-Enrolment Policy - ASD Unit
Enrolment Policy for ASD Class
Gliondar Mara, Réalt Na Mara BNS
The Board of Management of Réalt Na Mara BNS has developed this policy for the Autism Spectrum Disorder classrooms in conjunction with the overall policy for the school. This policy is set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act, 1998, the EPSEN Act 2000 and the Education Welfare Act, 2002. The Board of Management trusts that by doing so, parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters. Furthermore, the Chairperson and/or Principal will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from the policy. Réalt Na Mara BNS is a mainstream national school with two ASD classes, both school-going age.
The aim of the admissions and transitions policy is to ensure that a fair and consistent procedure is used when deciding on individual applications to the ASD classes. Our ASD classes aim to offer an autism- specific learning environment within a mainstream national school. This setting facilitates optimum inclusion as part of the school community with access to mainstream activities as appropriate to each child’s individual needs and abilities.
Subject to sufficient places being made available in the ASD classes, the criteria for enrolment in the ASD classes, incorporating the Department of Education policy are as follows:
● An Enrolment Application Form, provided by the school, must be fully completed by the parents/guardians on behalf of the child.
● A current psychological and cognitive assessment with a relevant Irish governing body, that has assessed and classified the child as having autism or autistic spectrum disorder without significant intellectual impairment, within the range of Mild General Learning Disability or above, according to DSM-V or ICD 10 criteria or equivalent.
● The report must be dated within 24 months of the closing date for applications.
● There must be a recommendation by a member of the Multi - Disciplinary team in the report that a special class placement in a Mainstream school is both necessary and suitable for the child.
● Inclusion is an integral part of our school ethos. Therefore, it is a necessary criterion of enrolment that any child attending the ASD class must be capable of integrating into a mainstream class setting.
● All relevant reports and assessments must be given to the school prior to the child enrolling
● An observation appointment of the child may be useful and must be organised with the school before the closing date for applications. The school may meet with the parents of the child to discuss the school’s suitability for the child, along with the SEN coordinator, class teacher and /or Psychologist where appropriate.
● The Board of Management reserves the right to provisionally enrol a child for a period of time in order to fully assess the child’s needs prior to full enrolment in conjunction with the HSE representatives, the NEPS psychologist, the HSE occupational therapist etc. The Board reserves the right to defer or refuse enrolment if it believes the child’s needs cannot be properly met in this school.
● The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse enrolment if they believe the school cannot meet the needs of a particular child. This decision is open to appeal by parents/guardians under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998.
● The Department of Education and Science states that the ratio for each class is a maximum of six pupils to one teacher and a minimum of two SNAs. Should the number of applicants exceed the number of places, a waiting list is put in place.
● In order to be placed on the Waiting List parents/guardians must supply the school with a completed enrolment form and ALL reports specifying that the child meets all requirements to attend a School Going ASD class. The waiting list is valid for one academic year. Parents/Guardians must reapply the following year in line with the schools admissions policy.
● If a place is secured in another ASD class/school please inform the school that you no longer wish to remain on the Waiting List.
● Once a place has been offered in the ASD class it is a requirement of the Board of Management that a written response from parents is sent, within FIVE days, to confirm acceptance of the place otherwise the place will be offered to the next child on the waiting list.
● When an application is successful, the Principal will make an application on behalf of this pupil for school transport, to the local Special Educational Needs Organiser, provided that this is required by, and agreed with parents.
● Successful applicants will be issued with a Letter of Acceptance. This will include the start date and the projected date of transition to secondary school. This will be countersigned by parents and Principal with a copy being kept on the child’s file and by parents.
● It is hoped that all children will be fully or partially integrated into mainstream by 6th Class. Children will be integrated into an age-appropriate class.
● It is school policy to facilitate the discharge of pupils from the ASD Class once they have reached the age of thirteen or have completed the eight year primary school cycle whichever occurs first. Pupils who reach the age of thirteen after September 30th in any year will be permitted to complete that academic year. It is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to organise a suitable secondary school placement.
Each application will be considered by the Admissions Team. The team will include the School Principal, the SEN co-ordinator and/or the special class teacher. A recommendation will be made by the Admissions Team in relation to each application to the Board of Management of the school. Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Board of Management
The Pre-enrolment form or receipt of acknowledgement of an application to enrol by the school does not constitute an offer of a place or guarantee a place in the school. Decisions in relation to applications for enrolment are made by the Admissions Team in accordance with our enrolment policy and approved by the Board of Management.
After completing the initial Pre-enrolment form, parents/guardians will be invited to complete an Enrolment Application Form. This must be completed and returned to the office accompanied by all of the following supporting documentation:
1. An original Birth Certificate (together with a photocopy)
2. Two of the following original documents, as proof of address: Electricity Bill, Gas Bill, Telephone Bill
3. A current psychological and cognitive assessment with a relevant Irish governing body, that has assessed and classified the child as having autism or autistic spectrum disorder without significant intellectual impairment, within the range of Mild General Learning Disability or above, according to DSM-V or ICD 10 criteria or equivalent, including a recommendation by a member of the Multi-Disciplinary Team in the report that a special class placement in a Mainstream school is both necessary and suitable for the child
Monitoring and Review
All placements are subject to a yearly review or at the request of the parent/guardian and/or the school to determine whether this is an appropriate school placement for the child. The review will include input from the parents/guardians, relevant professionals and the school (Teacher, Principal and Board of Management). Following the review a recommendation may be made that the child be enrolled in a school that can meet his needs or that their school day will be shortened for the benefit of students and staff.
Children with special educational needs may display difficult, defiant or oppositional behaviours. All efforts will be made by the school to manage such behaviour using various strategies and through the implementation of the child’s Individual Education Plan.
All pupils including those with special needs are subject to the School Code of Behaviour. Where a child’s behaviour repeatedly impacts on the health and safety of school staff, other pupils in the ASD class or in a mainstream class and where behaviour impacts in a negative way to the extent that pupils’ constitutional right to an education is being interfered with as judged by the Board of Management of the School, the school reserves the right to advise parents that a more suitable setting should be found for their child. In line with the schools Code of Behaviour, the Board of Management reserves the right to suspend or expel a child. Parents have the right to appeal decisions of the Board in the first instance to the Board of Management and secondly through the provisions of Section 29 as provided in the Education Act 1998 and amendments. The parents of the child must accept and agree to the school’s Code of Behaviour and the terms of this policy.
The priority bandings for enrolment in an ASD class will be as follows:
1. Pupils currently attending mainstream in Réalt na Mara BNS or who have siblings already in the school or students who have been offered a place in the mainstream school for the coming September (Priority eldest).
2. Pupils who ordinarily reside in the catchment area of Réalt Na Mara BNS (Priority eldest).
3. Pupils who ordinarily reside in the County of Meath (Priority eldest).
4. Subject to appropriate provision being made for pupils as defined in (1) (2) and (3), pupils who
ordinarily reside outside, but contiguous to those areas, will be offered places subject to availability.
5. In all cases, places are subject to availability. If all available places in the class are filled, then the
applicants will go on a waiting list. The waiting list is valid for one academic year. Parents/Guardians
must reapply the following year in line with the school’s admissions policy.
RATIFICATION of this policy is subject to annual review by the Board of Management of Réalt Na Mara BNS. The enrolment policy for the ASD class was ratified, subject to scrutiny, by the Board of Management of Réalt Na Mara
Mr. John Corbett Chairperson, Board of Management.
Ms. Caitríona Campbell, Principal