This section of our website is devoted to giving you, parents and guardians, as much information as we can about all aspects of school life. From what we teach and how we teach it to our policies on uniforms, bullying, playground supervision and more. Just click on any item from the list below to find out more.
1. Our Uniform Policy
The standard uniform for St Declan's school consists of a red jumper, grey shirt and grey trousers. This can be worn by boys and girls. Girls also have the option of wearing a grey pinafore. On those rare occasions when the weather is hot, the standard long-sleeved shirt can be replaced with a grey polo shirt.
On certain weekdays tracksuits are requested to be worn. An official school tracksuit is available to purchase from Nevilles, Youghal. Generic navy blue tracksuits are also acceptable. Tracksuit days will be communicated via the school's text service.
Social Behaviour and Learning Skills in St Declan’s National School
The following is a list of behaviours that we encourage in the children
1 Respect for the rights of others
2 Acceptance of constructive criticism
3 Participates actively
4 Is courteous in speech and manner
5 Relates well
6 Begins work promptly
7 Concentrates on tasks
8 Shares duties willingly
9 Helps others in need
10 Organises own belongings
Anti-bullying Policy St Declan’s N.S., Ardmore 2014-2015
In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of St Declans’ N.S. school has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.
The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:
A positive school culture and climate will be created which-
is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
promotes respectful relationships across the school community;
A school-wide approach;
A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;
Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that-
build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.
Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
Supports for staff;
Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour and
On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.
In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:
Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.
The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:
deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.
Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.
However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.
Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.
Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.
4 The relevant teacher for investigating and dealing with bullying is as follows: the class teacher responsible for the class/classes where incidents of bullying have been identified or reported as recommended in Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.Support will be offered by Ber Keevers (Principal), Lindsey Prendergast (Deputy Principal), Natalie Lehane, Michelle Walsh and Marianne Meehan.
The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying and identity-based bullying that will be used by the school are as follows (as recommended in Section 6.5 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):
raising awareness around all aspects of bullying and providing pupils with strategies useful in addressing problems should they arise. All pupils will be taught the mantra (From Stay Safe):Say No, Get Away, Tell an adult, Keep telling until someone believe you/hears you.
self-esteem is a major factor in determining behaviour, St Declans’ N. S. will continue
through both its curricular and extra-curricular programmes, to provide its pupils with
opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth.
Initiatives and programmes which focus on developing pupils’ awareness and
understanding of bullying, including its causes and effects, will deal explicitly with the
issue of identity-based bullying as it may be experienced in our school. This may include bullying on basis of weight, spectacle wearing etc. Should incidences of homophobic or transphobic bullying occur they will be speedily addressed.
Prevention of cyber bullying strategies will include; inviting the School Liasion Garda from Dungarvan, to address the children from 3rd to 6th class on the subject of internet safety. The garda will be asked to highlight the issue of cyber-bullying, its causes and effects. Instructions on keeping safe while online will be regularly issued by teachers. In the past the school has facilitated the education of parents in relation to internet safety by organising talks, delivered by experts, on this subject. It is hoped to facilitate these talks at least every second year.
PDST Filters on computers accessed by children will be set at levels which prevent children using Facebook and other forms of social media which may otherwise facilitate cyber-bullying.
Children will only be permitted to have mobile phones in school in exceptional circumstances which have been agreed by teachers and parents.
Cultivating a good school culture which has respect for all, and the necessity of helping one another as a central principle will help prevent the bullying of all pupils
The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows as recommended in Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools: A consistent and clear approach to dealing with bullying when it occurs is essential to effective practice.Individual class teachers must take appropriate measures regarding reports of bullying behaviour in accordance with the school’s anti-bullying policy.
Procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying
i) The primary aim for the class teacher in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame);
(ii) In investigating and dealing with bullying, the teacher will exercise his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved;
(iii) All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the class teacher. In that way pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. This confidence factor is of vital importance. It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly;
(iv) Non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), bus escorts, caretakers, cleaners must be encouraged to report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the class teacher;
(v) Parents and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible;
(vi) It is very important that all involved (including each set of pupils and parents) understand the above approach from the outset;
(vii) Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying behaviour reported by pupils, staff or parents;
(viii) Incidents are generally best investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved;
(ix) All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way
(x) When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the class teacher should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner;
(xi) If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member should be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements;
(xii) Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that they may face them from the other members of the group after interview by the teacher;
(xiii) It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s);
(xiv) In cases where it has been determined by the class teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the school policy). The school should give parents an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports for their pupils;
(xv) Where the class teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied;
(xvi) It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parents) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parents and the school;
(xvii) Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved should be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable. This can have a therapeutic effect;
(xviii) In cases where the class teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded by the class teacher in the recording template attached.
(xix) In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:
Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased;
Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable;
Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable; and
Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parents or the school Principal or Deputy Principal;
(xx) Where a parent is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parents must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures;
(xxi) In the event that a parent has exhausted the school's complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parents of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.
Procedures for recording bullying behaviour
The B.O.M. has decided that (i) While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the class teacher, the relevant teacher will use his/her professional judgement in relation to the records to be kept of these reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same;
(ii) If it is established by the class teacher that bullying has occurred, the class teacher must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
(iii) The class teacher must use the attached recording template to record the bullying behaviour in the following circumstances:
a) in cases where he/she considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour occurred; and
b) where the school has decided as part of its anti-bullying policy that in certain circumstances bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable.
In each of the circumstances at (a) and (b) above, the attached recording template must be completed in full and retained by the teacher in question and a copy provided to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable. It should also be noted that the timeline for recording bullying behaviour in the recording template does not in any way preclude the relevant teacher from consulting the Principal or Deputy Principal at an earlier stage in relation to a case.
The policy here described sets out the protocols around dealing with identified cases of bullying in St Declans’ N.S.. The sanctions outlined in the schools Code of Behaviour may be utilised by the teachers when addressing cases of bullying.
Bullying may be part of a continuum of behaviour, and where this behaviour escalates to a level where serious physical assault is threatened or feared or where behaviour becomes unmanageable the school authorities may seek the advice of the National Education Psychological Service (NEPS).
Serious Incidents of Bullying
Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools provide that in situations where “the incident is serious and where the behaviour is regarded as potentially abusive, the school must consult the HSE Children and Family Social Services with a view to drawing up an appropriate response, such as a management plan”.
Serious instances of bullying behaviour should, in accordance with the Children First and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, be referred to the HSE Children and Family Services and/or Gardaí as appropriate.
The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying (as recommended in Section 6.8 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools).
Pupils deemed to have been bullied will be provided with opportunities to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem, to develop their friendship and social skills and thereby build resilience whenever this is needed.
A programme of support for those pupils involved in bullying behaviour must also be part of the school’s intervention process. Pupils involved in bullying behaviour need assistance on an ongoing basis. For those with low self-esteem, opportunities should be developed to increase feelings of self-worth. It is, therefore, important that the learning strategies applied within the school allow for the enhancement of the pupil’s self-worth. Pupils who engage in bullying behaviour may need counselling to help them learn other ways of meeting their needs without violating the rights of others.
Pupils who observe incidents of bullying behaviour should be encouraged to discuss them with teachers.
Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils
The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.
Prevention of Harassment
The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.
This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on 9th of November, 2014.
This policy has been made available to school personnel and is readily accessible to parents and pupils on request and provided to the Parents’ Association . A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.
This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, and is readily accessible to parents and pupils on request and is to be provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.
Signed: ____________________________________ Signed: ___________________________
(Chairperson of Board of Management) (Principal)
Date: ______________ Date: __________________
Date of next review: November 2015
Child Safeguarding Statement Template
St Declan’s N.S. is a primary school providing primary education to pupils from Junior Infants to Sixth Class.
In accordance with the requirements of the Children First Act 2015, Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017, the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2017 and Tusla Guidance on the preparation of Child Safeguarding Statements, the Board of Management of St Declan’s N.S. has agreed the Child Safeguarding Statement set out in this document.
1 The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for primary and post-primary Schools 2017 as part of this overall Child Safeguarding Statement.
2 The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is: Bernadette Keevers
3 The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP is: Lindsey Prendergast and in her absence Natalie Lehane
4 The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, procedures, practices and activities. The school will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare. The school will:
a. recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations
b. fully comply with its statutory obligations under the Children First Act 2015 and other relevant legislation relating to the protection and welfare of children
c. fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters
d. adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect
e. develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children; and
f. fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters
The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.
5 The following procedures/measures are in place:
a. In relation to any member of staff who is the subject of any investigation (howsoever described) in respect of any act, omission or circumstance in respect of a child attending the school, the school adheres to the relevant procedures set out in Chapter 7 of the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017 and to the relevant agreed disciplinary procedures for school staff which are published on the DES website
b. In relation to the selection or recruitment of staff and their suitability to work with children, the school adheres to the statutory vetting requirements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 and to the wider duty of care guidance set out in relevant Garda vetting and recruitment circulars published by the DES and available on the DES website
c. In relation to the provision of information and, where necessary instruction and training to staff in respect of the identification of the occurrence of harm (as defined in the 2015 Act) the school:
i. Has provided each member of staff with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
ii. Ensures all new staff are provided with a copy of the school’s Child Safeguarding Statement
iii. Encourages staff to avail of relevant training
iv. Encourages Board of Management members to avail of relevant training
v. The Board of Management maintains records of all staff and Board member training.
d. In relation to reporting of child protection concerns to Tusla, all school personnel are required to adhere to the procedures set out in the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017, including in the case of registered teachers, those in relation to mandated reporting under the Children First Act 2015
e. In this school, the Board has appointed the above named DLP as the ‘relevant person’ (as defined in the Children First Act 2015) to be the first point of contact in respect of the school’s child safeguarding statement.
6 All registered teachers employed by the school are mandated persons under the Children First Act 2015
7 In accordance with the Children First Act 2015, the Board has carried out an assessment of any potential for harm to a child while attending the school or participating in school activities. A written assessment setting out the areas of risk
identified and the school’s procedures for managing those risks is attached as an appendix to these procedures
8 The various procedures referred to in this Statement can be accessed via the school’s website, the DES website or will be made available on request by the school
Note: The above is not intended as an exhaustive list. Individual Boards of Management shall also include in this section such other procedures/measures that are of relevance to the school in question
9 This statement has been published on the school’s website and has been provided to all members of school personnel, the Parents’ Association and the patron. It is readily accessible to parents and guardians on request. A copy of this Statement will be made available to Tusla and the Department if requested.
10 This Child Safeguarding Statement will be reviewed annually or as soon as practicable after there has been a material change in any matter to which this statement refers
This Child Safeguarding Statement was adopted by the Board of Management on [Insert Date]
Signed: _________________________ Signed: _________________________
Chairperson of BoM Principal/Secretary to the BoM
Date: ________________________ Date: __________________¬¬¬¬¬¬¬_______
Code of Behaviour – St Declan’s N.S Ardmore.
Title; Code of Behaviour – St Declan’s N.S Ardmore
This policy was formulated in the school year 2010-2011 by Ber Keevers and Olive Keane in conjunction and consultation with all members of the teaching staff.
It was reviewed in October 2014 and the reviewed policy ratified at a B.O.M meeting in November 2014.
Scoil Náisiúnta Dhéagláin Naofa decided to review its Code of Behaviour because;
It is a priority area identified by the staff
The existing policy is due for review and amendment.
It is a requirement under DES Circular 20/90 on School Discipline.
Relationship to characteristic spirit of the school
We seek to assist the children in achieving their potential in all areas, cognitive, emotional, spiritual and intellectual. We believe that to nurture this potential a safe and harmonious environment is fundamental. The creation of such an environment is predicated on the co-operation between staff, parents and pupils. Shared values and an agreed code of behaviour are the cornerstones on which these relationships are built.
By introducing this policy the school ideally hopes to,
To allow the school to function in an orderly and harmonious way.
To enhance the learning environment where children can make progress in all aspects of their development.
To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for others
To promote positive behaviour and self-discipline recognising the differences between children and the need to accommodate these differences.
To ensure the safety and well being of all members of the school community
To assist parents and pupils in understanding the systems and procedures that form part of the Code of Behaviour and to seek their co-operation in the application of these procedures.
To ensure that the system of rules, and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner
Code of Behaviour – St Declan’s N.S Ardmore.
Content of policy.
• The strong sense of community and cooperation evident in our village is mirrored in St. Declan’s school. We are proud of the behaviour of our children both inside and outside of school. We appreciate the commitment and effort that is required from staff, pupil and parents to implement our code.
• While we recognize the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences, we see the code as vital in promoting a uniform acceptable and understood standard of behaviour.
Our general guidelines for behaviour based on the characteristic spirit of the school are;
· Every pupil has the right to be happy and to be treated with respect
· Every pupil has a right to be safe and have his/her property safe.
· Every pupil has a right to maximum benefit from lessons.
· Each pupil should treat others with respect and courtesy, these include; teachers, fellow pupils, coaches and visitors.
· Each pupil should co-operate with teachers and coaches and is expected to do his/her best both in school and for homework
Each child is expected to attend school on a regular basis and to be punctual.
· Each pupil must refrain from bullying, teasing, name calling, hurting others feelings, threatening behaviour or activities, which may result in injury.
· Each pupil must not behave in a manner which interferes with others right to learn.
The use of bad language is forbidden.
· School property and equipment must be treated with care.
· Each pupil should treat his/her own and others property with respect.
· No jewellery other than watches or stud type earrings to be worn.
· In the interest of safety, children should neither run indoors nor play in toilets or corridors.
· In a situation where a teacher has to leave the classroom, pupils are expected to sit and continue to work quietly.
· Pupils should not go outside the school boundaries.
· Each child must participate in all curriculum activities unless there are medical reasons for not doing so.
Should the teachers feel that the child’s behaviour is unacceptable, parents will be notified.
• An outline of procedures for the classroom that set a positive atmosphere in relation to pupil learning, behaviour and achievement is agreed at the start of each school year in individual classes.
A similar agreement in relation to the yard, school environment and excursions outside school boundaries is also to be outlined .These procedures may be amended as deemed necessary
• Greater emphasis on rewards rather than sanctions is encouraged and an outline of the rewards and sanctions in operation is communicated to the pupils.
• Strategies for dealing with unacceptable behaviour (Appendix 55 CPSMA Handbook)
(a) Reasoning with the pupil
(b) Reprimand (including advice on how to improve)
(c) Temporary separation from peers, friends or others
(d) Loss of privileges
(e) Detention during a break or after school hours
(f) Prescribing additional work
(g) Referral to Principal Teacher
(h) Communication with parents
(i) Suspension (temporary)
• Methods for the recording of breaches of behaviour
Serious or repeated breaches of behaviour in class are recorded in a class note book.
Serious or repeated breaches of behaviour in the yard and beyond are recorded in a note book retained in the class room.
• In the case of a behaviour problem procedures for contacting the school/home include notes, phone or face to face meeting.
• Suspension/expulsion procedures are in accordance with the Education Welfare Act. Under Section 29 of the Education Act (1998), parents (or pupils who have reached the age of 18) are entitled to appeal to the Secretary General of the Dept.of Education and Science against some decisionsof the Board of Management, including (1) permanent exclusion from a school and (2)
suspension for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days or longer in any one school year (See Circular 22/02). Accordingly, schools should advise parents of this right of appeal and associatedtimeframe if it has been decided to suspend or permanently exclude a pupil. Appeals must generally be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the school was notified to the parents or student.
Various other policies, procedures and practices are linked to behaviour e.g teaching and learning, curriculum, gender, classroom management, school organisation, equality, health and safety etc.
The school also implements an Anti Bullying Policy which was drawn up after consultation with the teachers, non teaching staff, parents and pupils. We also consulted the Department of Education and Science Guidelines on Countering Bullying Behaviour September 1993.
This policy, in conjunction with our code of behaviour, helps us to provide a safe and effective learning place for all our pupils.
Some practical indicators of the success of the policy are
Positive feedback from teachers, parents, pupils
Observation of behaviour in classrooms, corridors, yards etc
Role and Responsibility
The teaching staff will coordinate and monitor the implantation of this policy
Each class teacher has particular responsibilities for communicating and implementing this code in his/her classroom.
The principal plays a role in overseeing the general and specific implementation at a whole school level.
This policy has been in force since September 2011, it was reviewed in October 2014 and will continue in force until the next review in October 2017.
Ratification & Communication
This policy was communicated to and ratified by the BOM in November 2014.
St. Declan’s N.S
Title of Policy - Enrolment Policy. For St Declan’s N.S Ardmore
This policy was formulated in September 2010 by the Principal Ber Keevers and Deputy Principal Olive Keane using the guidelines set out by the PPDS and with input and advice from other members of staff.
The policy was reviewed in October 2014 and deemed fit for purpose, and will be reviewed again in October 2017.
Rationale – It was deemed necessary to devise an Enrolment Policy at this time as a general review of policies is being undertaken and the enrolment policy currently in place was seen to be out of date.
Aims – By introducing this policy the school ideally hopes to further clarify all issues surrounding enrolment
Section A. General Information
This enrolment policy is being set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act (1998). The Board of Management trusts that by so doing parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters. The chairperson of the Board of Management, St. Declan’s N.S Ardmore and the principal teacher, Bernadette Keevers will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from the policy.
School Name: St. Declan’s N. S
School Address: Ardmore Co. Waterford
Telephone No.: 024- 94569
Denominational Character: Roman Catholic
Name of Patron: Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan
St. Declan’s is a co-educational primary school under the patronage of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Waterford and Lismore. The school aims to promote the full and harmonious development of all pupils; cognitive, intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual, including a living relationship with God and other people and promotes a Christian philosophy to life.
There are five full time teachers including the principal.
The school caters for the full range of classes from junior infants to sixth class.
The school follows the national guidelines on annual closures where applicable.
School opens at 9.20 am
Infants classes go home at 2.00 p.m
School closes at 3.00 p.m
The school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Science and it operates within the regulations laid down, from time to time, by the Department. School policy has regard to the resources and funding available.
The school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the Department of Education and Science, 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 Department regulations and programmes, the rights of the patron as set out in the Education Act (1998), and the funding and resources available, the school supports the principles of:
Inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational need;
Equality of access and participation in the school;
Parental choice in relation to enrolment; and
Respect for diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.
Section B. Enrolment Procedures
The Board of Management will communicate generally to the school community through appropriate channels e.g. local and school notes, parish bulletins and parents letters to outline the application for enrolment procedures. Parents wishing to enrol their child (ren) in St. Declan’s should return a completed application form (available in the school office) with a photocopy of birth/ adoption and baptismal certificate for each child. Parents of children enrolled in junior infants will be invited to an open day in the school in June each year.
For parents interested in enrolling their children for a new school year, application forms will be made available in the final term of the preceding school year. Prior to this time parents may place the name/s of their child/ren on a list at any time.
The completion of an application form or the placement of a child’s name on a list, however early, does not confer an automatic right to a place in the school.
No child is refused admission on the grounds of ethnicity, special educational needs, disability, language/ accent, gender, traveller status, asylum seeker/ refugee status, religious or political beliefs and values, family or social circumstances. While recognising the rights of the parents to enrol their child in the school of their choice, the Board of Management of St. Declan’s is also responsible to respect the rights of the existing school community and in particular the children already enrolled. Our duty to uphold the rights of the existing school community means that a maximum class size of 31 will apply. Where a parent still wishes to pursue a place in the school, her/his child will be accommodated where possible in a classroom where the maximum class size has not yet been reached. Children who apply for a place in a particular class after this ceiling has been reached will be redirected to other schools in the parish and in the general locality. This requires balanced judgements while acting in the best interest of the children.
Provision of Key Information by Parents
Certain information will be required when children are being enrolled. A specific enrolment application form is provided by the Board for this purpose. A copy is included with this policy
The information required includes:
Pupil’s name, age and address;
Names and addresses of pupil’s parents/guardians;
Contact telephone numbers;
Contact telephone numbers in case of emergency;
Details of any medical conditions which the school should be aware of;
Previous schools attended, if any, and reasons for transfer, if applicable; and
Any other relevant information (including any such further information as may be prescribed under the Education Welfare Act (2000) or Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (2004).
Information regarding any court orders pertaining to the child.
Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management in accordance with school policy. The Board will notify parents of their decision within 21 days of receiving such information.
As a general principle and in so far as practicable having regard to the school’s enrolment policy, children will be enrolled on application, provided that there is space available. (See note below on Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004)
The Board will have regard for relevant Department of Education and Science guidelines in relation to class size and staffing provisions and/or any other relevant requirements concerning accommodation, including physical space and the health and welfare of children.
The Board is bound by the Department of Education and Science’s Rules for National Schools which provides that pupils may only be enrolled from the age of 4 years and upwards, though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of 6 years.
In the event that applications for enrolment exceed/is expected to exceed the number of places available the following decision making process will apply. The Board will exercise its discretion in the application of the following criteria. The criteria for enrolment is as follows
Children of siblings
Children of past pupils
It also may include any of the following though not necessarily in that order:
Ages of the children;
Parish boundaries/Diocesan policies;
First come, first served;
Children of staff members;
Any specific provision for children of ethnic minorities, including travellers, refugees, asylum seekers etc;
The Board of Management of St. Declan’s N.S is obliged under section 19(3) of the Educational Welfare Act 2000 to make a decision in writing in respect of an application for enrolment within 21 days and to inform the parents in writing of that decision.
Where the Board of Management refuses to enrol a student in a school, the parent of the student, following the conclusion of any appeal procedures at school level, has a statutory entitlement under section 29 of the Education Act (as amended by Section 4 of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007, to appeal that decision to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science. A committee is established to hear the appeal with hearings conducted with a minimum of formality. In most cases appeals must be dealt with within 30 days. Where appropriate, the Secretary General may give whatever directions to the Board of Management that are considered necessary to remedy the matter complained of.
Details on appealing decisions on enrolment under section 29 of the Education Act (as amended by Section 4 of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2007), are available on the Department’s website at
Parents/guardians will be informed of their entitlement to appeal a decision of the Board of Management by the principal or member of the Board of management at the time of a refusal to enrol or suspension. The Board of Management will prepare a response if and when an appeal is being investigated by the Dept of Education and Science. (Section 12, Circular 22/02 – Processing of an Appeal)
Under normal circumstances junior infants starting school for the first time may only be admitted to the school on 1 September (or on the first day of the new school year), under exceptional circumstances the Board of Management may be more flexible and allow pupils to enrolled at another time.
Enrolment of Children with Special Needs
In relation to applications for the enrolment of children with special needs the Board of Management will request a copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological report or where such a report is not available, will request that the child be assessed immediately. The purpose of the assessment report is to assist the school in establishing the educational and wider needs of the child relevant to his/her disability or special needs and to profile the support services required.
Following receipt of the report, the Board will assess how the school can meet the needs specified in the report. Where the Board deems that further resources are required, it will, prior to enrolment, request the Special Education Needs Organiser (NCSE see Circular 01/05) to provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child as outlined in the psychological and/or medical report. These resources may include for example, access to or the provision of any or a combination of the following: visiting teacher service, resource teacher for special needs, special needs assistant, specialised equipment or furniture, transport services or other.
The school will meet with the parents of the child and with the SENO to discuss the child’s needs and the school’s suitability or capability in meeting those needs. Where necessary, a full case conference involving all parties will be held, which may include parents, principal, class teacher, learning support teacher, special class teacher, resource teacher for special needs, Special Educational Needs Organiser or psychologist, as appropriate.
(See note below on p13 re Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act)
Notwithstanding the availability of such resources, parents of children who are not with the level of educational provision in our school are advised to consider a special school which is designed and resourced to specifically cater to / for the needs of children with special educational needs.
While applications for transfer to the school may be made to the Board of Management at any time, subject to school policy, available space and in some cases, the approval of the Department of Education and Science, enrolments of children will be facilitated only at the start of each school year except in the most exceptional of circumstances. This is to ensure optimal learning of all students.
It is a requirement of the Board of Management that information concerning attendance and the child’s educational progress be communicated between schools. (Section 28, Education Welfare Act 2000)
Code of Behaviour
The school should append its Code of Behaviour to the school’s enrolment policy pending the issue of appropriate guidelines by the National Education Welfare Board.
Circulate the draft policy, consult members of the school community and amend if necessary.
Present policy to BOM for ratification.
Communicate ratified policy to members of the school community.
Make provision for the circulation of the policy to all new applicants for enrolment.
Establish procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of the policy and set a date when it will be reviewed.
The policy was reviewed and an amendment ratified at a B.O.M. meeting on 8/2/12.
The next review of the policy by the Board of Management will be in October 2017. The policy is available in the school office to anyone wishing to view it at anytime. It will shortly be available on the school website
Guidelines from CPSMA/Church of Ireland Board of Education and INTO
Circulars 0038/2007, 07/07, 02/05, 22/02 – available on Dept of Education & Science website,
Management Board Member’s Handbook, CPSMA
Education Act, 1998, Sections 9, 15 (2), 29, 30
Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, Sections 19, 20, 23, 24, 28
Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act, 2004
Data Protection Act, 1988, 2003
Equal Status Act 2000, Section 7
Questions and Answers on The Education Act 1998 and The Education Welfare Act 2000, INTO
Equality and Education. The Equality Authority 2001
An introduction to The Equal Status Act 2000. The Equality Authority –Educational Establishments
The Equality Authority
National Council for Special Education
Education Act, 1998
A recognised school shall provide education to students which is appropriate to their abilities and needs and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, it shall use its available resources to –
ensure that the education needs of all students, including those with a disability or other special education needs are identified and provided for,
ensure that the education provided for meets the requirements of education policy as determined from time to time by the Minister including requirements as to the provision of a curriculum as prescribed by the Minister in accordance with section 30,
ensure that students have access to appropriate guidance to assist them in their educational and career choices,
promote the moral, spiritual, social and personal development of students and provide health education for them, in consultation with their parents, having regard to the characteristic spirit of the school,
promote equality of opportunity for both male and female students and staff of the school,
promote the development of the Irish language and traditions, Irish literature, the arts and other cultural matters,
ensure that parents of a student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, have access in the prescribed manner to records kept by that school relating to the progress of that student in his or her education,
in the case of schools located in a Gaeltacht area, contribute to the maintenance of Irish as the primary community language,
conduct its activities in compliance with any regulations made from time to time by the Minister under section 33,
ensure that the needs of personnel involved in management functions and staff development needs generally in the school are identified and provided for,
establish and maintain systems whereby the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations can be assessed, including the quality and effectiveness of teaching in the school and the attainment levels and the academic standards of the students,
establish or maintain contacts with other schools and at other appropriate levels throughout the community served by the school, and
subject to this Act and in particular section 15(2)(d), establish and maintain an admissions policy which provides for maximum accessibility to the school
(1) Where a board or a person acting on behalf of the board —
(a) permanently excludes a student from a school, or
(b) suspends a student from attendance at a school for a period to be prescribed for the purpose of this paragraph, or
(c) refuses to enrol a student in a school, or
(d) makes a decision of a class which the Minister, following consultation with patrons, national associations of parents, recognised school management organisations, recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers, may from time to time determine may be appealed in accordance with this section,
the parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may, within a reasonable time from the date that the parent or student was informed of the decision and following the conclusion of any appeal procedures provided by the school or the patron, in accordance with section 28, appeal that decision to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science and that appeal shall be heard by a committee appointed under subsection (2).
(2) For the purposes of the hearing and determination of an appeal under this section, the Minister shall appoint one or more than one committee (in this section referred to as an ‘‘appeals committee’’) each of which shall include in its membership an Inspector and such other persons as the Minister considers appropriate.
(3) Where a committee is appointed under subsection (2) the Minister shall appoint one of its number to be the chairperson of that committee and who, in the case of an equal division of votes, shall have a second or casting vote.
(4) In hearing and determining an appeal under this section an appeals committee shall act in accordance with such procedures as may be determined from time to time by the Minister following consultation
with patrons, national associations of parents, recognized school management organisations and recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers and such procedures shall ensure that—
(a) the parties to the appeal are assisted to reach agreement on the matters the subject of the appeal where the appeals committee is of the opinion that reaching such agreement is practicable in the circumstances,
(b) hearings are conducted with the minimum of formality consistent with giving all parties a fair hearing, and (c) appeals are dealt with within a period of 30 days from the date of the receipt of the appeal by the Secretary General, except where, on the application in writing of the appeals committee stating the reasons for a delay in determining the appeal, the Secretary General consents in writing to extend the period by not more than 14 days.
(5) On the determination of an appeal made under this section, the appeals committee shall send notice in writing of its determination of the appeal and the reasons for that determination to the Secretary General.
(a) an appeals committee upholds a complaint in whole or in part, and
(b) it appears to the appeals committee that any matter which was the subject of the complaint (so far as upheld) should be remedied, he appeals committee shall make recommendations to the Secretary General as to the action to be taken.
(7) As soon as practicable after the receipt by the Secretary General of the notice referred to in subsection (5), the Secretary General—
(a) shall, by notice in writing, inform the person who made the appeal and the board of the determination of the appeals committee and the reasons therefor, and
(b) in a case to which subsection (6) applies, may in such notice give such directions to the board as appear to the Secretary General (having regard to any recommendations made by the appeals committee) to be expedient for the purpose of remedying the matter which was the subject of the appeal and the board shall act in accordance with such directions.
(8) The Minister, in consultation with patrons of schools, national associations of parents, recognised school management organizations and recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers, shall from time to time review the operation of this section
and section 28 and the first such review shall take place not more than two years from the commencement of this section.
(9) In the case of a school which is established or maintained by a vocational education committee an appeal against a decision of the board of such school shall lie, in the first instance, to the vocational education committee and thereafter to the Secretary General in accordance with subsection (1).
(10) The Minister shall, from time to time, following consultation with vocational education committees, national associations of parents and recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers, prescribe—
(a) the procedures for appeals under this section to vocational education committees, and
(b) which appeals shall inquire into whether the procedure adopted by a board in reaching a decision or conducting an appeal was fair and reasonable and which appeals shall be by way of a full re-hearing.
(11) The Secretary General may, in accordance with sections 4 (1) (i) and 9 of the Public Service Management Act, 1997, assign the responsibility for the performance of the functions for which the Secretary General is responsible under this section to another officer of the Department of Education and Science.
(12) For the purposes of subsection (1)(c), ‘‘student’’ means a person who applies for enrolment at a school and that person or his or her parents may appeal against a refusal to enroll him or her in the same manner as a student or his or her parents may appeal a decision under this section.
Section 15(2)(d) of the Education Act states that:
"A board shall… publish, in such a manner as the board with the agreement of the patron considers appropriate, the policy of the school concerning admission to and participation in the school, including the policy of the school relating to the expulsion and suspension of students and admission to and participation by students with disabilities or who have other special educational needs… and ensure …that …the right of parents to send their children to a school of the parents’ choice are respected…"
The guidelines are subject to any specific directions of the patron of the school and to 15(2)(d) "such directions as may be made from time to time by the Minister"
Section 30 (1)
The Minister may, from time to time, following such consultation with patrons of schools, national associations of parents, recognised school management organisations and recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers, as the Minister considers appropriate, prescribe the curriculum for recognised schools, namely –
the subjects to be offered in recognised schools,
the syllabus for each subject,
the amount of instruction time to be allocated to each subject, and
the guidance and counselling provision to be offered in schools.
Education Welfare Act, 2000
(1) The board of management of a recognised school shall not refuse to admit as a student in such school a child, in respect of whom an application to be admitted has been made, except where such refusal is in accordance with the policy of the recognised school concerned published under section 15(2)(d) of the Act of 1998 (i.e. Education Act)
(2) The parent of a child who has made an application referred to in subsection (1) shall provide the recognised school concerned with such information as may be prescribed by the Minister.
(3) As soon as practicable, but not later than 21 days, after a parent has provided, in accordance with subsection (2), such information as may be prescribed by the Minister thereunder, the board of management of the school concerned shall make a decision in respect of the application concerned and inform the parent in writing thereof.
The Education Welfare Act (2000) contains some specific new provisions in relation to the transfer of pupils including the requirement that information concerning attendance and the child’s educational progress, should be communicated between schools.
The principal of a recognised school shall, as soon as maybe after the commencement of this section, cause to be established and maintained a register of all students attending the school.
The principal of a recognised school shall, on the day the child first attends the school, enter the child’s name, the date of his or her first so attending and any such particulars as may be prescribed by the Minister, in the register maintained under this section in respect of that school, and the child concerned shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed, as on and from that date, to be registered in that school.
The principal of a recognised school shall, as soon as may be after entering in the register maintained under this section in respect of that school the name of that child who is registered in another recognised school, so inform by notification in writing the principal of the second- mentioned school.
The principal of the second- mentioned school referred to in subsection (3) shall, on receipt of a notification under that subsection, remove the name of the child concerned from the register maintained under this section in respect of the said second- mentioned school except where the child continues to receive part of his or her education at that school.
The principal of a recognised school shall, on receiving a notification under subsection(3) in relation to a child, notify the principal first-mentioned in that subsection of-
(a) any problems relating to school attendance that the child concerned had
while attending the second-mentioned school referred to therein, and
(b) such other matters relating to the child’s educational progress as he or
she considers appropriate
The principal of a recognised school shall not remove a child’s name form the register other than-
(a) in accordance with subsection (4), or
(b) where he or she has received a notification in writing from the Board
that the child concerned is registered in *the register maintained under
section 14 (i.e. *The Register – NWEB shall establish a register of all
children in receipt of education in a place other than a recognised school)
Section 23 and 24
Sections 23 and 24 relate to the school’s Code of Behaviour and Expulsion. The school should append its Code of Behaviour to the school’s enrolment policy (pending the implementation of the Education Welfare Act 2000 and the issue of appropriate guidelines - section 23(3) by the National Education Welfare Board).
The data controller of a prescribed body may supply personal data kept by him or her, or information extracted from such data, to the data controller of another prescribed body if he or she is satisfied that it will be used for a relevant purpose only.
The data controller of a prescribed body may, for a relevant purpose only, keep and use personal data supplied to him or her under this section.
In this section… “relevant purpose” means the purpose of—
(a) recording a person's educational or training history or monitoring his or her educational or training progress in order to ascertain how best he or she may be assisted in availing of educational or training opportunities or in developing his or her full educational potential,
Equal Status Act, 2000
(1) In this section “educational establishment” means a pre-school service within the meaning of Part V11 of the Child Care Act, 1991, a primary or post-primary school, …
(2) An educational establishment shall not discriminate in relation to –
the admission or the terms or conditions of admission of a person as a student to the establishment,
the access of a student to any course, facility or benefit provided by the establishment,
any other term or condition of participation in the establishment by a student, or
the expulsion of a student from the establishment or any other sanction against the student.
(3) An education establishment does not discriminate under sub-section (2) by reason that-
where the establishment is not a third-level institution and admits students of one
gender only, it refuses to admit as a student a person who is not of that gender,
(c) where the establishment is a school providing primary or post-primary education to students and the objective of the school is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values, it admits persons of a particular religious denomination in preference to others or it refuses to admit as a student a person who is not of that denomination and , in the case of a refusal, it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school
Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act, 2004
2.—A child with special educational needs shall be educated in an inclusive environment with children who do not have such needs unless the nature or degree of those needs of the child is such that to do so would be inconsistent with -
the best interests of the child as determined in accordance with any assessment carried out under this Act, or
the effective provision of education for children with whom the child is to be educated.
The Data Protection Act 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act, 2003
The Data Protection Act 1988 was introduced in response to privacy issues raised by the maintenance of data on computers and to specify the responsibilities of those who keep personal data on computer (data controllers). The Act relates to data held on computers in a format in which it can be processed automatically. "Personal Data" in this context means "data relating to a living individual who can be identified either from the data or from the data in conjunction with other information in the possession of the data controller."
Unlike the Freedom of Information Act, the Data Protection Act applies to all organisations. Schools that retain data on staff or students on computer are subject to its provisions.
The Data Protection Act specifies certain key responsibilities that data controllers must exercise:
Fair obtaining and processing of data - the identity of the person collecting the data, the use to which it will be put and to whom it will be released should be set out for the person providing the information, or should outline any secondary or future uses to which the data might be put.
Data may only be held on computer about people if it is held for a specific, lawful and clearly stated purpose.
The data must be accurate and kept up to date.
The data must be used only in ways that are consistent with the purpose/purposes for which it is kept.
Security measures must be put in place to prevent unauthorised access, alteration, disclosure or destruction of the data and against accidental loss or destruction.
The data held must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose/purposes for which it is held.
The data must not be kept longer than is necessary. Data controllers should be clear on how long data is to be kept and why it is being retained. Unless the school has a system for managing electronic records, the ever-increasing number of electronic records should be dealt with in the same way as paper records, i.e. using the same retention and disposal periods, etc. It is advisable to print off copies of important e-mail correspondence or documents for the file.
Right of Access - an individual about whom data is held and who applies in writing specifying the information requested is entitled to a copy of the data held about him or her. Along with the right of access to personal data, the Data Protection Act also gives employees the right to ascertain the existence of personal data and the right to rectify or erase data.
The Data Protection (Amendment) Act, 2003
The Data Protection (Amendment) Act, enacted in July 2003, amends the Data Protection Act, 1988 in a number of significant ways:
it extends data protection rules to include certain manual data (paper-based filing systems) relating to living individuals, which is recorded as part of a filing system;
it sets out conditions for processing personal data, including more stringent controls in relation to sensitive personal data, e.g. religious beliefs, racial or ethnic origin, etc.;
it strengthens individuals' rights, in particular the right to be informed about the processing of data relating to them;
it gives the new powers to the Data Protection Commissioner to carry out investigations in order to ensure that data protection rules are being complied with.
it includes a re-statement of basic data protection principles, with additional safeguards in relation to direct marketing (using data collected for a particular legitimate purpose to contact individuals to sell products or services);
it specifies additional conditions relating to the processing of personal data, e.g. a new category of sensitive personal data is to be created which will benefit from stronger protection;
it introduces a right for individuals to object to automated decision-making (decision-making which is processed by electronic means without human input).
The Freedom of Information Act
Primary schools are not yet subject to the Freedom of Information Act but can expect to be included in a future expansion of those areas of the public service that come under the scope of the Freedom of Information legislation. Some agencies with whom a school may interact in relation to pupils (e.g. Health Boards, DES) are subject to the act.