Enrolment Policy

Scoil Naomh Damian

Admissions and Participation Policy 2014


St Damian's National School is a Catholic vertical primary school, which educates girls and boys from junior infants to sixth class. We aim to provide an organised, caring, happy and secure environment where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and met. St Damian's is within the patronage of the Archdiocese of Dublin. The school is managed by its own Board of Management. St Damian's NS operates under the Rules for National Schools and Department Circulars and is funded by the Department of Education and Skills. The school is subject to the provisions of the Education Act (1998), the Education Welfare Act (2000), the Equal Status Act (2000), the Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act (2004) and all relevant equality legislation. St Damian's NS is a progressive inclusive school and no child will be refused admission on discriminatory grounds as referred to in the Equal Status Act.

The Board of Management has formally adopted and implemented Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary School, 2011 which is based on Children First: National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011. Our Child Protection policy is available on the school website. The school is guided by the curriculum programmes as set out 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.

Children enrolled in St Damian's NS are expected to co-operate with and support the school's Code of Behaviour as well as all other policies. Parents/Guardians have a share in the responsibility for ensuring that their child/children adhere to our school policies. A copy of this code will be issued to all parents and each parent will be requested to sign an undertaking to uphold the school Code of Behaviour and all other policies.

The school is resourced through a combination of DES grants, voluntary contributions from Parents and fund-raising within the school community. The implementation of the school's admission policy will have regard to the financial and teaching resources of the school.

St Damian's opening hours are 8.50am-2.30pm Monday to Friday. Infant classes finish at 1.30pm.


Admissions procedure

Applications for enrolment in junior infants for the next school year are made during the preceding school year. In the case of children who wish to be enrolled in other classes during the school year, every effort will be made to enrol the child immediately provided that the Pupil Teacher ratio in the school ,as laid down by the DES, is not breached.

Notification of enrolment is given beforehand by putting a notice on the school Blog, in the Parish and School Newsletters and by placing a notice in the school notice board . The application form is available to download from the school website and also in hard copy form from the school office. C ompleted Enrolment Application Forms should be returned to the school by 31st October in the preceding year in which it is anticipated the child will attend the school. The completed application form will include confirmation that the parent or guardian and applicant accept the Code of the Behaviour of the school.

The names of children for whom Enrolment Application Forms have been returned will be placed on a class waiting list. The completion of an application form or the placement of your child's name on this list, however early, does not confer an automatic right to a place in the school. In the event that an application form is returned to the school, in the year or years preceding the child's entry date, the name of the child will be recorded on a waiting list for that year. Assessment of the application will take place in the year of entry.

Entry to St Damian's NS is determined by the criteria in the order set out below:

Order of Priority

  1. Brothers and sisters of children currently enrolled in St Damian's NS.
  2. Children of current staff
  3. Catholic children living in Kimmage Manor and St. Agnes' Parishes –priority to the closest to the school
  4. Catholic children outside the parish and do not have a Catholic school in their parish-priority to the closest to the school
  5. Children who live within the two Parishes but who are not Catholic-priority to the closest to the school
  6. Catholic Children living outside the Parish-priority to the closest to the school.
  7. In the event of being unable to enrol a child from categories (a) and (b) in a given year such children will receive priority in order of (a) and (b) for the following school year ahead of other children on the school waiting list.
  8. Late applications will be recorded and considered in the event that the waiting list is exhausted.

In the event of oversubscription, priority will be given to the oldest pupils in each category. Notification to Parents on their applications will be made within 30 days of the closing date for applications. When offered a place it will be subject to the provision to the school of:

  • A copy of the child's birth certificate & Baptismal Certificate.
  • A copy of a recent utility bill or other evidence of home address.

If these documents are not provided the offer of a place will be withdrawn and the place offered to the next child on the list. Successful applicants must signify in writing, by the stated date on the letter of acceptance, their intention to accept the place offered in St Damian's NS.


Applications from Children with Special Needs

St Damian's is an inclusive school and welcomes applications for admission of pupils with special educational needs. The school will use resources provided by the DES to make reasonable provision and accommodation for students with disabilities or special needs up to a nominal cost.

The school aims to identify, at an early stage, any applicant for admission who has special needs and to become familiar with the specific needs of the child.In making provision for children with special needs, the school needs to know if the child has had access to:

  • A special needs assistant.
  • A special class.
  • Help, for specific needs, from any resource teacher.
  • Assistance with behaviour management.
  • A Psychological or any professional assessment.
  • Any additional resources to help with special needs.
  • Help in areas including visual impairment, hearing impairment, learning disability or emotional disturbance.
  • Any resource in relation to travel or mobility.

If an expert report is provided, it should include workable strategies for addressing the needs of the child, allowing for the resources available.If no expert report is available, the school will request parental approval for immediate assessment, in order to determine the educational needs of the child.

The school will meet the parents to discuss the needs of the child and the capability of the school to meet these needs. Having gathered all the relevant information available, the Board of Management, through the Principal and the SEN team, will assess how the needs of the child can be met. The DES will be requested in writing to provide additional resources, if they are needed.

In exceptional circumstances, final acceptance of an applicant will depend on the additional resources being provided by the DES.

Parents or guardians of children with special needs are strongly advised to make early application to the school to allow time to follow the procedures outlined above.

As soon as possible, but not later than 21 days after a parent or guardian has provided the relevant information, the Board of Management shall decide on the application concerned and inform the parents or guardians in writing of their decision (Educational Welfare Act 2000, Section 19, 3).

Transfer of pupil/s from another school

Pupils from other schools may transfer into the school at any time subject to the following conditions:

  • The transfer is in accordance with the school's admission policy.
  • The school is satisfied with the reason for the transfer.
  • The transfer is in the best interest of the pupil.
  • All relevant information from the former school is made available.
  • Space is available in the school to facilitate the transfer.
  • The applicant is not entering sixth class during the school year.
  • The Educational Welfare Officer is consulted, if necessary.

Decision-Making Process

Decisions in relation to admissions are made by the Board of Management, in accordance with school admissions policy. The Board will have regard for the relevant conditions prescribed by the DES concerning class size, staffing provisions, accommodation, physical space, health and welfare of children and eligibility for admission.

The Board reserves the right to refuse an application for admission as stated in the Education Act of 1998 (Section 29). This right will only be used in exceptional circumstances. Such an exceptional case could arise where either:

•  The pupil has needs such that, even with additional resources available from the Department of Education and Skills, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the pupil with an appropriate education, or

•  In the opinion of the Board of Management, the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to other pupils, to school staff or to school property.


The Right of Appeal

Parents or guardians have the right to appeal a refusal by the Board to admit their child. The Board's decision will be given in writing and the reason for the refusal will be clearly stated. The parents or guardians will be informed of their right to appeal the decision and will be supplied with the Appeals Application Form (Circular 22/02).

The appeal will be made to the General Secretary, Appeals Administration Unit, Department of Education and Skills, Marlborough Street, Dublin 1 on the relevant form.

The school must be informed in writing of the decision to appeal. Appeals must be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision was notified to the parents or guardians.


This policy was ratified by the Board of Management in St Damian's NS


Patrick Kavanagh

Chairperson, BoM