Admissions

Printable Version – Patron Approved Elphin Community College – Admission Policy 2020/21

INTRODUCTION TO ELPHIN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Elphin Community College is a Vocational School under the patronage of Galway and Roscommon Educational and Training Board. It was established in 1942. Our school exists to serve the educational needs of the community which we serve. We aspire to provide an environment which acknowledges educational achievement, enhances student self-confidence, promotes life skills and attitudes which will enable students to live fulfilling lives and so contribute to the betterment of society. We actively aspire to develop partnership between teachers, parents and the wider community.

The central purpose of the school community is the moral, intellectual, physical and social education of the student. This Community seeks to create the atmosphere of care and concern in which the student can grow to maturity. We fully subscribe to the principles of partnership, accountability, transparency, inclusion, and respect for diversity, parental choice and equality.

Our Vision

Elphin Community College is a place of excellence where children can achieve full potential in their academic, social, personal, physical, moral and spiritual development.

Our Mission Statement

“Our school exists to serve the educational needs of the community which we serve. We aspire to provide an environment which acknowledges educational achievement, enhances student self-confidence promotes life skills and attitudes which will enable students to live fulfilling lives and so contribute to the betterment of society. We actively aspire to develop partnership between teachers, parents and the wider community.

Our school exists to serve the educational needs of the community which we serve. We aspire to provide an environment which acknowledges educational achievement, enhances student self-confidence promotes life skills and attitudes which will enable students to live fulfilling lives and so contribute to the betterment of society. We actively aspire to develop partnership between teachers, parents and the wider community”.

1 GLOSSARY OF TERMS

‘Applicant’ means the parent / guardian of a Student, or, in the case of a Student who has reached the age of 18 years, the Student, who has made an application for admission to Elphin Community College.

‘Student’ means the person in respect of whom the application is being made. All uses of the word throughout this Policy therefore imply ‘prospective’ as part of the interpretation. That is, the use of the word ‘Student’ does not mean that the application for him/her has been accepted such that s/he is regarded as a Student of Elphin Community College by virtue of application alone.

‘Gender’, in line with the definition of “the gender ground” in the Equal Status Act 2000, is such that “one is male and the other is female”.

Catchment Area’ refers to the designated residential area for application to Elphin Community College in respect of the person on whose behalf the application is being made. The catchment area for Elphin Community College is defined as follows: Traditionally its catchment area was determined by the school bus route. The perimeter extended along the N4 from Simpsons Cross 3 miles south of Tulsk Village, through Tulsk to Ballinagare on the west, to Ballinameen and Croghan on the north, to Aughrim/Kilmore on the east and to Kiltrustan on the south. There are eight primary schools in this area Abbeycartron in the town is the main feeder school, Croghan, Ballinameen, Ballinagare, Tulsk, Killina, Aughrim, Kiltrustan. However, in recent years students from Grange, Woodbrook, Cootehall, Corrigeenroe have enrolled in the school. Catchment areas are not as influential as they were in the past and many students now travel privately to schools outside of their traditional catchment area.

‘Parent’ has the same meaning as in the Education Act 1998 and includes a guardian appointed under the Guardianship of Children Acts, 1964 to 1997.

‘Feeder Primary Schools’ refers to the primary schools of preference for application to Elphin Community College The feeder primary schools for Elphin Community College are as follows (in no particular order):

Abbeycartron

Ballinameen

Croghan

Aughrim/Kilmore

Killina

Tulsk

Ballinagare

Kiltrustan

Woodbrook

Cootehall

Corrigeenroe

Grange

‘First-Year’ means the intake group of Students for the most junior class or year in a school.

For the purpose of the selection criterion relating to the student having a sibling currently enrolled in the school, ‘Sibling’ refers to full siblings, half-siblings, foster-siblings, step- siblings and students who reside in the same household.

[Note: the wider definition of sibling in the second of the two paragraphs immediately above is for the purpose of facilitating families who are required to do more than one drop- off and/or collection to/from the school.]

2 ADMISSION STATEMENT

Definition of a ‘Multidenominational School’ in an ETB Context

ETB schools are state, co-educational, multidenominational schools underpinned by the core values of:

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  • Excellence in Education;
  • Care;
  • Equality;
  • Community and Respect.

As the state provider of education, the ETB sector defines a ‘multidenominational’ school in the following way:

In ETB schools, all students are given equal opportunities for enrolment in line with the Education (Admissions to School) Act 2018. Once enrolled, our schools strive to provide all students with equal opportunities to engage with the curriculum and school life. In all aspects of school life all members of our school communities are

treated equitably regardless of their race, gender, religion/belief, age, family status, civil status, membership of the Traveller community, sexual orientation, ability or socio- economic status.

Our schools provide a safe physical and social environment that reinforces a sense of belonging to the school community and wider society. They strive to enable every student to realise their full potential regardless of any aspect of their identity or background. Our schools promote a fully inclusive education that recognises the plurality of identities, beliefs and values held by students, parents and staff. We prepare open-minded, culturally sensitive and responsible citizens with a strong sense of shared values.

In ETB schools, students of all religions and beliefs are treated equally. The school environment and activities do not privilege any particular group over another whilst at the same time acknowledging and facilitating students of all religions and beliefs.

Elphin Community College shall not discriminate in its admission of a Student based on the following grounds:

2.1.  Gender of the Student or Applicant.

2.2.  Civil status of the Student or Applicant;

2.3.  Family status of the Student or Applicant;

2.4.  Sexual orientation of the Student or Applicant;

2.5.  Religion of the Student or Applicant;

2.6.  Disability of the Student or Applicant;

2.7.  Race of the Student or Applicant;

2.8.  The Student’s or Applicant’s membership of the Traveller community;

Elphin Community College shall not charge fees or payments or seek contributions as a condition of admission or continued enrolment of a Student.

3 LEGAL FRAMEWORK

GRETB was established under the Education and Training Board Act 2013 which sets out the functions of all ETBs, including to establish and maintain recognised schools, centres for education and education and training facilities in each ETB’s functional area.

The board of management of Elphin Community College is a committee established under section 44 of the Education and Training Board Act 2013 and also constitutes a board of management within the meaning of the Education Act 1998.

The Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018 and the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 place a duty on all recognised schools to prepare and publish an Admission Policy.

The Education Act, 1998 provides for an appeal process in the event of a refusal to enrol. The appeal process is set out in section 5.4 in respect of applications made to the First-Year group and in section 6.4 in respect of applications made to all year other than the First- Year group.

The Department of Education and Skills’ Rules and Programme for Secondary Schools 2004/05 sets out rules to which post-primary schools must adhere in the provision of education. However, should such rules be amended or replaced in the future the interpretation of this Policy shall be construed accordingly.

It is important to understand that our school does not provide ‘religious instruction’ and therefore the legal requirement to advise of the option to opt-out of religious instruction does not arise in this school. It is also important to understand the distinction between ‘religious instruction’ and religious education’:

  • Religious instruction is a term used in Ireland to indicate instruction in accordance with the rites, practices and teachings of a particular religion or denomination for pupils of that religious tradition. Religious instruction may be provided in a denominational school setting.
  • Religious education is open to all pupils regardless of their commitment to any particular religion or worldview. It seeks to contribute to the spiritual and moral development of all students equally.

As ETB schools are ‘multi-denominational’, Elphin Community College supports the provision of religious education that caters for all students regardless of their religious or non-religious beliefs and therefore does not provide religious instruction of any particular religion or belief.

4 GENERAL ADMISSION PROVISIONS

A decision on an application for admission shall be based on:

  • the implementation of this Admission Policy,
  • the annual admission notice of the school, and the

information provided by the Applicant in the application for admission.

If, prior to the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 coming into effect, Elphin Community College had confirmed, in writing, that an Applicant had been placed on a list relating to the allocation of school places for a particular school year up to and including the academic year 2020/2021, then this confirmation is still valid and the Applicant will be offered that place.

In processing an application Elphin Community College shall not consider:

  • 4.1  The payment of fees or contributions to the school;
  • 4.2  A Student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude;
  • 4.3  The occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a Student’s Parent(s);
  • 4.4  A requirement that a Student or his or her Parent(s), attend an interview, open day or other meeting as a condition of admission;
  • 4.5  A Student’s connection to the school due to a member of his or her family attending or having previously attended the school
  • 4.6  The date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school as long as it is received during the period specified for receiving applications set out in the annual admissions notice for 2020/2021.

Elphin Community College will consider the offer of a place to every Student seeking admission to the school, unless one of the following applies:

  • 4.7 The Parent fails to confirm in writing that s/he accepts the Student Code of Behaviour and he/she shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the Student;

Where Elphin Community College considers an application, each Student shall receive a place, unless the school is oversubscribed, in which case, selection criteria will be applied to each application.

Section 5 of this Policy addresses the selection criteria and other matters related to the admission provisions for the first-year group.

Section 6 of this Policy addresses the selection criteria and other matters related to the admission provisions for all year groups other than first-year.

SECTION 5 – APPLICATION TO THE FIRST-YEAR GROUP

5.1 ADMISSION PROVISIONS (FIRST YEAR GROUP)

Where Elphin Community College is not oversubscribed, all Students will be offered a school place, subject to sections 4.7, 4.8.

5.1.1 Oversubscription

When the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, the published selection criteria as set out at section 5.1.2 below will apply and a waiting list shall be compiled which shall remain valid for the school year in respect of which the applications are made. Where Elphin Community College is in a position to offer further school places that become available for and during the 2020/2021 school year, places will be offered in accordance with the order of priority in which Students have been placed on the waiting list.

For the avoidance of doubt, if a Student does not receive a place in the school for a given academic year, but s/he wishes to be considered for admission to the same year group in the following academic year, a new application must be made on behalf of that Student during the dates specified by the school as being the period when it will accept applications to all years other than the First Year Group.

Where the school is oversubscribed, any selection criteria that are not included in this Admission Policy shall not be considered in determining whether or not a Student is admitted to the school.

5.1.2 Selection criteria in order of priority

Elphin Community College will apply the following criteria for admission to the first-year group:

  • 5.1.2.1  If the Student resides in the catchment area;
  • 5.1.2.2  If the Student has siblings currently enrolled in the school.
  • 5.1.3 Selection process

Elphin Community College will apply the selection process as follows:

Applications are considered against the published selection criteria. Places will be offered in the first instance to those who meet the first criterion. Subsequently, where the school still has places available, the remaining Applicants are considered in light of the second criterion and those Applicants who meet this criterion will be offered a place within the school. This process is continuously carried out until all available places have been offered and accepted.

Where two or more applications are tied in the foregoing selection process, Elphin Community College will apply a random lottery to assign any available places in the school, or on the waiting list, to those applications.

5.1.4 Late applications

An application received by Elphin Community College after the closing date published by Elphin Community College and set out in the Admission Notice, is considered a late application for the purposes of this Admission Policy.

Where Elphin Community College is oversubscribed and receives a late application for admission, same will receive a place on the waiting list beneath Applicants whose applications were received by Elphin Community College before the closing date for applications. Such applications will be placed on the waiting list in accordance with the date and time they were received by Elphin Community College, subject to 4.7 and 4.8.

Where Elphin Community College is not oversubscribed and it receives a late application, the Student seeking admission will receive an offer of a place within Elphin Community College subject to sections 4.7, 4.8 and the same process as applies to Applicants whose applications were received before the closing date will be operated i.e. an Acceptance Form will be issued to the Applicant for completion and return to the school within 2 weeks of issue.

5.1.5 Second/third-round offers of a place

Where a Student is in receipt of an offer of a place within Elphin Community College but does not accept the offer, or the school withdraws the offer in line with the relevant provisions of this Policy, the place will be offered to the next Student on the waiting list in a second-round of offers. This process will continue throughout third and fourth rounds etc. until all places within the school have been filled.

5.1.6 Acceptance of a place

If the Student in respect of whom the application is made is offered a place, the Applicant will be issued with an Acceptance Form by the school.

The Applicant shall indicate acceptance of an offer by fully completing and returning the Acceptance Form by the date set out in the School Admission Notice, or within 2 weeks of issuing by the school if it is a late application or if it is a second/third-round offer. This includes indicating whether or not s/he has applied for and is awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school.

Failure to fully complete and return the Acceptance Form to the school by the date set out in the School Admission Notice, or within 2 weeks of issuing by the school if it is a late application or if it is a second/third-round offer, may result in withdrawal of an offer, in line with the grounds for refusal as set out below.

5.1.7 Refusal

Where a Student in respect of whom an application is being sought has not been offered a school place, the Applicant will be provided in writing with:

  • 5.1.7.1. The reasons that the Student was not a offered a place in Elphin Community College
  • 5.1.7.2. Details of the Student’s ranking against the published selection criteria,
  • 5.1.7.3. Details of the Student’s place on the waiting list, if applicable, and
  • 5.1.7.4. Details of the Applicant’s right to appeal the decision.

In addition to the conditions for consideration of an application as set out at 4.7 and 4.8 offer of admission may not be made where:

  • 5.1.7.5. The information contained in the application is false or misleading in a material respect.

5.1.8 Withdrawal of an offer

An offer of admission may be withdrawn where:
5.1.8.6. The information contained in the application is false or misleading in a material respect, or
5.1.8.7 The 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 for the 2020/2021 academic year, or in the case of a late application, or second/third-round offer, within 2 weeks, or

5.1.8.8 An Applicant has not indicated:

(i)  whether or not s/he has applied for and is awaiting confirmation of an offer from another school(s) and if so, the details of the school(s);
and

(ii)  whether or not or s/he has accepted an offer of admission from another school(s) and if so, the details of the offer(s).

If an offer of a place is withdrawn by the school, the Student on whose behalf the application was made shall lose his/her place on the admission list or waiting list for that academic year and any subsequent applications for the same academic year on behalf of that Student shall be treated as a late application in line with section 5.1.4 above.

5.1.9 Appeals

For information relating to an Applicant’s right to appeal a decision of Elphin Community College regarding admission to the First-Year group, see section 5.3.

5.3. APPEALS

  • 5.3.1. Appeal where refusal was due to oversubscription:

An Applicant who was refused admission because the school is oversubscribed and who wishes to appeal this decision must submit his/her appeal in writing, via a Section 29 Appeal Application Form, available from the school office and on the school’s website, for it to be reviewed by the board of management of Elphin Community College, Chanterland, Elphin, Co. Roscommon, 071 9635031, E: info.elphin@gretb.ie. Such an appeal must be brought within fourteen calendar days of receipt by the Applicant of the school’s decision to refuse to admit. However, if a different time period for the bringing of such an appeal is specified by the Minister for Education and Skills after the publication of this Policy, same shall apply instead.

If an Applicant is not satisfied with the decision of the board of management, or the board of management is not in a position to review the decision to refuse admission, the Applicant may apply to bring an appeal to an appeals committee established by the Minister for Education and Skills under section 29A of the Education Act 1998.

  • 5.3.2. Appeal where refusal was for a reason other than oversubscription:

An Applicant who was refused admission to Elphin Community College for a reason other than the school being oversubscribed and who wishes to appeal this decision may choose to put his/her appeal in writing, via a Section 29 Appeal Application Form, available from the school office and on the school’s website, for it to be reviewed by the board of management of Elphin Community College. Such an appeal must be brought withinfourteen calendar days of receipt by the Applicant of the school’s decision to refuse to admit. However, if a different time period for the bringing of such an appeal is specified by the Minister for Education and Skills after the publication of this policy, same shall apply instead.

Alternatively, s/he may choose to apply to bring an appeal to an appeals committee established by the Minister for Education and Skills under section 29A of the Education Act 1998.

If an Applicant who chooses to appeal to the board of management is not satisfied with the decision of the board of management, the Applicant may also apply to bring an appeal to an appeals committee established by the Minister for Education and Skills under section 29A of the Education Act 1998.

5.3.3. Basis for appeal:

As required by section 29C(2) of the Education Act 1998, an application to appeal must be based on the implementation of this Admission Policy, the content of the school’s Admission Notice and also set out the grounds of the request to appeal the decision.

SECTION 6 – APPLICATION TO ALL YEAR GROUPS OTHER THAN FIRST-YEAR

6.1 ADMISSION PROVISIONS (OTHER THAN FIRST-YEAR)

Where Elphin Community College is not oversubscribed, all Students will be offered a school place, subject to sections 4.7 and 4.8.

6.1.1 Oversubscription

When the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, the published selection criteria as set out at section 6.1.2 below will apply and a waiting list shall be compiled which shall remain valid for the school year in respect of which the applications are made. Where Elphin Community College is in a position to offer further school places that become available for and during the 2020/2021 school year, places will be offered in accordance with the order of priority in which Students have been placed on the waiting list.

For the avoidance of doubt, if a Student does not receive a place in the school for a given academic year, but s/he wishes to be considered for admission to the same year group in the following academic year, a new application must be made on behalf of that Student during the dates specified by the school as being the period when it will accept applications to all years other than the First Year Group.

Where the school is oversubscribed, any selection criteria that are not included in this Admission Policy shall not be considered in determining whether or not a Student is admitted to the school.

Where the Transition Year Programmec in Elphin Community College is oversubscribed, a Student applying for admission to such programm(es) in the relevant year group, will, subject to this policy, be placed on the appropriate waiting list already compiled (annually) by the school, which list will contain the names of students enrolled in the school who have been placed on an internal waiting list for this/ese programm(es).

6.1.2 Selection criteria in order of priority

If the Student resides in the catchment area;

  • 6.1.2.1  If the Student has siblings currently enrolled in the school;
  • 6.1.2.2  If the Student has siblings who were previously enrolled in the school;
  • 6.1.2.3 If the Student had a parent or grandparent who previously attended the school (to a maximum of 25% of the places available);

Any selection criteria that are not included in this Admission Policy shall not be considered in determining whether or not an Applicant is admitted.

6.1.3 Selection process

Elphin Community College will apply the selection process as follows:

Applications are considered against the published selection criteria. Places will be offered in the first instance to those who meet the first criterion. Subsequently, where the school still has places available, the remaining Applicants are considered in light of the second criterion and those Applicants who meet this criterion will be offered a place within the school. This process is continuously carried out until all available places have been offered and accepted.

Where two or more applications are tied in the foregoing selection process, Elphin Community College will apply a random lottery to assign any available places in the school, or on the waiting list, to those applications.

6.1.4 Late applications:

An application received by Elphin Community College after the closing date published by Elphin Community College and set out in the Admission Notice, is considered a late application for the purposes of this Admission Policy.

Where Elphin Community College is oversubscribed and receives a late application for admission, same will receive a place on the waiting list beneath Applicants whose applications were received by Elphin Community College before the closing date for applications. Such applications will be placed on the waiting list in accordance with the date and time they were received by Elphin Community College, subject to sections 4.7 and 4.8.

Where Elphin Community College is not oversubscribed and it receives a late application, the Student seeking admission will receive an offer of a place within Elphin Community College subject to sections 4.7, 4.8 and the same process as applies to Applicants whose applications were received before the closing date will be operated i.e. an Acceptance Form will be issued to the Applicant for completion and return to the school within 2 weeks of issue.

6.1.5 Second/third-round offers of a place

Where a Student is in receipt of an offer of a place within Elphin Community College but does not accept the offer, or fails to accept within the specified time period, or the school withdraws the offer in line with the relevant provisions of this Policy, the place will be offered to the next Student on the waiting list in a second-round of offers. This process will continue throughout third and fourth rounds etc. until all places within the school have been filled.

6.1.6 Acceptance of a place:

If the Student in respect of whom the application is made is offered a place, the Applicant will be issued with an Acceptance Form by the school.

The Applicant shall indicate acceptance of an offer by fully completing and returning the Acceptance Form by the date set out in the School Admission Notice, or within 2 weeks of issuing by the school if it is a late application or if it is a second/third-round offer. This includes indicating whether or not s/he has applied for and is awaiting confirmation of an offer of admission from another school.

Failure to fully complete and return the Acceptance Form to the school by the date set out in the School Admission Notice, or within 2 weeks of issuing by the school if it is a late application or if it is a second/third-round offer, may result in withdrawal of an offer, in line with the grounds for refusal as set out below.

6.1.7 Refusal:

Where a Student in respect of whom an application is being sought has not been offered a school place, the Applicant will be provided in writing with:

  • 6.1.7.1. The reasons that the Student was not a offered a place in Elphin Community College.
  • 6.1.7.2. Details of the Student’s ranking against the published selection criteria, and
  • 6.1.7.3. Details of the Student’s place on the waiting list, if applicable
  • 6.1.7.4. Details of the Applicant’s right to appeal the decision

In addition to the conditions for consideration of an application as set out at 4.7, 4.8 and 4.9, an offer of admission may not be made where:

  • 6.1.7.5. The information contained in the application is false or misleading in a material respect.

Withdrawal of an offer

An offer of admission may be withdrawn where:

6.1.7.5. The information contained in the application is false or misleading in a material respect, or

6.1.7.6. The 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 for the 2020/2021 academic year, or in the case of a late application, or second/third-round offer, within 2 weeks, or

6.1.7.7. An Applicant has not indicated:
(i) whether or not s/he has applied for and is awaiting confirmation of an offer from another school(s) and if so, the details of the school(s); and

(ii) whether or not or s/he has accepted an offer of admission from another school(s) and if so, the details of the offer(s).

If an offer of a place is withdrawn by the school, the Student on whose behalf the application was made shall lose his/her place on the admission list or waiting list for that academic year and any subsequent applications for the same academic year on behalf of that Student shall be treated as a late application in line with section 6.2.4 above.

6.1.9 Appeals:

For information relating to an Applicant’s right to appeal a decision of Elphin Community College regarding admission to a year group other than First-Year, see section 6.3

6.2 APPEALS
Appeal where refusal was due to oversubscription:

An Applicant who was refused admission because the school is oversubscribed and who wishes to appeal this decision must submit his/her appeal in writing, via a Section 29 Appeal Application Form, available from the school office and on the school’s website, for it to be reviewed by the board of management of Elphin Community College, Chanterland, Elphin, Co. Roscommon, 071 9635031, E: info.elphin@gretb.ie. Such an appeal must be brought within fourteen calendar days of receipt by the Applicant of the school’s decision to refuse to admit. However, if a different time period for the bringing of such an appeal is specified by the Minister for Education and Skills after the publication of this Policy, same shall apply instead.

If an Applicant is not satisfied with the decision of the board of management, or the board of management is not in a position to review the decision to refuse admission, the Applicant may apply to bring an appeal to an appeals committee established by the Minister for Education and Skills under section 29A of the Education Act 1998.

Appeal where refusal was for a reason other than oversubscription:

An Applicant who was refused admission to Elphin Community College for a reason other than the school being oversubscribed and who wishes to appeal this decision may choose to put his/her appeal in writing, via a Section 29 Appeal Application Form, available from the school office and on the school’s website, for it to be reviewed by the board of management of Wlphin Community College. Such an appeal must be brought withinfourteen calendar days of receipt by the Applicant of the school’s decision to refuse to admit. However, if a different time period for the bringing of such an appeal is specified by the Minister for Education and Skills after the publication of this Policy, same shall apply instead.

Alternatively, s/he may choose to apply to bring an appeal to an appeals committee established by the Minister for Education and Skills under section 29A of the Education Act 1998.

If an Applicant who chooses to appeal to the board of management is not satisfied with the decision of the board of management, the Applicant may also apply to bring an appeal to an appeals committee established by the Minister for Education and Skills under section 29A of the Education Act 1998.

Basis for appeal:

As required by section 29C(2) of the Education Act 1998, an application to appeal must be based on the implementation of this Admission Policy, the content of the school’s Admission Notice and also set out the grounds of the request to appeal the decision.

Please return completed forms to:
The Principal,
Elphin Community College,
Elphin,
Co. Roscommon.
Tel. /Fax. 071-9635031/9635038
E-Mail: info.elphin@gretb.ie