implies that the maximum number of pupils we can cater for is 28 X 26 = 728. )
The school Board of Management is ever mindful of its duties of care to the pupils of St. Fiachra’s Senior School and all who work in the school with regard to space in the classrooms, compliance with the Health and Safety Act, Special Needs provision and school ethos. Every effort therefore, will be made to maintain the Pupil/Teacher ratio used by the DES as far as possible. The Board of Management shall at all times have regard for the Health, Safety and Welfare of pupils and teachers and others who work in the school.

6. Oversubscription

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:
a) Pupils from St. Fiachra’s Junior School.
b) Siblings and step-siblings of children already enrolled in the school and/or children resident in the parish of Beaumont, the eldest child will have priority in this ranking.
c) Children who live within the boundaries of the parish as outlined in Appendix A.
d) Children of staff members of the St. Fiachra’s Junior and Senior schools, the eldest child will have priority in this ranking.
e) Children who live outside the boundaries of the parish, the eldest child will have priority in this ranking.

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 two or more students being tied for a place, the oldest student will be given priority. If two applicants have the same date of birth, then a lottery will apply with an independent party present.

Whenever necessary, the school will maintain a waiting list in priority order for the duration of the school year. Places that arise in the course of the year will be offered to applicants on the waiting list in order.

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

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

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

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

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

(f) 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 St. Fiachra’s SNS 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 14 below in relation to applications received outside of the admissions period and section 15 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).

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

In accepting an offer of admission from St. Fiachra’s SNS, 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 are 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 St. Fiachra’s SNS 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).

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 St. Fiachra’s SNS 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 St. Fiachra’s SNS is 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:
1. Application will be made on the official application form for enrolment in St. Fiachra’s SNS.
2. Applicants must indicate their acceptance of compliance with the schools Code of Behaviour and the Anti-Bullying Policy specifically and general acceptance of other school policies.
3. The pupil has completed the relevant stages of education prior to the class applied for. (Appropriate consideration will be given to education outside the state.)
4. Due consideration will be given to the special educational needs of the child if any, staffing provisions that may be required, maximum class size, and Health and Safety requirements.
5. The applicant will be required to provide relevant academic and behaviour reports from the school from which the applicant proposes to transfer.
6. Submitting inaccurate information on an application form or in accompanying documentation will render the application void.
7. Written notification of the decision to enrol will be issued to the parents within 21 days of receipt of the application.
8. Acceptance of the offer must be made in writing within 7 calendar school days. Failure to do so may result in the place being forfeited or reallocated.

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:
1. Application will be made on the official application form for enrolment in St. Fiachra’s SNS.
2. Applicants must indicate their acceptance of compliance with the school’s Code of Behaviour and the Anti-Bullying Policy specifically and general acceptance of other school policies.
3. The pupil has completed the relevant stages of education prior to the class applied for. (Appropriate consideration will be given to education outside the state.)
4. Due consideration will be given to the special educational needs of the child if any, staffing provisions that may be required, maximum class size, and Health and Safety requirements.
5. The applicant will be required to provide relevant academic and behaviour reports from the school from which the applicant proposes to transfer.
6. Submitting inaccurate information on an application form or in accompanying documentation will render the application void.
7. Written notification of the decision to enrol will be issued to the parents within 21 days of receipt of the application.
8. Acceptance of the offer must be made in writing within 7 calendar school days. Failure to do so may result in the place being forfeited or reallocated.

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

The board of St. Fiachra’s SNS 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 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) to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school.

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, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, 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.
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.

 

Signed: ___________________________________________ Date: ________________
Chairman of the Board of Management

 

 

Appendix A: Parish of the Nativity, Beaumont, Dublin 5

Montrose Court Ardmore Park Whitethorn Ave.
Montrose Drive Ardmore Drive Whitethorn Grove
Montrose Close Ardmore Close Whitethorn Close
Montrose Crescent Ardmore Crescent Whitethorn Crescent
Montrose Park Ardmore Grove Whitethorn Park
Montrose Ave. Whitethorn Rise
Montrose Grove Beauvale Park Whitethorn Road

Elm Mount Park Elm Mount Drive Elm Mount Lawns
Elm Mount Heights Elm Mount Rise Elm Mount Crescent
Elm Mount View Elm Mount Grove Elm Mount Ave 2-84&1-83

Beaumont Rd. 78 – 166 & 89 – 183 Coolatree Rd.
Beaumont Crescent Coolatree Close

Beaumont Woods: Collinswood inc
The Park Chestnut Court
The Green
The Close Thornwood
Ivy Court

Dromeen Ave. Drom na Nane Rd. Drom na Nane Park
Dromawling Road Dromlee Crescent Drombawn Ave.