Enrolment Policy

The school caters for both boys and girls from Junior Infants to Sixth Class. Saint Matthias’ National School depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Science and it operates within the regulations laid down by the Department. This 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 right of the Patron as set out in the Education Act, and the funding and resources available, this school supports the principles of: inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational need; parental choice in relation to enrolment; respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.

Application Procedure

  1. All applications for places in the school shall be submitted on the approved Application Form to the school Principal, and names shall be placed on a waiting list.
  2. Only such forms that have been completed in full will be considered by the Board of Management.
  3. Completion of such a form does not guarantee a place at the school.
  4. Early completion of the form is not a factor in the allocation of places at the school.
  5. All applicants for Junior Infants must have attained their 4th birthday by 31st September in the year of admission.
  6. Throughout the school year, applications for the following school year shall be monitored by the Principal and Chairman of the Board of Management. In February each year, a Registration Form, Enrolment Policy and Discipline Policy will be sent to all parents who have applied to enrol their child for September.
  7. The Board of Management will, in light of articles 6(e), 9(m) and 15 (2)(d) of the Education Act, 1998, give consideration to the following factors:
      • the place of residence of the applicant
      • the number of available spaces in the school, which in turn involves:
      • the number of pupils expected to leave the school
      • the size of the smaller classrooms in the school
      • the effect of the intake on the division/pairing of classes
      • the deployment of teachers
      • the resources of the school
      • the religious denomination of the applicant’s child
      • the gender balance of pupils
      • whether an applicant is a sibling of another pupil already attending the school
      • Special consideration will also be given to children to school staff.
  8. Siblings of pupils or past pupils of the school are not automatically entitled to a place.
  9. Applications, except in a case of change of residence, are not generally entertained in the course of the school year.
  10. Students who wish to transfer from another school in the locality are not normally allocated places at the school unless there are special circumstances.
  11. In relation to religious denomination, the following priority is followed:
        • Those belonging to the Church of Ireland who are parishioners of Ballydehob Union of Parishes.
        • Members of the Methodist Church who are resident in the above catchment area.
        • Those belonging to other member churches of the Irish Council of Churches resident in the catchment area referred to in
        • (List available on request).
        • Members of other Protestant denominations who are sympathetic to the ethos and traditions of the school and reside in the catchment area referred to in (a).
        • Children of inter-church marriages of the Church of Ireland Parishes referred to in (a).
        • Members of the Roman Catholic Church who are resident in the catchment area referred to in (a).
        • Children of other faiths who reside in the catchment area referred to in (a).
        • All other applicants who reside in the catchment area referred to in (a).
        • All other applicants.
  12. All applicants shall be informed, in writing, of the Board’s decision by March 31st of the proposed year of enrolment.
  13. A subsequent review of a decision by the Board may be requested, only on receipt of additional information not submitted at the time of application, and would be considered at the next meeting of the Board.
  14. Section 29(1)(c) of the Education Act, 1998, provides for procedures under which, in some circumstances, appeal may be made to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science.

Enrolment of Children with Special Needs

In relation to applications for the enrolment of a child with special needs, the Board of Management will request a copy of the child’s medical and/or psychological report, with a view to profiling the support services required. Following receipt of this report, the Board of Management will assess how the school could meet the needs of the child specified in the report. Should the Board deem that further resources are required, it will, prior to enrolment, request the Department of Education and Science to provide the resources required to meet the needs of the child as outlined in the psychological or medical report. The Board of Management may decide to defer enrolment of a particular child, pending the provision of appropriate resources by the Department of Education and Science to meet the needs specified in the psychological and/or medical report.

Local Review

Should an application for a place in the school be declined, parents may request the Board of Management to review the decision. The Principal and Chairperson will advise the Board as to the reason for the initial decision, but will not take part in the review itself. A parent will be granted the right to present their position to the Board and they may furnish additional information if necessary. If the Board decides to uphold the original decision the parent/s will be advised of the reasons why and will be informed that there is a right of appeal to the Secretary General. (Section 29)