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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

School Policies

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Enrolment Policy



Scoil Chaitríona Junior Renmore, Galway is a Catholic co-educational primary school under the Patronage of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Galway.

Scoil Chaitríona Junior has a total teaching staff of 37 teachers.  This includes 20 class teachers, 9 learning support/resource teachers, 4 special class teachers, 3 full time language support teachers and an administrative principal.  The special classes cater for children with specific speech and language disorder and moderate general learning difficulties.

Scoil Chaitríona Junior is a co-educational junior school, catering for children from Junior Infants – 2nd class.   Children with special needs are taught in the special classes, as described above and within mainstream classes.

Scoil Chaitrona has a long tradition of welcoming and serving all pupils and does not discriminate on the grounds of gender, family status, religion, age, disability, ethnicity, asylum seeker / refugee status, sexual orientation, or special educational needs.

Scoil Chaitríona Junior is an inclusive school.

This policy aims to ensure the appropriate procedures are in place to enable the school to make decisions on all applications based on legislative requirements. It was formulated by the Board of Management, Staff and Parents with input from Scoil Chaitríona senior school, THE Patron, the Education Welfare Service and the Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO).
Relationship to the Characteristic Spirit of the School
Scoil Chaitríona Junior is a Catholic Primary School which endeavours to engage every pupil to actively participate in all school activities in a caring, secure and happy atmosphere. This policy is in keeping with the mission statement of the school, which strives to fulfill the intellectual, physical, spiritual, moral and emotional needs of each child, supported by a professional staff in partnership with parents and the wider community.

Scoil Chaitríona Junior follows the Curricular Programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Skills, which may be amended from time to time, in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act 1998.

Within the context and parameters of D.E.S. 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:

(a)      inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational needs;
(b)      equality of access and participation in the school;
(c)      parental choice in relation to enrolment;
(d)     respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.


Scoil Chaitriona Junior opens for pupils at 8.40 and closes at 14.30.  Classes begin at 8.50 a.m.  The annual school calendar, outlining school holidays, is made available to parents each year in the month of September.

B.          PROCEDURES

Parents seeking to enrol their children in Junior Infants in Scoil Chaitríona Junior are requested to return a completed Enrolment Form with original Birth / Adoption Certificate along with proof of address (utility bill) to the secretaries’ office as soon as possible but no later than the first day of the academic year eg September 1st.

Late Enrolments
Children who wish to transfer to Scoil Chaitriona Junior from another school within the city may only enroll up to and including September 30th, upon receipt of completed Application Form along with a signed letter of acceptance & compliance with the Code of Behaviour (Form )

Late enrolments will be accepted if the pupil is new to the area (with proof of address, utility bill etc), transferring from outside the city.

Applicants to Special Classes
Procedures relating to the enrolment of children with special needs to special classes are outlined in the appendices.

Provision of key information by parents:
Applications will only be accepted on the basis of a fully completed and accurate Enrolment Form. A specific enrolment application form will be provided by the Board of Management and the following information will be sought:
·         Pupil’s name, address, date of birth.
·         Pupil’s PPSN number
·         Names and addresses of pupil’s parents/guardians.
·         Contact telephone numbers
·         Contact telephone numbers, in case of emergency.
·         Details of any medical conditions of which the school should be aware.
·         Details of any legal orders of which the school should be aware.
·         Baptismal Certificate for  Catholic children
·         Previous schools attended and reason for transfer.
·         Any other relevant information, including any such information as may be prescribed under the Education Welfare Act, 2000.
·         Any concerns raised by previous schools around the child’s behaviour
·         Any additional Special Educational Needs the child has and any reports which may be available
·         Completed Primary Online Data form in compliance with the Department of Education requirements.
By completing the enrolment form of Scoil Chaitríona Junior, the parents and pupils are agreeing to abide by school policies, procedures and the Code of Behaviour which may be reviewed from time to time.
As a condition of enrolling a child, the parents / guardians are required “to confirm in writing that the Code of Behaviour so provided is acceptable to them and that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the child” Section 23 (4) of the Education Welfare Act 2000 (form B)

Prioritising children for enrolment
In the event of the number of children seeking enrolment in any given class/standard exceeding the number of places available, before the start of or during the school year, and the B.O.M. being unable to provide suitable accommodation, or recruit the required teaching staff, the following criteria will be used to prioritise children for enrolment.

·         Sisters and brothers of children already enrolled in Scoil Chaitriona Junior, giving priority to the oldest.  This will include step sisters, step brothers living at the same address.
·         Children living within Renmore parish, giving priority to the oldest.
·         Children of current school staff, giving priority to the oldest.
·         Children whose home address is closest to the school, as measured by a straight line on an O.S. map, if the child is normally resident outside the Renmore Parish boundary.
·         Priority will be given to children whose 4th birthday falls prior to June 30th of year of enrolment in Junior Infants.

C.         DECISIONS

A decision in writing or ‘Text a Parent from the Principal and Chairperson will be issued to parents / guardians within 21 days of receipt of applications, form A and form B (which is the signed letter of offer and agreement of compliance with the Code of Behaviour).

As a general principle and in so far as is practicable, having regard to the school’s enrolment policy, children will be enrolled on application, provided there is space available.
The board of management reserve the right to refuse enrolment or transfers from other schools in the case where a child has been suspended if it is deemed that he/she would pose an unacceptable risk to other pupils, school staff and / or school property. A written refusal will be issued.
In the event that a decision on enrolment is not made within 21 days, the parents may write a letter of appeal under the Education Welfare Act 2000 to the Chairperson.

Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management of Scoil Chaitriona Junior, in accordance with school policy.  Applications for enrolment should be lodged prior to June 1st and will be replied to by June 21st of the year of enrolment.
Enrolments will be taken for the 30th of September each year until classes are full in seniority of age.

While recognising the right of parents to enrol their child in the school of their choice, the Board of Management of Scoil Chaitríona Junior is also responsible for respecting the rights of the existing school community and in particular, the children already enrolled.  This requires balanced judgements, which are guided by the principles of natural justice and are taken in the best interests of all children.  Assisting the school in such circumstances, the Board of Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each separate classroom, bearing in mind:

a)                  Size of, and available space in, classrooms.
b)                  The educational needs of children of a particular age.
c)                  Multi-grade classrooms.
d)                 Presence of children with special educational/behavioural needs.
e)                  D.E.S. maximum class average directive which currently determine a maximum average of 22 children per class.


Parents who are dissatisfied with the enrolment decision, may appeal to the Board of Management. It must address, in writing, to the Chairperson, stating the grounds for appeal, and lodged within ten days of receiving the refusal.  The Chairperson will issue a written response. Parents, if unhappy with the result of this appeal, may appeal to the department of education and Skills on the official form provided by the DES. This appeal must be lodged within 42 days of receipt of the refusal from the school to enrol. Details on appealing decisions on enrolment under section 29 of the Education Act ( as amended by Section4 of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisiona) Act, 2007, are available on the Department’s website at ( Circular 22/02  Processing of an Appeal).
All appeals and decisions of the school management will be dealt with in an equitable manner, and in accordance with fair procedures.


When the enrolment offer has been accepted by the parent, information concerning attendance and the child’s educational progress must be forwarded from the previous school (Section 28, Education Welfare Act 2000).
Pupils data (stored on the Primary Online Database) will be shared with new schools of pupils if they transfer out of Scoil Chaitríona Junior.


The Board of Management of Scoil Chaitríona Junior will append its school handbook and the Code of Behaviour to this policy. Details of the policy in relations to suspension & expulsion are included in the Code of Behaviour.
This policy is endorsed by the Diocesan Administrator (in the absence of the bishop) and adopted by the Board of management of Scoil Chaitríona Junior on ________ February 7th 2017.
It is published on the schools website and reference to where it can be accessed will be printed on the enrolment form for parents.


The Board of Management will monitor the implementation of this policy and it will be reviewed annually in order to maintain effective management of the admissions process.


This policy was reviewed in and ratified by the Board of Management in February 2017.
It is communicated to parents via the school website, Copies are available for viewing in the Principal’s office.

Signature of Principal:      __________________________________  Date:  ______________            

Signature of Chairperson:  __________________________________  Date:  ______________            

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Attendance Policy

Description: C:\Users\Patricia Coleman\Desktop\Headed Paper - Junior.jpg


Introduction & Rationale
This policy document was drawn up:
·         To ensure and maintain a high level of attendance at school by all pupils.
The Board of Management, in consultation with staff and parents/guardians drew up this Policy on Attendance.
The policy was drafted for the following reasons:
·         The Board of Management wishes to comply with legislation, such as:
Ø  The Education Act, 1998
Ø  The Education (Welfare) Act, 2000
Ø  The Education Welfare Bill (Amendment) 2102
·         The Board of Management wishes to promote and encourage regular attendance as an essential factor in our pupils’ learning.

Relationship to the Characteristic Spirit of the School
Scoil Chaitríona Junior endeavours to enable every pupil to actively participate in all school activities. Regular attendance helps to create a stable learning environment for all pupils, and the school hopes to promote co-operation among pupils, parents/guardians and staff in maintaining a high level of regular attendance through the school year.


§  To raise awareness of the importance of regular school attendance
·         To identify pupils at risk of leaving school early
·         To promote and to foster positive attitudes to learning
·         To ensure compliance with the requirements of the relevant legislation.


Attendance Care Team
Principal: Patricia Coleman
Overall Attendance Co-ordinator: Teresa Carleton
HSCL: Dave Gleeson
NEWO Linda Quinn
School Completion Person: Aoife Rooney
Pupil Registration: Henrietta Broderick

Recording and Reporting of Attendance and Non-Attendance
The school attendance of individual pupils is recorded in the Leabhar Rolla (Roll Book) of each class on a daily basis. Class attendance data is recorded daily in the Leabhar Tinrimh (Attendance Book).  The annual attendance of each individual pupil is recorded in the Clár Leabhar (Register), together with information provided in enrolment forms (Pupil’s Name, Date of Birth, Address, Religion, Parents’ Names and Parents’ Occupations).

If a pupil does not attend on a day when the school is open for instruction, his/her non-attendance will be recorded by the class teacher. The roll call is taken at no later than 9.50am each morning.  Any pupil not present will be marked absent for the day.  The roll book may not be altered once it has been filled in. Class teachers record absences on a Special Record Sheet to be kept in the roll book. (Appendix 1)

A Standard School Absence Note (circulated in the first week of September, Appendix 2) from parents/guardians is required to explain each absence. Such notes will be retained by the class teacher. Parents/guardians must also provide a note if a child departs early during the school day. Parent / guardian must sign a “leaving school early” copy available in each classroom before taking the child out early from school. At break times the parent goes to the staff room to tell the child’s teacher he/she is taking the child early. Late arrivals are noted by the class teacher and concerns forwarded to the overall attendance Co-ordinator (Teresa Carleton) and or HSCL (Dave Gleeson).

Parents/guardians are informed in writing on the end of year report of the total number of absences during the school year. Pupils whose non-attendance is a concern are invited to meet with the Attendance Co-ordinator during Parent/Teacher meetings and are informed of the school’s concerns.

The school informs the Education Welfare Officer at the NEWB Attendance Meetings, where a child has missed 20 or more days in a school year, where attendance is irregular, where a pupil is removed from the school register and where a child is suspended or expelled for 6 days or more.

Whole School Strategies to Promote Attendance
Scoil Chaitríona Junior, endeavour to create a safe, welcoming environment for our pupils and their parents/guardians. Parents/guardians are consulted in drafting and reviewing policies with the aim of promoting a high-level of co-operation among the school community. The teaching staff collaborates in the planning and implementation of the primary school curriculum, so as to provide a stimulating learning environment for all pupils.

New entrants and their parents/guardians are invited to an induction meeting in the 2nd school term, through which the school’s policies and procedures in relation to attendance are explained. There is a focus on the value of regular attendance and on the importance of developing good attendance habits from Junior Infants onwards. Support services and assessment available through the school are emphasised for families who may need encouragement towards making a difference for their child/ren.
A copy of “Don’t let your child Miss out” is provided to parents at the Induction Meeting.

Scoil Chaitrona Junior schools homework policy, drawn up in consultation with parents/guardians, clearly outlines the school’s expectations in terms of the quantity of homework assigned and in the quality of homework presented. There is a consistent approach to homework throughout the school.

The calendar for the coming school year is published annually in June along with a letter advising parents to plan their holidays around school closures. A reminder is published in September. It is hoped that this approach will enable parents/guardians to plan family events around school closures, thus minimising the chances of non-attendance related to family holidays during the school term.

Pupils are expected to wear the correct school uniform.

Parents/guardians are informed if a child has no lunch, and if one cannot be provided for him/her, the school will provide a cereal and drink.

Teachers and Principal encourage good attendance through meeting with parents, giving positive feedback on improvements over a short period of time and overall attendance. Set targets for School Completion are reviewed on an annual basis.

The question of equality of access is addressed through the school’s policy on Equal Opportunity and Gender Equity.

The school has developed a good relationship with the local Education Welfare Board (EWB) personnel and there is ongoing communication in relation to children who are at risk. In some cases it may be necessary to seek advice from outside agencies such as NEPS, C.A.M.H.S., Social Worker, Family Support or other.

The school works with School Completion, Junior Achievement, the local area partnership, the local sports partnership and other bodies in developing programmes to promote school attendance. These programmes aim to minimise the risks of irregular or non-attendance and to maximise the opportunities provided to all pupils.

The school maintains communication with local pre-schools and Scoil Chaitríona Senior in order to make the transition for pupils as easy as possible. A paired reading programme takes place in the third term between 5th Class and 2nd class to ease the transition between the Junior and Senior schools.

Strategies in the Event of Non-Attendance
Section 17 of the Education (Welfare) Act (2000), states that ‘the parent of a child shall cause the child concerned to attend a recognised school on each school day’.

Scoil Chaitríona issues notice to parents / guardians in the form of a letter regarding unexplained absences of 15 to 20 days. Parents / guardians are invited to meet with the Attendance Co-ordinator and or HSCL to explain such absences.

Section 21 of the act obliges schools to inform the Education Welfare Officer if a child is absent on more than 20 days in any school year, or if a child does not attend school on a regular basis.

In such cases the Education Welfare Officer (following all reasonable efforts by the Education Board to consult with the child’s parents, HSCL and the Principal of the school) may serve a ‘School Attendance Notice’ on any parent who he/she concludes is failing or neglecting to cause the child to attend the school.  A successful case taken against the parent may result in a fine and/or imprisonment.

Reasons for absence and other relevant information of children who are absent 20 days or more are recorded by the Attendance Co-ordinator at regular intervals and reported to the NEWB and / or at the Attendance Care Meeting held six times during the school.  

Unexplained absences or suspicion of truancy from school are queried by the class teacher on meeting the parent in the morning, by phone call from the class teacher, Attendance Co-ordinator or secretary or at parent teacher meetings.

Where a child is more than 3 days unexplained absences from school the teacher contacts the parent to identify the reason for the absence and where appropriate informs the attendance Co-ordinator and /or HSCL immediately.

Transfer to Another School
Under Section 20 of the Education (Welfare) Act (2000), the Principal of a child’s current school must notify the Principal of the child’s previous school that the child is now registered in their school. 

When a Principal receives notification that a child has been registered elsewhere he/she must notify the Principal of the pupil’s new school, of any problems in relation to attendance at the pupil’s former school and of such matters relating to the child’s educational progress as he or she considers appropriate.  This applies to pupils who transfer between primary schools and to pupils who transfer from Scoil Chaitríona Junior to Scoil Chaitríona Senior. In the case where a child leaves school and the destination is unknown the child’s name is kept on the school roll for 21 consecutive days and on the school register until the pupil normally leaves school at the end of Second Class.

Success Criteria
The following will provide some practical indicators of the success of this policy:

·         An increase in annual attendance rates
·         Board of Management, Staff and parent/guardian awareness of their legal obligations under the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the amended 2012 Bill

Roles and Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the Principal and staff to implement this policy under the guidance of the school’s Board of Management.

This policy will be implemented immediately following ratification by the Board of Management.

Ratification and Review
This policy was approved by the Board of Management in Term 1, 2016/2017 school year.

It was ratified by the Board of Management on Date: 13th, December, 2016

Signed: _____________________________ Chairperson, BoM

This policy was communicated to the Parent Association on December 14th 2016

Signed: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_____________________________  Chairperson, PA

The policy is available to view on the school’s website.                    

Review Date:  School Year 2019 -2020

Appendix 1
Pupil Non Attendance Records – to be recorded daily

Class………………………………            Teacher ……………………………………...

Pupil’s Name
Reason for absence eg Illness; Urgent Family Reasons; Holidays; Expelled; Suspended; Religious Observance etc; transfer to another school

Scoil Chaitríona Junior, Renmore

Child’s Name  ______________________________ Teacher ________________________

Date of Absence     from ____ / ____ / ____  to   ____ / ____ / ____       No. of days

(Please tick one of the following)
(A)    Illness

(B)    Urgent family Reasons


(C)    Other (Please specify eg Holidays, religious Observance etc)


(D)    Transfer to another school (please specify school)


SIGNATURE (Parent / Guardian) ___________________________________   Date  _________________
Under legislation the school is compelled to report absences of 20 days or more, regardless of reasons of absence. Please fill in this form and return it to the class teacher each time your child is absent from school.

--------------------------------------------------------  Cut here please  ----------------------------------------------------------

Scoil Chaitríona Junior, Renmore

Child’s Name  ______________________________ Teacher ________________________

Date of Absence     from ____ / ____ / ____  to   ____ / ____ / ____       No. of days

(Please tick one of the following)
(E)    Illness

(F)     Urgent family Reasons


(G)    Other (Please specify eg Holidays, religious Observance etc)


(H)   Transfer to another school (please specify school)


SIGNATURE (Parent / Guardian) ___________________________________   Date  _________________
Under legislation the school is compelled to report absences of 20 days or more, regardless of reasons of absence. Please fill in this form and return it to the class teacher each time your child is absent from school.