Admissions Policy 2017/18

St. Joseph’s CBS, Fairview, Dublin 3
Admissions Policy
2017 – 18

INTRODUCTION:
The Admissions policy of St Joseph’s CBS has been set out in accordance with:
• The relevant legislation of the State, and
• The ethos of the school as agreed by all our partners in education.

BACKGROUND
St Joseph’s CBS is a Voluntary Roman Catholic Secondary School under the Trusteeship and the Patronage of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST). The school has operated in Fairview since its foundation in 1888 and celebrated 125 years contribution to education in 2013. It is a single-sex school for boys however girls can attend a Repeat Leaving Certificate Class. The financial and teaching resources of the school are provided by the Department of Education and Skills grants, voluntary contributions and school-fundraising.
The vision of Edmund Rice inspires us, with our school’s central purpose being the religious, moral, intellectual, physical and social education of our students in an atmosphere of Christian care and concern. St. Joseph’s fully subscribes to the ERST vision of an education which fosters personal growth in a caring environment. We aspire to educate and to promote responsibility. We aim to work together in a spirit of respect, care and partnership. St. Joseph’s is a school where friendship, affirmation and individual attention are encouraged among pupils, teachers and parents. Our motto “Deo Duce”, means “With God as my Leader” and is taken from the crest of the Charlemont family, on whose former lands the school is built.
In this Admissions Policy, due regard has been shown to the provisions of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, the Educational Welfare Act and Equal Status Act 2000-2008, the role of our school’s trustees in the school’s daily life, the religious and educational philosophy of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust, and financial support and resources available to the school from the Department of Education and Skills.

Ethos
St. Joseph’s CBS is dedicated to maintaining the spiritual values of the founder, Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice. We seek to promote the five key elements of an Edmund Rice School as espoused by the ERST Charter:
• Nurturing faith, Christian spirituality and Gospel-based values means that in St. Joseph’s CBS we live our Catholic Faith, experience God, respect the beliefs and values of each member of the school community and work for social and ecological justice
• Promoting partnership means that in St. Joseph’s CBS we make everyone feel welcome, build a Christian community with a shared vision and mission, recognize the voice of staff, students, parents, trustees and past pupils and seek to build and maintain strong links with our parish
• Excelling in teaching and learning means that in St. Joseph’s CBS we have high expectations of our teachers and students, nurture the development of all aspects of our lives, respond to a changing world, use technology responsibly and creatively to enhance our learning and promote learning as a life-long enterprise, in an atmosphere of care and compassion
• Creating a caring school community means that in St. Joseph’s CBS we show care and compassion as exemplified in the life of Jesus, respect and celebrate the dignity of each person, seek to help those who are disadvantaged or in need in society and speak up for the weak and vulnerable and for those whose voice is not heard. Every two years our Transition and Fifth year students take part in the Edmund Rice Schools Trust World Immersion Programme in Kabwe, Zambia where we have established links with Sables Nua, a school for over 200 orphaned and street children
• Inspiring transformational leadership means that in St. Joseph’s CBS we motivate people to work towards the vision of Blessed Edmund, inspire the minds and hearts of our students to have courage and confidence to stand up for what we believe in, lead by giving good example and take responsibility for our actions
For further information on the Edmund Rice Schools Trust and the ERST Charter please see www.erst.ie

Admissions Policy

This policy is drafted in accordance with Section 15 (2,d) of the Education Act 1998.
The closing date for acceptance of application forms is 30th September of the calendar year preceding entry, i.e. when the student is in sixth class. Late applications may, however, be considered in accordance with our enrolment policy. On receipt of the application form your son’s name will be placed on an application list. Placement on this list is not a guarantee of a place in the school.
The Board of Management will establish the number of students to be taken in each year by 15th September of that preceding year. In 2017/18 it is planned to admit 48 students in 1st year.
To be eligible for 1st year students must be 12 years of age or more on 1st January in the calendar year following entry into 1st year.
Parent (s) / Guardian (s) of students must be willing to accept the school ethos and the Code of Behaviour and must be willing to allow their son (s) sit an assessment test prior to coming to the school

Criteria for Admission
Applications will be processed in the following sequence and places filled from each category in order until the number of available places is filled:

1. Students from St. Joseph’s Primary School
2. Brothers of past or present pupils
3. Sons, grandsons or nephews of past pupils
4. Sons of serving staff (with at least 3 year’s service on the closing date for applications)
5. Students from other primary schools by date of inclusion on the Application List for the relevant school year
Should the number of applicants exceed the number of places available, a waiting list will be compiled in accordance with the date applications were received

Admission procedure
All applications must be completed in full on the official school application form only together with the relevant supporting documentation requested.
All applications will be acknowledged within 14 days of receipt.
All applicants will be notified of the decision to enrol by October 21st
Within 3 weeks of October 21st of the year preceding entry parents will be asked to confirm that they are accepting a place in our school. An advance payment on book rental may be asked for on enrolment
There will be an assessment test in February of the year of entry to ensure that our first year classes are balanced in terms of ability and to identify strengths and weaknesses of students in the core subjects of Irish, English and Maths.
All applications will be processed by the principal in the first instance in accordance with the Admissions policy. A refusal to enrol may be appealed to the Board of Management.
The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse an application for admission in exceptional circumstances. Such an exceptional case could arise where either:
1. The student has special needs such that, even with the additional resources available from the Department of Education and Skills, the school cannot meet such needs and /or provide the student with an appropriate education
Or
2. In the opinion of the Board of Management, the student poses an unacceptable risk to other students, to school staff or to school property

In the case of refusal by the board the matter may be appealed to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills under section 29 of the Education Act (1998). 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
St. Joseph’s CBS welcomes applications from students with Special Educational Needs unless the nature and degree of those needs is such that to enrol the student concerned would be inconsistent with both the best interests of the student and the effective provision of education for the other students with whom the student concerned is to be educated (as per the 2004 Special Educational Needs Act)
Parents/Guardians are required to outline the details of a student’s special educational needs in the appropriate section on the application form
St. Joseph’s ability to accept students with particular needs is dependent on the supply of resources suitable to the needs of the individual student being supplied by the Department of Education and Skills. The Board of Management must be made aware of any special needs of prospective students as early as possible, so that these needs can be assessed and addressed where possible.
Data provided to our school in respect of an application for admission is subject to the terms and conditions 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 any Parent/Guardian wish to update or access your son’s personal data, please write to the School Principal.
Please see attached statement on St. Joseph’s CBS ASD Unit

Transfer Policy
Applications to join the school during an academic year will be considered by the Principal, who will consult with the Deputy Principal and relevant Year Head. Each application will be treated on its merits. The school, being satisfied with the reasons for transfer will request information from the applicant’s former/present school concerning attendance, behaviour, educational progress, etc., and the reason for transfer
The decision to accept a transfer or not ultimately rests with the Principal, subject to appeal to the Board of Management

St. Joseph’s CBS ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) Unit
St Joseph’s C.B.S.’ programme for students with ASD is based upon the needs of our students. Some program components, however, are fundamental:
• Our classrooms are arranged to provide continuity in visual schedules, classroom rules, a positive behavioural support system, and other components.
• The staff of St Joseph’s receives training to build skills and knowledge about characteristics of students with ASD; ASD in adolescence, behavioural issues and social skills.

Admissions Policy (In Accordance with St Joseph’s CBS’ Admissions Policy)
Applications for places will be considered by the Board in consultation with St Joseph’s C.B.S. A.S.D. Unit Staff. There are four classes in the ASD unit which allows for a maximum of 24 students.
Before an application for a placement can be considered each pupil will need to meet the following criteria:
• A diagnosis of ASD
• Priority will be given to students in the following order.
a) Students from St. Joseph’s Primary School.
b) Brothers of past or present pupils.
c) Sons, grandsons or nephews of past pupils.
d) Sons of serving staff (with at least 3 year’s service on the closing date for applications)
e) Students who have applied irrespective of primary school attended by them- by date of inclusion on the Application List for the relevant school year.
• Should the number of applicants exceed the number of places available a lottery will take place to determine the order on a waiting-list.
The current situation is that all 24 places in the unit have been allocated up to and including the school year 2018/19.

An offer of a place is dependent on the following:
• The pupil fitting into an existing vacancy.
• The admissions panel should judge that the child is well placed within the mix of children already in the Unit when the vacancy occurs.
• St Joseph’s C.B.S. having the resources to meet the child’s needs.
• Appropriate funding to cover the educational needs of each child should be available.

Compatibility
Consideration will be given to the best interests of pupils already in St Joseph’s C.B.S. when applicants are being considered for admission.
Consideration will be given to the level of ability in an attempt to achieve a manageable class balance.

Procedure
If the education authority is in agreement, a visit may be made to see the child in their current provision and an observational assessment is made according to the St Joseph’s admission criteria.
Following informal assessment, account will be taken of the following:

• will the curriculum at St Joseph’s C.B.S. fully meet the needs of the pupil?
• the developmental level and the degree of learning difficulty of the pupil.
• the pervasive nature of the child’s ASD and its effect on behaviour.

If all parties are in agreement that they wish consideration for admission to proceed, a full case history, copy of statement and accompanying reports including the latest review report, are sought.
All admissions are subject to a six month assessment period following which an initial review is held.
Transition / Integration arrangements for new pupils are needs led.
St Joseph’s C.B.S. endeavours to seek the optimum level of support and resources from the relevant agencies in both the Department of Education and Science and the Department of Health to assist in its maximum inclusion policy.

Consultation and Review

This policy has been approved by our Board of Management in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders in the school. It is operative for the First Year intake in the school year 2017/18 and will be subject to annual review. The up-to-date policy is available at the school and is published on the school website at www.stjosephsfairview.ie

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management of St. Joseph’s CBS on 2 March 2017 and was agreed for publication by the Edmund Rice Schools Trust on 6 June 2017