Scoil Mhuire Admission and Participation Policy Document 

 1.  Introduction

     1.1.   Scoil Mhuire is a Catholic voluntary secondary school formerly under the trusteeship of the Sisters of Mercy Religious Order.  Since 2007, the school has been under the Trusteeship of CEIST (Catholic Education, an Irish School Trust).  The ethos of the school reflects the Catholic faith and philosophy.

     1.2.  The school is subject to the directives of the Minister of Education/DES – and current education legislation.

     1.3.  Scoil Mhuire actively encourages the partnership approach of teachers, students, parents, and the local community, various state and voluntary agencies and the Department of Education and Science. 


2.    The Mission Statement of the school states that

     2.1.  Scoil Mhuire endeavours to educate and develop all of its students to their full potential, in an atmosphere of care, respect and Catholic ethos.  The school provides a holistic education for all students particularly those disadvantaged in some way.

     2.2.The CEIST vision is a “compassionate and just society inspired by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ” and a mission state which ‘ensures the provision of an holistic education for all students’ with an aim of:

     ·         Promoting Spiritual and Human Development

     ·         Achieving quality in teaching and learning

     ·         Showing respect for every person

     ·         Creating community respect and responsibility

     ·         Being just and responsible 


 3.  Rationale

     3.1.  The purpose of this admission and participation policy is to state the procedures and requirements necessary for a student to enrol in, participate in, or transfer to, Scoil Mhuire.It is designed

     3.2.To ensure that these are transparent, fair and comprehensible for parents/guardians, feeder primary schools, parents council and other partners.

     3.3.To explain the procedures and sequence of steps for incoming students in 1st year and for those who may wish to enrol in another year group at the beginning of the year or during the year.

     3.4.To act as a reference guideline during any dispute regarding enrolment or participation which may come before the Board of Management. 


4.  Curriculum

     4.1.  Scoil Mhuire offer the following programmes, Junior Certificate, Junior Certificate School Programme, Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Applied, Transition Year, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, subject to available resources)

     4.2.School hours are form 9.00 am to 3.50 pm

     4.3.Advance notices will be provided where there are changes or variances.

     4.4.Holidays are in line with standard school year 


 5.    Enrolment

Scoil Mhuire is a Catholic school.  Scoil Mhuire welcomes application of students from other faiths and denominations provided those students and their parents accept the prevailing ethos in the school.  In all other matters the school is non-selective.

     5.1.  Scoil Mhuire is an co-educational school

     5.2.Scoil Mhuire requests a contribution from parents/guardians to offset shortfall in State funding and to assist with provision of extra curricular services.

     5.3.The school will admit pupils with physical disabilities and other special education needs, subject to availability of resources and the DES sanction such as accommodation, access to specialised tuition and infra structure. 


6.  Application Procedure for 1st Year

     6.1.  Enrolment of students within the catchment area normally takes place between January and March each year.  Application Forms are distributed through the Primary Schools or at Information Evenings (See Transfer Procedure).  These applications should normally be completed by 31st March each year.

     6.2.Application Forms, prospectus, subject choice booklet and form are also available from the school office, on web site or email.  These forms should be read and completed carefully and returned to the school.  Processing of these may take four weeks prior to proposed enrolment date.  This is to allow time for checking availability of preferred subjects and the processing of information and reports on academic ability, psychological assessments, medical conditions, reports from other outside agencies, etc.  References may be sought to ascertain background information and reports prior to enrolment.

     6.3.Parents/Guardians of enrolling students should attend at least two Information Meetings or two meetings with the Principal before acceptance is confirmed.  These take the form of

     ·         Information meeting

     ·         Induction Meeting

     ·         Subject Choice Meeting

This is to ensure that Parents/Guardians and students are familiar with school procedures and ethos and to ensure that Parents/Guardians are closely involved with their child’s education.

     6.4.Parents/Guardians and students must familiarise themselves with the Code of Behaviour and other procedures, each must sign the Code of Behaviour Contract (refer to Code of Conduct and Behaviour Booklet).

     6.5.As a Catholic school with a Christian ethos, all students will be expected to attend religious instruction and ceremonies.

     6.6.Students of other persuasion will be given the option of alternative arrangements.

     6.7.The school expects a high standard of behaviour and performance from all students.   


7.  In the event of over-subscription (This section not applicable as of Jan 2011)

However in the event of applications exceeding the number of places available to incoming first year students the following criteria will be applied to determine admission; 

     7.1.    Criterion 1 – Feeder Primary Schools

     ·         Scoil Iosagain (Buncrana)

     ·         St Mura’s (Buncrana)

     ·         Gaelscoil (Buncrana)

     ·         St Oran’s (Cockhill)

     ·         Naomh Mura (Tooban)

     ·         Naomh Aengus (Bridgend)

     ·         Scoil Naomh Padraig (Drumfries)

     ·         Scoil Naomh Iosef (Illies)

     ·         St Egney’s NS (Desertegeney)

     ·         Scoil Naomh Brid (Muff)

     ·         Cloontagh National School (Clonmany)

     ·         In the event that after the criterion one is applied and the number of applications still exceeds the number of places available, then from those applicants that satisfy Criterion 1, Criterion 2 will apply. 

     7.2.    Criterion 2 – Family

   ·         Pupils whose brother or sisters previously attended the school.

     ·         Pupils who have a brother or sister currently attending the school

     ·         Pupils whose parents are currently working in the school

     ·         Pupils who are the eldest in the family.

     In the event that after the criterion two is applied and the number of applications will exceeds the number of places available, then  

     7.3.    Random Lottery 1

   ·         A random lottery will be used to allocate places to those applications that satisfy criterion one and two.

     ·         A reserve list will be compiled, made up of the applicants who were unsuccessful in the random lottery.

     7.4.    Random Lottery 2

   ·         In the event that after Criterion 1 and 2 has been applied and there are still places available, then those applicants who satisfied Criterion 1 – but not criterion 2 – will be allocated the remaining places by random lottery.

     ·         A reserve list will be compiled, made up of the applicants who were unsuccessful in the random lottery. 


8.  Primary School Transfer Procedure

The transition from Primary to second level is an important step for incoming students and parents/guardians.  This whole experience can be highly challenging for some students.  The school takes great care to assist the smooth transfer of primary pupils into first year. 

   The following procedures are usually undertaken

   8.1.  The Transfer Co-ordinator visits the Primary School by prior arrangement, to distribute information booklet, application form and to give a short presentation about the school.  The co-ordinator will liaise with the 6th class teacher and Principal.

     8.2.Open Day/Night – incoming students may then be invited to an open day/night in the school to view facilities and meet key personnel.

     8.3.Information Evening – Parents/Guardians of incoming students are invited to an information evening, a power point presentation is given by the Principal, Guidance Counsellor, Learning Support Department and others.  This will be followed by a Q&A session for parents to get more detail. This is followed by an informal tour of the school.

     8.4.Entrance Assessment – 6th class students who have opted to enrol in Scoil Mhuire must attend an ‘entrance assessment’ on a specific day by arrangement with Primary schools and Crana College.  This is a standardised intelligence assessment that is used to inform appropriate arrangements and interventions strategies for students.

     8.5.Parents may contact the school for results during April/May.

     8.6.Subject/Programme Choice – Incoming students and parents are invited to a subject/programme choice meeting hosted by the Principal and Guidance Counsellor, Learning Support Department and other teachers.  A comprehensive power point presentation is given and a subject choice advice booklet distributed.

     8.7.A representative will visit primary school to get further information on any specific learning difficulties, medical concerns, and welfare concerns on those who have enrolled in Scoil Mhuire.

     8.8.Other relevant information of this nature may be garnered by the Learning Support Department, the JCSP Co-Ordinator, and the HSLO Co-Ordinator from the Primary school and/or parents.

     8.9.Transfer Day(s) – selected 6th class pupils attend the transfer day(s) in May.  Those selected are primarily from small feeder schools.

     8.10.     Summer Camp – Enrolling students are encouraged to attend the Scoil Mhuire Summer Camp with a view to helping the student(s) to settle.

     8.11.      Introductory Day – 1st Year students attend their first day in the school without other year groups being present.  This allows for a more conducive settling-in exercise.  Students are assigned to classes, form teacher and rooms.  Form Teacher and Year  Heads will monitor the welfare of the student. 


9.  Transfer from other second level schools

The school will accept students transferring from other schools subject to:

     9.1.  Completion of Application form

     9.2.School Admission Policy

     9.3.A place being available

     9.4.Decisions will also be based on the provision of information from the applicant’s previous school concerning attendance, educational application, educational progress, disabilities and special needs.

     9.5.In the case of students coming from outside this jurisdiction, decisions will also be based on the provision of information from the applicant’s from their previous school or local education authority as appropriate.

     9.6.Consideration will be given to the educational welfare of the student and will ascertain the educational soundness of transferring from another school, taking into account, time of year, subject choices, etc. 


10.      Repeat Leaving Certificate Students

The school will accept Repeat Leaving Certificate students subject to:

     10.1.      Completion of Application Form in a complete and full manner (available from the office the week following the issue of exam results)

     10.2.     Conditions established in the School Admission and Participation Policy and signing of School Contract

     10.3.     Attendance at Interview to establish the merits of repeating in this school.

     10.4.     Undertaking to attend all classes assigned

     10.5.     Undertaking to sit six exam subjects if available

     10.6.     Undertaking to remain on the premises throughout the full school day

     10.7.     Undertaking to take part in RE, PE, and extra curricular activities assigned as part of the general cohort of students.

The above are subject to

     ·         Preference being given to past pupils

     ·         The number of repeat students not exceeding 10% of the existing Leaving Certificate                      cohort of students

     ·         Students may be subject to a period of probation as determined by the Principal/Board of              Management. 

 11.      Grounds for Refusals

   11.1.Refusal to admit will be in accordance with the Education Act 1998, the Education Welfare Act 2000 and any other appropriate legislation.

     11.2.      The school reserves the right to refuse admission where parents/guardians or student fails to comply with the procedures or requirements outlined above.

     11.3.      The school reserves the right to refuse admission to a student whose previous behaviour in another school or institution (which may have involved numerous suspensions and/or an expulsion) has indicated that the admission of such a student would:-

     ·         Undermine the characteristic spirit/ethos of the school.

     ·         Deny the constitutional rights of all concerned within the school.

     ·         Compromise the health and safety of others.

     11.4.      The school reserves the right to admission where the student has special needs such that, even with additional resources available from the DES, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the student with an appropriate education or in the opinion of Board of Management, the student poses an unacceptable risk to other students, to school staff or to school property.  


12.  Notification of Refusal

   12.1.      The Parents/Guardians will be informed about the refusal as soon as possible but at most, within four weeks of the application. This may take the form of the letter or a meeting with the Principal where the grounds for refusal will be outlined in general.

     12.2.     Thereafter, Parents/Guardians may appeal to the Board of Management against the decision.  They can do this by submitting any relevant material or references for consideration at the next Board meeting or they may attend the next Board of Management meeting to state their case.  (A student over 18 may undertake this as an individual).

     12.3.     The Board of Management will use the criteria outlined in paragraph 11.2 and 11.3 in reaching their decision or the Board may require further information.  In all cases, the Board will act in a fair and just manner in the interest of the school and the student concerned.

     12.4.     The parents/guardians will be informed of the Board’s decision, in writing, within 21 days. 


13.      Suspensions

   13.1.      Suspension of a student may be applied by the Principal in accordance with the Code of Behaviour or where they are deemed to endanger him/herself or others. 


14.      Expulsion

     14.1.      Expulsion of a student may take place using the same procedure as that of Suspension assuming that the Board of Management, having been fully and properly informed of the circumstances, decides to do so, taking into account natural justice and the right of the student/parent/guardian to a fair hearing. 


15.      Performance Indicator

     15.1.      The success of the Admission Policy will be the extent to which challenges and disputes over enrolment appear before the Board of Management in any one year.

     15.2.     Success will also be measured by the satisfaction rate of students following enrolment by the completion of a survey.  This survey is carried out in early October each year and the Home School Community Liaison also carries out a similar survey with parents who attend Introduction Meetings.

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