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Enrolment/Admissions Policy of New Court School

 

New Court School Enrolment Policy has been drawn up in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998.

New Court School is a special school designated by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) for children aged 5 - 18 years whose educational needs are assessed as primarily being in the Mild General Learning Disability range.The School also has two classes for students with a Moderate Learning Disability. It is envisaged that these students should have completed their primary education in a mainstream school and be able to benefit from the Post Primary Curriculum offered at New Court School. 

The school operates under the rules for National Schools. It is a co-educational school and welcomes children of all religious denominations or none. The catchment area is from Arklow to Shankill. Referrals are considered in light of the school's ability to meet the child's special education needs.

The Board of Management will foster an inclusive admissions policy based on the principles of equality and the parent's right of school choice having due regard to the characteristic designation of the school and the availability of sufficient and adequate resources being provided by the DES  and the National Council for Special Education Needs (NCSE)

The school depends on the grants and resources provided by the DES and NCSE and it operates within the regulations laid down by these, and follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department. The school has a junior, middle and senior section. There are 16 teachers including an administrative principal plus one part-time teacher for woodwork. There are 15 special needs assistants.

The Admissions Committee
An Admissions Committee authorised by the Board of Management and comprising the Principal,  Deputy Principal and Senior Staff Members, will assess each application with regard to enrolment and make recommendations to the Board of Management. 

Enrolment Procedure 

  1. Pupils are referred to the school from a number of sources including parents, teachers and psychologists.  Following initial expression of interest and exploratory discussions, psychological reports are requested.
  2. An up-to-date psychological assessment stating the level of the child's intellectual functioning is required in each case and should be provided to the school as soon as possible. If such a report is not available the application process cannot proceed. The purpose of the assessment is to establish the educational needs of the child relevant to his/her disability and to assure appropriate placement.
  3. Applications are processed on receipt of a completed admissions form signed by parent/guardian, which is given after the initial visist/discussions.
  4. When parents/guardians seek an admission form they are presented with a copy of the school's Code of Behaviour/Discipline. In signing the admission form, parents/guardians give an undertaking that they will support the school's behaviour policy and rules.
  5. Pupils referred to the school are put on a "first come first served" list for consideration by the Admissions Committee. The Board of Management reserves the right of admission.
  6. Parents and the child are invited to the school where matters relating to the child's education and the school are discussed.
  7. The school may seek additional information from other sources e.g. the child's local school, pre-school, psychologist or social worker as applicable - in order to make an informed decision as to whether or not the child's needs can be adequately met.
  8. It is a requirement of the Board of Management that information concerning attendance and the child's educational progress be communicated between schools as stipulated under the Education Welfare Act (2000).
  9. Decisions regarding enrolments are usually completed by April to allow for the provision of the necessary resources. Once parents accept the offer of a place for their child, then if necessary, the school requests the NCSE to make arrangements for school transport.
  10. Enrolment is at the start of the school year; only in exceptional circumstances the Board may consider taking in a child at other times.   

Decision Making

The school will endeavour to make a decision on each application as soon as possible and in line with the Educational Welfare Act (2000), providing the necessary information and reports are available. Places will be offered on a first come first served basis to each section of the school i.e. junior, middle, and senior. In the event that the number of applications exceeds the number of places available the following will be considered: the requirements of individual children, their behaviour, the education needs and rights of those already enrolled and the health and welfare of all. If necessary the Board will set up a waiting list - and convey this to the parents/guardians and the Department of Education and Skills and the National Council for Special Education as relevant. Priority will be given to this list as soon as places become available. 

Criteria for Decision Making on Offering Places 

  • First come first served basis
  • The primary disability category of the child as that of Mild General Learning Disability (or Moderate GLD)
  • The ability of the school to meet the needs of the child
  • Catchment Area - Arklow to Shankill

Teachers and psychologists regularly review children's progress. Parents are kept informed and where it is felt that a child would be better placed in another setting, parents are notified and the matter discussed with them. 

Exclusion of Children Already enrolled 

Children enrolled in New Court School are obliged to co-operate with and support the school's Code of Behaviour. In accordance with the Department of Education and Skills  "Rules for National Schools" (130) and the obligations on New Court School Board under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (1989) it may be necessary to temporarily or permanently exclude a child from the school.  Such exclusions will comply with the terms of the Education Welfare Act (2000). Written notification of permanent exclusion and reasons will be sent to the Department of Education and Skills and the relevant Education Welfare Officer.

Appeal Process

Parents, under the Education Act 1998, (section 29) have the right to appeal decisions by the Board of Management in relation to enrolment or exclusion, to the General Secretary of the Department of Education and Skills on the official form provided by the Department.

Any other relevant general information pertaining to New Court School is available in the school brochure, on the school website, from  the Principal Ms. M. Rowlette, or from the Chairperson of the Board of Management,  Ms. C. Lennon, c/o New Court School, Newcourt Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow. 

Ratified by the Board of Management February 2003

Reviewed and agreed by the Board of Management October 2010, updated August 2012

Reviewed and agreed by the Board of Management May 2016, updated September 2017

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