Admissions Policy -St Mel’s College 2021/22

                                                                                     

  Admission Policy of St Mel’s College 2021/2022

1.Introduction

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

The policy was approved by the school patron on (TBC) .It is published on the school website and will be made available in hardcopy,on request,to any person who requests it.

The relevant dates and timelines for St Mel’s College admissions process are set out in the schools annual admission notice which is published annually on the schools website at least one week before the commencement of the admissions 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 schools website and will be made available in hardcopy on request to any person who requests it.

2.Characteristic spirit and general objectives of the school.

St. Mel’s College, Longford is a Catholic Voluntary Secondary School with a Catholic Ethos for male students only under the trusteeship of the Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois. “Catholic Ethos” in the context of a Catholic voluntary school means the ethos and characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church which aims at promoting

  • The full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil including the intellectual,physical,cultural,moral and spiritual aspects and
  • a living relationship with God and with other people;and
  • a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; and
  • 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 characteristic spirit as may be determined or interpreted from time to time by the Irish Episcopal Conference.

In accordance with S.15 (2) of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management of St Mel’s College shall uphold and be accountable to the patron for so upholding, the characteristic spirit of the school, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school.

The school is managed by a Board of Management consisting of eight members, four nominated by the trustee, two elected by parents and two elected by the teaching staff. The Principal, while not a member, acts as secretary to the Board. The Board of St. Mel’s College supports and subscribes to the principles of inclusiveness, accountability, partnership, transparency, respect for diversity, parental choice and equality and is committed to the successful implementation of relevant education legislation, in particular the Education Act (1998), The Education Welfare Act (2000) ,the Equal Status Act (2000) and Admissions Act (2018). The school is grant aided by the Department of Education and Science, which includes teacher resources. The school seeks extra funding in the form of a voluntary contribution and is supported annually by the parents association through its fund raising activities, which is greatly appreciated.

3.Mission Statement

St. Mel’s College is a Catholic diocesan secondary school under the patronage of the Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, that is committed to providing an education for male students which, in co-operation with parents:

  • promotes the spiritual, moral, social and personal development of our male students;
  • strives for academic and sporting excellence in keeping with our inherited traditions,
  • fosters an inclusive, caring, Christian Community based on Gospel values,
  • where each person can expect to be treated with courtesy, respect, and dignity,
  • nurtures and guides our students in developing their potential and in becoming responsible adults.

4.Admission Statement

St Mel’s College 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 or the applicant in respect of the student concerned
  • the ground that the student or applicant in respect of the student 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 construed in accordance with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000.

St Mel’s College is an all boys school and does not discriminate where it refuses to admit a girl applying for admission to the school.

St Mel’s College 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 Catholic faith in preference to others.

St Mels College is a school whose objective is to provide education in an environment which promotes certain religious values and does not discriminate where it refuses to admit as a student a person who is not of Catholic faith and it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

 

5.Admission of Students

This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where –

  1. a) the school is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details)

 

  1. b) a parent 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.

 

St Mel’s College 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.

 

 St Mel’s College is a Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of Catholic faith where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.

 

 6. Over-subscription

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:

 

Order of Selection

The school shall firstly select all applications from male students whose parent(s)/guardian(s) are seeking an education in the Catholic tradition for their son and in the following priority from number 1-4:

1.     Brothers of present /past pupils

2.     Male students from the catchment area – subject to places being available.

 

3.     Sons of staff members

4.     Sons of past pupils

If the number of applicants from the catchment area exceeds the remaining places available, a lottery system will apply. The lottery will be chaired by an independent chairperson of standing within the community and will include two witnesses from the parents association.Students not offered a place will be put on a waiting list determined by the lotto system.

 

7. What will not be considered or taken into account

In accordance with section 62(7)(e) of the Education Act, the school will not consider or take into account any of the following in deciding on applications for admission or when placing a student on a waiting list for admission to the school: Points (a) to (g) must be included here by all schools. There are limited exceptions to some of these (highlighted in red below) and schools must retain the exceptions that apply to them and delete those that do not:

                    (a) a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service, including naíonraí,

 

                    (b) the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school;

 

(other than in relation to a fee charging school or a plc or further education and training course run by a school in respect of those courses)

                    (c) a student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude;

 

(other than in relation to:

– admission to (a) a special school or (b) a special class insofar as it is necessary in order to ascertain whether or not the student has the category of special educational needs concerned and/or

– admission to an Irish language school, in accordance with the provisions of section 62(9) of the act

 

                    (d) the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s parents;

 

                    (e) a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;

 

(other than in the case of admission to the residential element of a boarding school or to a plc or further education and training course run by a school)

                    (f) a student’s connection to the school by virtue of a member of his or her family attending or having previously attended the school;

 

(other than, in the case of the school wishing to include a selection criterion based on (1) siblings of a student attending or having attended the school and/or (2) parents or grandparents of a student having attended the school.

 

In relation to parents and grandparents having attended, a school may only apply this criterion to a maximum of 25% of the available spaces as set out in the school’s annual admission notice of the school for the school year concerned.

This is also subject to the school making offers based on existing waiting lists (up until 31st January 2025 only).

8. Decisions on applications

All decisions on applications for admission to St Mel’s College 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 school’s 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 admissions period and section 15 below in relation to applications for places in years other than the intake group.)

Selection criteria that are not included in our school admission policy will not be used to make a decision on an application for a place in our school.

 

 

9. 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).

 

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

In accepting an offer of admission from St Mel’s College, you must indicate—

(i) 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

(ii) whether or not you have applied for and 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.

Applicants should be aware that failure to disclose this information on the acceptance of a place may lead to an offer being withdrawn by the school.

 

11. 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 St Mel’s College where—

 

(i) it is established that information contained in the application is false or misleading.

(ii) 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.

(iii) the parent 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; or

(iv) an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an offer’ as set out in section 10 above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Sharing of Data with other schools

Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 allows for the sharing of data between schools in order to facilitate the efficient

 

admission of students. Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a list of the students in relation to whom—

(i) an application for admission to the school has been received,

(ii) an offer of admission to the school has been made, or

(iii) an offer of admission to the school has been accepted.

The list may include any or all of the following:

(i) the date on which an application for admission was received by the school;

(ii) the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school;

(iii) the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant;

(iv) a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth and personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005).

 

13. 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 St Mels College 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 St Mel’s College is in the order of priority assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria in accordance with this 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.

 

14. 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.

Late applicants will be notified of the decision in respect of their application not later than three weeks after the date on which the school received the application. Late applicants will

be offered a place if there is a place available. In the event that there is no place available, the name of the applicant will be added to the waiting list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Male students may transfer into the school at any time subject to the following:

1.     Acceptance of all school policies

2.     The school authorities being satisfied with the reason for the transfer.

3.     Information will be requested from the male student’s former school concerning attendance, educational progress, subject choices, term reports, disabilities and special needs, reasons for transfer as per Section 20 of the Educational Welfare Act.

4.     The school regarding the move in the best interest of the male student.

5.     Available space.

6.     The schools curricular provision being suitable for the male student.

7.     Health and Safety considerations.

8.     Information in relation to the male student’s disciplinary record.

9.     Consultation with the Educational Welfare Officer if appropriate.

10.  As a general rule male students will not be allowed to transfer into the school after the 1st March in the relevant school year.

 

 

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

The board of St Mel’s College or any persons acting on its behalf shall not, except in accordance with section 64 of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018, charge fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of-

                    (a) an application for admission of a student to the school, or

                    (b) the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.

 

 

17. Arrangements regarding students not attending religious education

“The following are the school’s arrangements for students, where the parents or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, who has 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:  A written request should be made to the Principal of the school.  A meeting will then be arranged with the parent(s) or the student, as the case may be, to discuss how the request may be accommodated by the school”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18. Reviews/appeals

 

Review of decisions by the board of Management

The parent of the student, or in the case of a 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.

The timeline within which such a review must be requested and the 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.

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.

 

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)(i) 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)(c)(ii) of the Education Act 1998 where the refusal to admit was due 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)

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)

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.