ENROLMENT POLICY & PROCEDURE OF ST. MATTHEW’S NATIONAL SCHOOL
CRANFIELD PLACE, DUBLIN 4
The Board of Management of St. Matthew’s National School hereby sets out the Enrolment Policy of the school. The Board of Management trusts that by doing so, parents/guardians will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters. This policy is in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998, The Rules for National Schools, The Education Welfare Act 2000, the Equal Status Act 200 and other relevant orders and regulations.
Implementation of this policy
The implementation of this policy and procedures is delegated to the Chairperson and the Principal and will be overseen by the Board of Management of St. Matthew’s National School.
St. Matthew’s National School is the co-educational parish school of the Church of Ireland Parish of St. Matthew’s, Irishtown, Dublin 4. It has a distinct Church of Ireland ethos, and aims to serve its community by providing education to the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice, in co-operation of all the partners in education. The work of the school is conducted in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect for religious, social, physical and cultural differences.
One of the primary functions of the Board of Management is to foster and uphold the characteristic spirit or ethos of the school as a Church of Ireland primary school. Determining the admission of children to the school is an essential aspect of the discharging of this function of the Board of Management.
St. Matthew’s National School serves the educational needs of children living in the Local Catchment Area, which is homes located within the following parishes:
- Matthew’s, Irishtown
- Mary’s COI, Donnybrook
- John the Evangelist Church, Sandymount
- Christchurch Methodist/Presbyterian, Sandymount
- Stephen’s & St. Anne’s Parish
A map within the school will clarify the catchment areas if required.
The Patron of the school is the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin.
The school is primarily funded by the Department of Education and Skills and it operates within the regulations laid down by that department. The school also depends on the voluntary contribution from the parent body and financial support from the Parents’ Association.
The school follows the curricular programme prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills. This curriculum may be amended from time to time in accordance with sections 9 & 30 of the Education Act.
The school is co-educational, catering for pupils from Junior Infants to Sixth Class. It has eight class teachers, three full-time Special Education Teachers and an Administrative Principal. The Principal is Mrs. Naomi Rousseau. The Chairperson of the Board of Management is Rev. John Marchant.
The school opens at 8.30am and closes at 1.10pm for Junior and Senior Infants and 2.10pm for all other classes. At the end of the school day, children must be collected promptly.
Within the context and parameters of Department regulations and programmes, the rights of the Patron as set out in the Education Act, and the funding and resources available, the school supports the principles of:
- Inclusiveness, particularly with reference to children with disabilities or special education needs
- Equality of access and participation in the school
- Parental choice in relation to enrolment
- Respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society
- Parents/guardians wishing their child’s name to be placed on a list for prospective entry to the school must complete an Intention to Apply Form. This form can be obtained from the school office or found on the school’s website, stmatts.ie
- Pupils must have attained the age of four years by 31st May on the year of admission. The Board of Management may, at their discretion, enrol a child whose birthday falls between 1st June and 31st July should a place be available. This date may be subject to change by the Board of Management from time to time.
- A separate Intention to Apply Form must be completed for each child (e.g. in the case of twins or siblings etc).
- The Board of Management will only consider forms completed in full.
- The Board of Management reserves the right to seek clarification of any information provided on the Application Form. In the case of a child with special educational needs, the Board of Management will require copies of medical, psychological, educational or other reports and assessments be made available to the Principal, in order to assess the school’s ability to provide appropriately for the child’s education.
- The onus is on parents to notify the school of subsequent change to any of the details on the Intention to Apply Form.
- The closing date for applications for Junior Infants is 31st October in the year prior to entry.
- During November of the year prior to entry, St. Matthew’s National School will contact the parents/guardians of all children from whom they have received an Intention to Apply Form. Parents will then be asked to submit an Application for Enrolment Form. Parents will have a specified amount of time (e.g. two weeks) in which to return the completed forms. Application for Enrolment Forms must include:
- A copy of the child’s Birth Certificate
- In the case of those claiming priority on religious grounds, proof of religious denomination e.g. Baptismal Certificate, letter from church minister.
- Signed Ethos Statement & Code of Behaviour
- Proof of address (such as a utility bill dated within the last 3 months)
- If applicable, medical/psychological reports etc
- Once the closing date for Application Forms has passed, the Chairperson and the Principal will meet and will allocate places to Junior Infants in accordance with the number of places available and the priority of admission listed below.
- Those who are offered a place at the school will be asked to complete a Registration Form.
- The school will then notify parents/guardians whether there is/is not a place available for their child in the school.
- If a child has not received a place, parents/guardians can apply for the child to be kept on a waiting list should a place become available. The onus is on the parent/guardian to respond to the school should they wish their son/daughter be placed on the waiting list.
Please note that the completion of an Intention to Apply and Application Forms are not a guarantee or an offer of a place in the school.
Priority of Admission
Preference within each of the categories below will be given to older children in the event of demand exceeding the places available. Children are admitted to the school in accordance with the following priority ranking:
- Church of Ireland children living in the Parish boundaries outlined above, children whose parents are accustomed members of the parish and children of St. Matthew’s National School staff members. Accustomed members are those who worship in one of the Church of Ireland churches in the Catchment Area but reside in another Parish. In the event of oversubscription of children within this category 1, preference will be given to siblings of existing pupils in the school.
- Children of other Protestant/Reformed denominations resident in the Catchment Area outlined above. In the event of oversubscription of children within this category 2, preference will be given to siblings of existing pupils in the school.
- Children who do not fit into categories (1) and (2), who are from inter-church families resident in the Catchment Area and one of whose parents is of a Protestant/Reformed denomination. In the event of oversubscription of children within this category 3, preference will be given to siblings of existing pupils in the school.
- Children of members of other Christian denominations, living within the Catchment Area for whom specific provision is not made within the educational system (e.g. Orthodox). In the event of oversubscription of children within this category 4, preference will be given to siblings of existing pupils in the school.
- Brothers/sisters of existing pupils, resident within the Catchment Area, for whom provision is not given in categories 1 – 4. Siblings of pupils already at the school will not automatically be entitled to a place. The Application Form must clearly state that the applicant has a sibling in the school.
- Category 6 is for children living in the Catchment Area who are not in categories 1-5. The Board of Management reserves the right to operate a waiting list for category 6 of applications in order of date of application, in the event that places may become available outside our priority categories 1-5. This waiting list will operate bearing in mind the requirements of the Education Act and other legal requirements.
Right of Appeal
If a child is not offered a place in St. Matthew’s National School. in accordance with the procedures in this Enrolment Policy the parents/guardians of the child have the right to request the decision be reviewed at local level by the Board of Management. The Board of Management reserves the right to request additional and/or supporting documentation at this stage. The Principal and the Chairperson will advise the Board of Management as to the reasons for the initial decision. The Board of Management will then review the matter, taking into account any additional information furnished by the applicant.
If the Board of Management decides to uphold the decision not to offer a place, the parent/guardian(s) should be advised of the Board of Management’s reasons why and will also be informed of their right of appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills.
Pupils Transferring from another school into Senior Infants – Sixth Class
The Board of Management of St. Matthew’s National School. specifies that pupils may transfer to the school at any time, subject to school policy, the approval of the Principal and Chairperson, available space within the class and school, and in some cases the approval of the Department of Education and Skills. In accordance with the Education Welfare Act (2000), the Board of Management requests that information concerning attendance and the child’s educational progress should be communicated between schools. In order to do so, St. Matthew’s National School will make contact with the child’s current/previous school.
Parents/guardians must supply the school with their child’s most recent written report from the child’s school. Parents/guardians must also furnish information in regard to the child’s educational needs or special educational needs, if any. Failure to do this, knowingly, will invalidate the application and any offer of a place in the school. The reasons for transfer to St. Matthew’s National School must be in writing.
Code of Behaviour & Ethos Statement
A copy of the Ethos Statement and the Code of Behaviour accompanies the Application for Enrolment Forms. Parents/guardians are requested to sign acceptance to the Ethos Statement and the Code of Behaviour and the Board of Management expects that all children follow this code and abide by its rules.
This policy was updated and approved by the Board of Management in April 2016.