Admissions Policy

Admissions Policy

 St. Joseph’s CBS is a Catholic All-Boys Voluntary Secondary School under the patronage of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust.

Characteristic Spirit

The characteristic spirit of our school is based on the vision and values of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust Charter. The five characteristics of an Edmund Rice school underpin the operation of St. Joseph’s CBS namely:

  • Nurturing faith, Christian spirituality and Gospel-based values,
  • Promoting partnership,
  • Excellence in teaching and learning,
  • Creating a caring school community,
  • Inspiring transformational leadership

For further information on the Edmund Rice Schools Trust and the Edmund Rice Schools Trust Charter, see www.erst.ie

Our school is rooted in the parish of Nenagh and each year we gather in the church to celebrate mass for the start of the new school year. We also use our own Oratory for November Memorial services and to mark other events of the Liturgical Calendar. Each year we are involved in the celebration of Catholic Schools Week and every three years, students from TY and 5th Year take part in the Edmund Rice Schools’ Trust Immersion Programme in Zambia where we have established links with the Christian Brothers in Mazabuka.

Operation of the School

 St. Joseph’s CBS operates in accordance with and subject to the rules, regulations and programmes laid down by the Department of Education and Skills. The School supports the Religious and Educational Philosophy of the Christian Brothers and it acknowledges their rights as set out in the Education Act.

St. Joseph’s CBS operates within the legal context of the relevant sections of:

  •  Education Act 1998
  • Education Welfare Act 2000
  • Equal Status Act 2000
  • EPSEN Act 2004
  • Disability Act 2005
  • Education Act (Miscellaneous Provisions) 2007
  • Department of Education and Skills Child Protection Procedures for Post-Primary Schools
  • Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003:

The school is a Data Controller under the Data Protection Acts. Data provided to St Joseph’s CBS  in respect of an application for admission is subject to the terms and provisions of the Data Protection Act (1998) and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act (2003). We rely on parents/guardians to provide us with accurate and complete information and to update us in relation to any changes in the information provided. Should you wish to update or access your child’s personal data, you should write to the school principal.

The financial and teaching resources of the school are provided by a combination of DES teacher allocations, capitation and grants, fund raising and voluntary parent contributions. The school operates within the regulatory, legal and financial context of:

  • The regulations of the Department of Education and Skills
  • The rights of trustees as set out in the Education Act, 1998
  • The Edmund Rice Schools Trust Charter
  • The Articles of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools
  • The regulations of the Department of Education and Skills and curricular programmes so prescribed which may be amended from time to time in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act, 1998.
  • The funding and resources available to the school at any given time.

Implementation of the School Plan and policies must have due regard to the availability of these resources. Subject to the above, St. Joseph’s CBS supports the principles of:

  • Inclusiveness
  • Equality of access and participation in the school
  • Parental choice in relation to enrolment
  • Welcomes students with different values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life and seeks to meet their particular needs, subject only to available resources and support for the ethos of the school.

Eligibility of Applicants and Admission Procedures

This section sets out the policy of the school with regard to eligibility of applicants and admission procedures and entry into First Year 2017/18.

  • The Primary schools in the catchment area of St. Joseph’s CBS will be visited by a representative of the School. An Information Pack, containing an enrolment form as well as all relevant school details will be distributed to all interested prospective students.
  • An Open Night/Information evening is held in the School in January for prospective first year students and their parents. Open Night is widely advertised in the local media.
  • An assessment of all our applicants will be held in March/April each year. The purpose of this assessment is to aid the school in its task of endeavouring to meet the individual needs of all its students and to establish mixed ability classes.
  • Enrolment may be made on Open Night or at any time by appointment with the Principal or Deputy Principal.
  • Parents are encouraged to contact the School (by appointment) to discuss any concerns they may have regarding their son’s educational needs.

Required Information

Our Application Form will require information from the child’s parents or guardians.  A more detailed Student Data Form will be issued following acceptance of admission. This information will help us to administer the school more efficiently and is required by the Department of Education and Skills. The basic initial information required is:

  • Pupil’s Full Name, Date of Birth and Address
  • Parent/Guardian’s Name, Address, Telephone Number
  • Primary school presently attending
  • Names of any siblings in the St. Joseph’s CBS
  • Names of any siblings who previously attended St. Joseph’s and years they attended
  • Details of any parent who attended St. Joseph’s CBS
  • Religion

Students Eligible for Admission to First Year

 To be eligible for admission to First Year, students must:

  • Have reached the age of 12 years by 1st of January of the calendar year following entry into First Year (as required by Department of Education and Skills regulations)
  • Have completed Sixth Class in Primary School or its equivalent
  • Be willing, in conjunction with their parents/guardians, to accept the characteristic spirit of the school (see section on characteristic spirit above)
  • Be willing, in conjunction with their parents/guardians, to accept the school’s Code of Behaviour
  • Be willing to sit an Assessment Test, the date for which will be communicated in writing to the parents/guardians of the students accepted for admission at the school. This Assessment Test is not an entrance examination as the student has already been allocated a place in the school.
  • Be willing to complete the detailed Student Data Form that will be issued following acceptance for admission.

Admission Procedures

  •  To apply, parents/guardians should complete the official St. Joseph’s CBS Application Form, which will be issued through the feeder Primary Schools and which will also be available from the school office and from the school website (www.cbsnenagh.com)
  • The application form for entry into First Year in Autumn 2017 will be available from 9th January 2017.
  • The closing date for receipt of completed applications for First Year for the school year 2017/18 is 10th February 2017 at 4pm.
  • When an application form, properly completed and signed, is received, it will be stamped with the date on which it was received.
  • Incomplete application forms will not be processed but will be returned to the parents/guardians for completion.
  • Late applications will be considered only after all applications received on time have been fully processed. 

Allocation of Places in First Year 2017/18 

Decisions regarding student admissions are a matter for the Board of Management. All decisions in relation to enrolments in St. Joseph’s CBS will be made in the first instance by the Principal in accordance with School Policy. The Principal’s decision can be appealed to the Board of Management. Parents/Guardians will be invited to that Board of Management meeting to present their case, before any decision is made by the Board on their appeal. Parents/ Guardians can appeal the decision of the Board to the Department of Education and Skills under Section 29 of the Education Act. The appeal must generally be made within 42 calendar days of the date that the decision of the Board of Management was notified to the parents/guardians.

As soon as possible but not later than 21 days after the closing date for receipt of completed application forms, the Board of Management shall make a decision in respect of each application, and inform the parents/guardians of the outcome in writing (as required by the Education Welfare Act 2000).

When a place in the school is offered, parents/guardians will be required to confirm in writing their acceptance of the place. If the place is not accepted by the date specified in the letter of offer, the offer may be withdrawn.

A maximum of 100 places will be available in First Year for the school year 2017/18. In the event that applications for admission exceed this number the Board of Management will allocate places in accordance with the following criteria:

  1. Pupils of CBS Primary School Nenagh
  2. Brothers of Present Students
  3. Brothers of Past Students
  4. Sons of Staff Members
  5. Sons of Past Students
  6. Applicants living in the Catchment Area
  7. Members of the Roman Catholic Church
  8. All Other Applicants

 Where there are fewer places than applicants in a given category, a lottery will apply in allocating places within that category. The lottery will be supervised by at least 2 of the following –

  • a nominee of the Board of Management
  • the Principal
  • a nominee of the Parents’ Council

All applicants within the category will have their names entered for the lottery and names will be drawn until all places are filled. Siblings (e.g. twins and triplets) will be treated as a single application, although all names will be entered in the lottery. If the name of one is drawn, the others will automatically be allocated places.

When all places are filled, names of applicants in this category will continue to be drawn to establish the order of applicants on the waiting list.

Names of all other applicants will also be drawn in strict order of the categories above to determine each applicant’s place on the waiting list.

If a vacancy arises and an applicant is offered a place from the waiting list, the place will be offered to the applicant highest on the list.  If for any reason a place is not accepted that place will then be offered to the next applicant on the waiting list.

The waiting list will be terminated once the first term begins in 2017.

The Board will always have due regard for relevant Department of Education and Skills directives in relation to class size, staffing provisions and any other relevant requirements in relation to accommodation, physical space or the health and welfare of children.

Application does not automatically guarantee enrolment. The Board reserves the right to refuse an application for admission in exceptional circumstances. Circumstances that are regarded as exceptional, and which will require the active consideration of the Board, include the following non-exhaustive list:

  • The school is not able to serve the needs of the child
  • The child, parent/guardian will not support the ethos of the School
  • The child is likely to inhibit the education of other children in the school
  • The child is likely to pose a physical threat to either teachers or students in the school.
  • Issues relating to Health and Safety.

Transfers from Other Second Level Schools

The School will make every reasonable effort to facilitate a student seeking to transfer into our school. The Principal will decide on application for admission to years/classes other than First Year by applying the following:

  • The reasons for the transfer are clearly stated in writing
  • The transfer is subject to the School’s Admission Policy
  • The transfer is in the best interest, educational and otherwise, of the transferee
  • The transfer is in the best interest of the school and the students already in the school
  • The transfer does not compromise the Health and Safety of staff and students
  • Available space existing in the relevant class/subject
  • A suitable reference from the previous school detailing attendance, behaviour and performance

The decision regarding the transfer of a student from another school will be made in the first instance by the Principal. If there is a refusal at this point Parents/Guardians will be advised of their right of appeal to the Board of Management.

If enrolment is refused by the Board, Parents/Guardians will be advised of the right of appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998. This may delay commencement to the beginning of the next school term or school year.  The appeal must generally be made within 42 calendar days of the date that the decision of the Board of Management was notified to the parents/guardians.

Students with Special Educational Needs

The Board of Management extends a warm welcome to students with special needs. The school will use the resources (finance and personnel) provided by the Department of Education and Skills to make reasonable provision and accommodation for students with disabilities or special educational needs and will ensure that these students are free to participate in the life of the school in so far as is reasonably practicable.

While recognising and fully supporting the rights of parents/guardians to have a school of their choice for their children, the school’s ability to provide for students with particular educational needs is dependent on resources suitable to those needs being supplied by the Department of Education and Skills. Parents/guardians are encouraged to make the Principal aware of any special needs as early as possible, as it may take some time for the Department to process applications for the resources needed. In order to determine the specific resources, facilities and learning support required, the Principal will request a copy of the student’s medical and/or psychological report. Where such a report is not available, the Principal will request an immediate assessment. The purpose of the assessment report is to assist the school in establishing the educational needs of the student relative to their special needs and to profile the support services required.

Following receipt of the report, the Principal will assess how the school can meet the needs of the student as specified in the report. The school will also request information from the student’s primary school with regard to such matters as learning support and/or resource hours. Where the Principal deems that further resources are required, she will, prior to the student commencing to attend the school, request the Department of Education and Skills to provide the resources necessary to meet the needs of the student as outlined in the psychological or medical report.

The Principal will meet with the parents/guardians of the student to discuss the student’s needs and the school’s capacity to meet them. It may be necessary for the Principal to postpone the attendance of a student at the school, pending the receipt of an assessment report, and/or the provision of appropriate resources by the Department of Education and Skills to meet the needs specified in the psychological or medical report.

The Principal’s decision can be appealed to the Board of Management. Parents/Guardians will be invited to that Board of Management meeting to present their case, before any decision is made by the Board on their appeal. Parents/ Guardians can appeal the decision of the Board to the Department of Education and Skills under Section 29 of the Education Act.

The school commits itself to working closely with the Special Education Needs Organiser (SENO) to ensure that students with special needs are given all reasonable assistance, subject to available resources, to achieve their educational potential.

 Consultation and Review:

This policy has been drawn up by the Board of Management, in consultation with parents and staff. It will be reviewed by the Board of Management annually.

 

© 2017 St. Joseph's CBS Nenagh