Admissions Policy - OLSS Belmullet

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Admissions Policy


Our Lady’s Secondary School, Belmullet

Admissions Policy

Our Lady’s Secondary School is a voluntary Catholic co-educational school operating under the aegis of the Catholic Education An Irish Schools Trust (CEIST).

This policy is a whole school policy devised by a steering committee in consultation with representatives from all partners within the whole school (Board of Management, Trustees, staff, students, parents, community), approved by the Board of Management and ratified by the Trustees.  This policy is rooted within the CEIST philosophy and the Mission Statement of Our Lady’s Secondary School.

Rationale for the Admissions Policy:

The policy is intended to reflect and give full effect to:

1) The Mission Statement

2) Adhere to current legislation i.e.
 Education Act, 1998
 Education Welfare Act, 2000
 Equal Status Act, 2000
 EPSEN Act, 2004

3) Fulfil a statutory requirement as stated in the Education Act, 1998, ‘The Board of Management shall publish in such a manner as the board with the agreement of the patron considers appropriate, the policy of the school concerning admission to and participation in the school’.  Section 15(2).

4) Ensure the religious and educational philosophy of Our Lady’s Secondary School is reflected in the admissions policy

5) Provide a framework for planning as the admissions policy is regularly evaluated and amended.

6) Avoid ad hoc decision making

7) Promote partnership, as the evaluation requires an on going whole school involvement.

8) The funding and resources currently made available to the school by the Department of Education & Science (DES) and from any other sources.

Aims of the Policy:

The admissions policy aims to respect the right:
 Of admission to all students and their educational needs
 To equality of access and participation in the school
 Of parents/students to choose in relation to enrolment
 Of respect of diversity of tradition, values, beliefs, languages and ways of life in society in keeping with the CEIST ethos of promoting a Christian spirit of peace, justice and tolerance.

Inclusion of Pupils

Procedures for Application and Admission:

1) School personnel visits all Primary Schools in the catchment area early in the school year.  Each 6th Class pupil to be given a copy of the school prospectus and relevant application forms.  A student information pack is given to all pupils.

2) The Principal, in consultation with staff, arranges a date for the open evening/open day for enrolment following school visits.  The school will display the courses and activities available within the school.

3) Parents are informed of date and time.  An advertisement is placed in the local papers and church bulletins THE week prior to enrolment, parents of existing families in the school area are informed by the Principal.

4) Students accompanied by parent/guardian come to the school on the appointed evening or day and complete the necessary application forms.  The different courses, facilities and extra-curricular activities are explained and displayed to the students and parents.

5) Following official enrolment, the new students and parents/guardians are invited to the school.  Students undertake an aptitude test. Students and parents must sign the Code of Behaviour.  Parents are addressed by the school Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Head for incoming 1st Years, Home School Liaison Co-ordinator (HSCL) and counsellor.  Parents are informed that information will be sought from primary school and support services.  The evening concludes with refreshments for all.

6)  HSCL Co-ordinator visits primary schools to liaise with the school re. reports and special needs.

7) In August, parents will receive information about the first day of school; Date, time, uniform, schedule for induction.

The HSCL Co-ordinator attends cluster meetings with the school psychologist and learning support teachers - requirements of students may be reviewed

The school, on receipt of a students records from parents/primary school re. special needs, will apply to the Department of Education & Science (DES) for resources to support the students.

The Principal, Deputy Principal in conjunction with HSCL may invite support teachers or parents to address staff in particular circumstances.

First Day at School:

On the first day of school the students will assemble in the school hall.  They will be addressed by the Principal and Deputy Principal and welcomed.  The Principal and Deputy Principal will also explain the day to day routine of the school and students will be given the opportunity to ask questions.

They will also be welcomed by the:

 First Year Head and the First Year Tutors
 The HSCL Co-ordinator
 The School Book Scheme Co-ordinator
 The Mentors

On the second day the students will be:

 Given a timetable (which will be fully explained to them) and told who their teachers are
 Given a tour of the school
 Divided into classes
 Given time to get to know each other or to play some sport


First Year students will be assigned to a Leader from the Mentoring Programme (5th Year students) who are there to look out for the interests of the new students.  First Year students may ask their Mentor questions or come to them for advice or help over the course of the year.  The First Year students will meet their Mentor on the first day and they will have a chance to get to know each other.

Within the First Month:

At the end of September, at a staff meeting, a discussion takes place on the transition from 6th Class to 1st Year. The discussion may highlight the need for changes in subjects or classes.  These changes will take place as soon as possible.

Transfers from Other Second Level Schools:

Pupils may transfer from other schools mid-year subject to the following conditions:

1. The schools’ Admission Policy
2. The school being satisfied with the reason for the transfer.  Information will be requested from the students’ former school concerning attendance, educational progress, subject choices, term reports, disabilities and special needs, reasons for transfer as per Section 20 of the Educational Welfare Act.
3. The school regarding the move in the best interest of the student.
4. Available space
5. The schools’ curricular provision being suitable for the student
6. Health & Safety considerations
7. Information in relation to the student’s disciplinary record
8. Consultation with the Educational Welfare Officer, if appropriate
9. An application form most be fully filled in and a Code of Behaviour must be signed by both the student and Parent/Guardian.

Repeat Students:

The enrolment of repeat students is subject to the outcome of a meeting with the school Principal where the student’s commitment to work and subject choices are discussed.  If repeating is in the interest of the student and subjects can be accommodated the student may be enroled.  Students must fill in an application form.  There must be available space.

Repeat students must attend all classes, registration and be present for all tests.  They are required to wear full uniform and adhere to all school rules.

Post-Leaving Certificate (PLC) Students:

1. Advertisements for PLC courses are placed in the local papers and church bulletins during the months of April/May.  A letter may also be sent to parents informing them of courses available in the school
2. Application forms and information are made available in the school
3. An Enrolment Day takes place at the end of May/June.  This is an information evening where application forms are collected and registration forms are completed which indicate which courses they wish to take
4. Admission is granted to students who have second level education or have evidence of relevant experience
5. Courses commence in early September
6. PLC students must adhere to all Health & Safety regulations and the school Code of Behaviour
7. Courses run subject to sufficient demand
8. Places are available on each course but maybe restricted by available space

Right of Board Management to Refuse Admission:

The school operates on an open enrolment policy.  All students who present themselves to the school within the parameters of this policy and the DES will be accepted.

We welcome all students to our school.  In keeping with the school ethos we welcome pupils with special educational needs, subject to our being in a position to meet their individual requirements.  It is necessary for the school to access the student’s records from parents, primary school, support services and individual education programme requirement well in advance of entry to the school and apply to DES for the necessary supports.

Information sought/sourced:

1. Parents are requested to provide the school with information regarding educational needs/medical requirements a the time of enrolment
2. The school, through its transfer programme and HSCL Co-ordinator, communicates with National School Principals, class teachers and/or support services
3. The school consults with the local cluster of resource/learning support teachers.


1. The Principal, on receipt of reports, makes an application to the DES for resource hours/classroom assistant
2. Application is also made for additional student aids: Computer equipment, modification of building etc.
3. Individual cases, where students have not been assessed or where the report is not ‘current’.  Application is made by the Principal to National Educational Psychological Service Agency (NEPS) to conduct an assessment.

Sanctioned by Board: 12th January 2010

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