Admissions Policy

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Admissions Policy of North Monastery Secondary School

  • School Address: North Monastery Road, Cork
  • Roll Number: 62530F
  • School Patron: The Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST)
  1. Introduction

This Admission Policy complies with the requirements of the Education Act 1998, the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and the Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting this policy, the Board of Management of the school has consulted with school staff, the school patron and with parents of children attending the school.

The Policy was approved by the school patron on 27th May 2020. It is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request to any person who requests it.

The relevant dates and timelines for the North Monastery Secondary School admission process are set out in the school’s annual admission notice which is published annually on the school’s website at least one week before the commencement of the admission process for the school year concerned.

This policy must be read in conjunction with the annual admission notice for the school year concerned.

The application form for admission is published on the school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy on request to any person who requests it.

  1. Characteristic spirit and general objectives of the school

The North Monastery Secondary School is a Catholic Boys voluntary secondary school with a Catholic Ethos under the trusteeship of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust.

‘Catholic Ethos’ in the context of a Catholic voluntary secondary school means the ethos and characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church, which aims at promoting;

  1. The full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil including the intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual aspects; and
  2. A living relationship with God and with other people; and
  3. A philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and
  4. the formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith

and which school provides religious education in accordance with the doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and/or such ethos and/or characteristic spirit as may be determined or interpreted from time to time by the Irish Episcopal Conference. In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act, 1998, the Board of Management of the North Monastery Secondary School shall uphold, and be accountable to the patron for so upholding the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral, religious, social, linguist and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school.

The North Monastery Secondary School was established in 1811 and serves the North Side of Cork City. It accepts applications from boys only.

It provides a Catholic Education with a wide range of subjects and programmes. The school has a very experienced teaching staff and a wide range of extra-curricular activities. It is situated on a large educational campus with extensive sporting facilities. The campus, in addition to this school, includes a boys primary school, Scoil Mhuire Fatima, an all Irish secondary school, Gaelcholaiste Mhuire and a music school, Cork Music Academy.

The School, Management, parents, staff and students, working together as a school community within the resources available, aim to provide a Catholic education in the best possible environment for all its students.

The school shows special concern for those who are disadvantaged in the area and makes every effort to ensure that the uniqueness and dignity of each person is respected, and responded to, especially through the School Support System.

The school realises too that it must cater for the changing needs of today’s world and towards that end it frequently reviews its various programmes. Being keenly aware of the ever increasing effect of outside influences on the lives of its students, the school is even more concerned to maintain Catholic values and practices.

The faith development of the school’s students is given priority through an extensive and creative religious education programme. All students are expected to attend religious education classes.

The Board of Management and ERST together with the school, fully subscribe to and operate within current legislation* and try to ensure best practice prevails in all aspects of the work of the school.

The basic principles of current education legislation are in tune with the school’s mission statement including accountability, transparency, inclusion, diversity, parental choice, equality of participation and access.

In its structures and policies, the school will ensure that these principles are respected and implemented.

  • Education Act 1998
  • Education (welfare) Act 2000
  • Equal Status Act 2000
  • Education of Persons with Special Needs Act 2004
  • Education Act (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018
  1. Admission Statement

The North Monastery Secondary School will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school on any of the following;

  • The gender ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned
  • The civil status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned
  • The family status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned
  • The sexual orientation ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned
  • The religion ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned
  • The disability ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned
  • The ground of race of the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned
  • The Traveller community ground of the student in respect of the student concerned or
  • The ground that the student or applicant in respect of the students concerned has special educational needs

As per section 61 (3) of the Education Act 1998, ‘civil status ground’, ‘disability ground’, ‘discriminate’, ‘family status ground’, ‘gender ground’, ‘ground of race’, ‘religion ground’, ‘sexual orientation ground’ and ‘Traveller community ground’ shall be constructed in accordance with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000

The North Monastery Secondary School is an all-boys school and does not discriminate where it refuses to admit a girl applying for admission to this school.

The North Monastery Secondary School is a school whose objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values and does not discriminate where it admits a student of the Catholic Faith in preference to others.

The North Monastery Secondary School is a school whose objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values and does not discriminate where it refused to admit as a student a person which is not of the Catholic faith and it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

The North Monastery Secondary School is a school which has established a class, with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, which provides an education exclusively for students with a category or categories of special educational needs specified by the Minister and may refuse to admit to the class a student who does not have the category of needs specified.

  1. Categories of Special Education Needs catered for in the School

 The North Monastery Secondary School with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills, has established a class to provide an education exclusively for students with ASD.

  1. Admission of Students

This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where-

  1. The school is oversubscribed (please see Section 6 below for further details)
  2. A parent/guardian of a student, when required by the Principal in accordance with section 23 (4 ) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the student

The North Monastery Secondary School provides education exclusively for boys and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of the gender provided for by this school

 The North Monastery School is a Catholic school and may refuse to admit a student or person who is not of the Catholic faith where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school

The special class attached to the North Monastery Secondary School provides an education exclusively for students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the school may refuse admission to this class, where the student concerned does not have the specified category of special educational needs provided for in this class.

5.1:      North Monastery ASD Programme / Admissions Policy regarding enrolment of ASD students

The development of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) programme in the North Monastery Secondary School is based on the philosophy of educational inclusion such that students with specialised needs should receive their education within the most supportive environment with a focus on realising the full potential of each individual student. Our Base Class provides students with a stimulus to thrive, develop friendships and reach their potential in a safe and encouraging environment.

Under Department of Education and Skills guidelines the maximum number of students enrolled in the three special classes of the ASD Programme is 18 students, with a maximum of 6 students per base class.

Applications will be available to 6th Class Primary School pupils, from the date of the open evening of the academic year, prior to the pupil starting at The North Monastery Secondary School. The date from which applications will be accepted will be specified in the school’s annual admission notice.

 6. Oversubscription

In the event that the school is oversubscribed, the school will, when deciding on applications for admission apply the following selection criteria in the order listed below to those applications that are received within the timeline for receipt of applications as set out in the school’s annual admission notice.

 Should there be more applications for places than places available, priority will be given to;

  1. Brothers of pupils who are already attending the school
  2. Brothers of pupils who previously attended the school
  3. Children who reside in the catchment area of Cork City North East and Cork City North West

These criteria will be applied strictly in the order in which they are outlined.

  1. What will not be considered or taken into account

In accordance with section 62(7)(e) of the Education Act,2018, the school will not consider or take into account any of the following in deciding on applications or when placing a student on a waiting list for admission to the school;

  • A student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service including naíonraí,
  • The payment of fees or contributions to the school
  • A student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude; other than in relation to; admission to a special class insofar as it is necessary to order to ascertain whether or not the student has the category of special educational needs concerned and/or
  • The occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents;
  • A requirement that a student, or his parents attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission
  • The date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school; this is subject to the application being received at any time during the period specified for receiving applications set out in the annual admission notice of the school for the school year concerned
  1. Decisions on Appeals

All decisions on applications for admission to the North Monastery Secondary School will be based on the following;

  • Our school’s admission policy
  • The school’s annual admission notice (where applicable)
  • The information provided by the applicant in the schools official application form received during the period specified in our annual admission notice for receiving applications

(Please see section 14 below in relation to applications received outside of the admission period and section 15 below in relation to applications for places in years other than the intake group)

  1. Notifying applicants of decisions

Applicants will be informed in writing as to the decision of the school within the timeline outlined in the annual admissions notice.

If a student is not offered a place in our school, the reasons why they were not offered a place will be communicated in writing to the applicant, including, where applicable, details of the student’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the student’s place on the waiting list for the school year concerned.

Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the school’s decision (see section 18 below for further details)

  1. Acceptance of an offer of a place by an applicant

In accepting an offer of admission from the North Monastery Secondary School you must indicate

(1) whether or not you have accepted an offer of admission for another school or schools. If you have accepted such an offer, you must also provide details of the offer or offers concerned and

 

(2)  whether or not you have applied for and are awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school or schools, and if so, you must provide details of the other school or schools concerned.

 

  1. Circumstances in which offers may not be made or may be withdrawn

 An offer of admission may not be made or may be withdrawn by the North Monastery Secondary School where

  • It is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading
  • An applicant fails to confirm acceptance of an offer of admission on or before the date set out in the annual admission notice of the school
  • The parent(s)/guardian(s) of a student, when required by the Principal in accordance with section 23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fail to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to them and that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with the such code by the student; or
  • An applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 10
  1. Sharing of Data with other schools

Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018 allows for the sharing of certain information between schools in order to facilitate the efficient admission of students.

  1. Waiting list in the event of oversubscription

In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places available, a waiting list of students whose applications for admission to the North Monastery Secondary School were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought.

Placement on the waiting list of the North Monastery Secondary School is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with the admission policy.

Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those students on the waiting list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the students have been placed on the list.

  1. Late applications

All applications for admission received after the closing date as outlined in the annual admission notice will be considered and decided upon in accordance with our school’s admissions policy, the Education Admissions to School Act 2018 and any regulations made under that act.

  1. Procedures for admission of students to other years and during the school year

The procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already to the school to classes or years other than the school’s intake group are as follows;

The school will make every reasonable effort to facilitate a student seeking a transfer to our school. The Management will decide on an application for admission to any other than First Year by applying the following criteria;

1;   There must be an available place after the general admissions criteria have been applied

2;   It is in agreement with the School’s Admission Policy

3;   The transfer must be in the best interest of the student

4;   The transfer must be in the best interest of the school and the other students in the school

5;   The transfer must be of educational benefit to the student (i.e. it may not be possible to offer the student certain subject combinations, a place in a certain programme, etc)

6;   The School Application form must be completed

7;   All relevant information from the applicant’s former school(s) must be made available including

  1. Copies of two most recent school reports for the student
  2. Copies of results of any State Examinations taken by the student

The closing dates for receipt of applications is contained in the Annual Admissions notice. Applications made outside of these dates will be considered on an individual basis.

In arriving at a decision the Principal will consult with the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s), the Principal of his former school(s) and the educational welfare officer.

The student will be interviewed, usually in the presence of his parent(s)/guardian(s) by the Principal using the criteria outlined above.

The Procedures of the school in relation to the admission of students who are not already admitted to the school, after the commencement of the school year in which admission is sought, area as follows.

Late applications for First  Year will be accepted subject to the following

  • Applicants will be placed on a waiting list if the earlier enrolment process is fully subscribed
  • Availability of a place in the school
  • Application form and all relevant other information being submitted
  • The final decision regarding admission to the North Monastery Secondary School lies with the Principal subject to the appeal processes detailed in section 18 below.

As soon as is practicable, but not later than 21 days after a parent(s)/guardian(s) has provided all the relevant information, and following confirmation to the Principal of the availability of the necessary resources from the DES, the Principal shall make a decision in respect of the application concerned and inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) in writing thereof. Education Welfare Act (Section 19 (3)).

  1. Declaration in relation to the non-charging of fees

 The Board of the North Monastery Secondary School or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-

  • An application for admission of a student to the school, or
  • The admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school
  1. Arrangements regarding students not attending religious instruction

The following are the school’s arrangements for parents of students and students (over 18) who have requested that the student attend the school without attending religious instruction in the school:

These arrangements will not result in a reduction in the school day of such students.

Parents of students and students (over 18) who wish to opt-out of RE class should make a written request to the Principal.  A meeting will then be arranged with the parent or the student, as the case may be, to discuss their options.  Throughout this process, the constitutional right of the parent/student (over 18) will be respected by the school.

The 1998 Education Act states that the schools are required to promote the moral, spiritual, social and personal development of students (Section 9(d). At the North Monastery Secondary School the allocated time on the timetable for Religious Educations responds to this.  Students who opt out of RE class are required to use this time to study material in relation to their own religious tradition or belief, for example sacred texts. Students of no religious faith, who opt out of RE class, are required to study relevant literature or philosophical texts. A list of suggested texts can be provided by the school.  In line with the Edmund Rice Schools Trust Charter, the North Monastery Secondary School places great importance on the religious or spiritual formation of all its students.  Each student has his own personal journey which will be encouraged and respected. Students who opt out of RE class will not be offered extra tuition or study periods.

  1. Reviews/appeals

Review of decisions by the Board of Management

The parent of the student, or in the case of the student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may request the Board to review a decision to refuse admission.  Such requests must be made in accordance with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998 and must be received not later than 21 days after the applicant has been informed in writing as to the decision of the school in accordance with Section 9 of this policy.

The timeline within which a review such must be requested and other requirements applicable to such reviews are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under Section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

The Board will conduct such reviews in accordance with the requirements of the procedures determined under Section 29B and with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998.

 

Note: Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the Board of Management prior to making an appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998. This request must be received not later than 21 days after the applicant has been informed in writing as to the decision of the school in accordance with Section 9 of this policy.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the Board of Management prior to making an appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998. This request must be received by the Board not later than 21 days after the applicant has been informed in writing as to the decision of the school in accordance with Section 9 of the policy.

Right of Appeal

  • Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student may appeal a decision of this school to refuse admission.
  • An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1)(c)(1) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due to the school being oversubscribed.
  • An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1)(1) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit as due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed.
  • Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the Board of Management prior to making an appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management This request must be received by the Board not later than 21 days after the applicant has been informed in writing as to the decision of the school in accordance with Section 9 of the policy.
  • Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998.  (see Review of decisions by the Board of Management. This request must be received by the Board not later than 21 days after the applicant has been informed in writing as to the decision of the school in accordance with Section 9 of the policy.
  • Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will be considered and determined by an independent appeals committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.
  • The timeline within which such an appeal must be made and the other requirements applicable to such appeals are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under Section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the Department of Education and Skills.

 

APPENDIX 1

North Monastery ASD Programme – Enrolment Procedure

The applications will in the first instance be reviewed by the intake committee which includes the Principal, the ASD Programme Coordinator ,  SEN Coordinator  and any other significant professional. This committee will review the applications to determine the student’s suitability for the ASD Programme.  Following the selection of possible candidates the Principal and ASD teaching staff will then carry out the enrolment procedures as set out below.

 Enrolment procedures:

We require that all applications are accompanied by documentary evidence that proves conclusively that the applicant has been diagnosed with ASD/ Asperger’s syndrome by an approved specialist / team of specialist in the fields of educational psychology / clinical psychological /child psychiatry / paediatrics. We request that parents / guardians of applications pupils provide the school with the relevant documentation.  Documentation required includes a diagnostic report of ASD using the criteria of the DSMIV or the ICDM-10, as well as an up-to date (within 2 year) letter of recommendation for Special class attendance at second level.

We require that the Principal and selected member / members of the ASD team are facilitated to conduct as many observations as appropriate of the pupil in his / her current educational placement.

We reserve the right to refuse placement to a student should our programme / facilities not meet the educational needs of the student.

Students who apply must, in the judgement of the intake committee, have an ability to meaningfully participate in mainstream classes in order to be considered for enrolment.

Students who apply must have learning needs of not less than mild general disability in order to be considered for enrolment in the ASD programme, and will be enrolled subject to the suitability of the North Monastery programme to meet their needs.

Where the number of students meeting the above criteria to an equal degree exceeds the number of places available priority will be given in accordance with the criteria of mainstream enrolment policy

Once a student has been offered a place on the programme he will be invited to participate in a transition programme the following May in the North Monastery Secondary School. We regard students’ participation in the transition programme to be essential in ensuring their smooth transition to their new environment, as well as in facilitating ASD Programme staff in making any necessary academic/other reasonable accommodations for the pupil in a pre-emptive and responsible manner.

Ratified by the Board of Management in May 2020