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Admissions Policy 2020/21

St. Joseph’s CBS, Fairview, Dublin 3
Admissions Policy
2020 – 2021

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 boy;s 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.

Characteristic Spirit / 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. Our home school liaison officer, shared with the primary school, is pivotal in bringing together all the elements of our school community. Students organise a Christmas party in conjunction with St Vincent De Paul for the elderly in the area each Christmas.
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 lifelong enterprise, in an atmosphere of care and compassion. Participating in P-Tech outlines the school’s commitment to educating our students to meet the demands of 21st Century technological advances.
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. Our inclusive programme provides language support, supervised after school study, breakfast club. Personal counselling is available to all. Year heads provide both pastoral and practical support to our students. 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. Big brother mentoring allows senior students to support 1st Year students. 2 students are ambassadors for Cycle Against Suicide in Ireland.
For further information on the Edmund Rice Schools Trust and the ERST Charter please see www.erst.ie
Operating Context

Our school operates within the legal context of relevant sections of:
The Education act 1998
Education (Welfare) Act 2000
Equal Status Acts 2000-2011
Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act 2004
Disability Act 2005
Education Act (miscellaneous provisions) 2007
Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003.
Education (Admission to School) Act 2018
St. Joseph’s also operates within the regulatory, legal and financial context of:
The Department of Education and Skills (DES)
The rights of Trustees (as per Education Act 1998)
The ERST School Charter; Articles of Management for Catholic Secondary Schools
The regulations of the DES and the curricular programmes so prescribed and the funding and resources available to the school at any given time.
Within this context, St. Joseph’s is a school that is;
inclusive in intake;
supports the principle of equality of access to and participation in education;
recognises and supports the rights of parents with regard to admission in secondary school;
welcomes students with different values, beliefs, languages and ways of life and seeks to meet their particular needs, subject only to available resources and support for the ethos of the school.

Eligibility of Applicants and Admissions Procedures

This policy is drafted in accordance with Section 15 (2,d) of the Education Act 1998.
The Board of Management will establish the number of students to be taken in each year by 15th September of that preceding year. In 2020/21 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
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.

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.
Withdrawal of the offer of a place
The offer of a place may be withdrawn if :
The place is not accepted by the date specified in the letter offering the place (see above)
It subsequently emerges that information furnished in the application form was false and the false information resulted in the offer of a place which would not have been otherwise offered
The applicant, in conjunction with their parents/guardians, does not confirm that they are aware of the characteristic spirit of the school (see section on characteristic spirit above)
The applicant, in conjunction with their parents/guardians, does not confirm acceptance of the school’s Code of Behaviour
The applicant fails to sit an Assessment Test, the date for which will be communicated in writing to the parents/guardians of the students accepted for admission at the school. This assessment test is not an entrance examination as the student has already been allocated a place in the school. Where an applicant cannot sit the test for good reason on the specified date, an alternative date will be arranged.
The applicant, in conjunction with their parents/guardians, does not complete the detailed student data form that will be issued following offer of a place

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.

Allocation of Places in 1st Year 2020

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

Students from St. Joseph’s Primary School
Brothers of past or present pupils
Sons, grandsons or nephews of past pupils
Sons of serving staff (with at least 3 year’s service on the closing date for applications)
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

Students with Special Educational Needs
St. Joseph’s CBS welcomes applications from students with Special Educational Needs. The school will use the resources (finance and personnel) provided by the Department of Education and Skills to make reasonable provision and accommodation for students with disabilities or special educational needs and will ensure that these students are free to participate in the life of the school in so far as is reasonably practicable.
While recognising and fully supporting the rights of parents/guardians to have a school of their choice for their children, the school’s ability to provide for students with particular educational needs is dependent on resources suitable to those needs being supplied by the Department of Education and Skills and the school welcomes such applications, 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. 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.
Please see below sections on St. Joseph’s CBS ASD Unit

General Guidelines
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) and the General data Protection Regulations (GDPR). 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.

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.
Students from St. Joseph’s Primary School.
Brothers of past or present pupils.
Sons, grandsons or nephews of past pupils.
Sons of serving staff (with at least 3 year’s service on the closing date for applications)
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 2019/20.

An offer of a place is dependent on the following:
There being 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.

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.

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 Skills 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 2020/21 and will be subject to annual review. The up-to-date policy is available at the school and will be published (once it receives Trustee Approval) on the school website at stjosephs.lettertecsites.com

This policy was recommended by the Board of Management of St. Joseph’s CBS on 26 November 2019 and was agreed for publication by the Edmund Rice Schools Trust on 2 December 2019