Enrolment/Admissions Policy

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This policy was formulated during the school year 2009/10. It was drawn up by the principal and staff of Holy Family School in response to changing legislation and following a review of the existing enrolment policy and current needs and was subsequently ratified by the Board of Management.

Holy Family School operates under the Rules for National Schools, The Education Act (1998), The Education Welfare Act (2000), enacted sections of The Education of Persons with Special Education Needs Act (2004), all relevant equality legislation and Department of Education and Skills (DES) Circulars. 


Holy Family School: Holy Family School

School Roll Number:   19536W

School Address: Balloonagh, Tralee, Co. Kerry.

Telephone No.: 066 7124161

Name of Patron: Bishop Ray Browne

Total No. of teachers based in HFS: 1  +  13 

Total No. of visiting teachers:     0

Range of Classes Taught:   Junior Infant Class to Sixth Class

Gender Orientation of School:    Mixed

Mission Statement

Holy Family School is a Roman Catholic, co-educational primary school under the patronage of the Bishop of Kerry.  As a catholic school, 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 .The school models and promotes a philosophy of life inspired by a belief in God.

The school caters for the full range of classes from Junior Infants to sixth class.


This policy is necessary to set down the criteria for Admission and Enrolment in our school.


This enrolment policy is 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, Mr. Barry Murphy and the principal teacher, Mr. Ed O’ Brien are happy to clarify any further matters arising from the policy.

The school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the Department of Education and Skills 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 Skills, 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.

Procedures for Enrolment

·         Prospective parents are given an Enrolment Application Form   

·         Parents/Guardians are then invited to a meeting with the school principal

·         Subject to the criteria parents/guardians are then requested to complete a Pupil Enrolment Registration Form 

All offers of enrolment are subject to acceptance of the school’s Code of Behaviour  a copy of which is given to the parents/guardians at the meeting. 

The Board of Management of Holy Family School shall make decisions in relation to applications for enrolment in accordance with school policy.  Any decision made shall be in compliance with The Education Welfare Act 2000.  The school will notify parents of their decision within 21 days of the closing date for the receipt of applications.

Enrolment Criteria

It is the policy of Holy Family School that children being enrolled in a Junior Infant Class will have reached the age of four years on or before August 31st of the year they are beginning school.The number of children enrolled in any Junior Infant class shall be determined by the maximum class size laid down for that standard by the Dept. of Education & Skills at any given time. The present recommended maximum class size for a Junior Infant Class is 28.  Where the number of children seeking entry to Junior Infants is greater than 28 the B.O.M. shall apply the following criteria in determining what pupils shall be accepted.

The criteria are listed in order of priority:

a)    Siblings of existing pupils attending the school

b)   Children living within the parish

c)    Children of current staff including ancillary staff

d)   Children of past pupils

e)    Other children living outside the parish boundary

f)    In the event that priority requires to be given to children in category ‘A’, older children will be given priority. In exceptional circumstances, subject to the school’s average class size not exceeding              

      Dept. of Education & Skills Guidelines ( enrolment divided by number of class teachers) the Board of Management may decide to enrol more than 30 pupils in a Junior Infant Class.

School Policy on enrolment of children other than Junior Infants

·         Children may be enrolled in classes other than Junior Infants subject to space being available.  Parents are requested to fill Form AP2  (SEE APPENDIX  II)  which will be kept on file in the office.

·         Criteria used will be as listed above.

·         With regard to applications for enrolment during the school year the Board of Management shall have regard for the relevant Dept. of Education & Skills guidelines on maximum class size and to requirements concerning accommodation such as physical space or the health and welfare of children.

·         Such applications will only be considered for admission on the first day of each new term unless the applicant is newly resident in the area.

Holy Family School observes that the legal obligation to share information in relation to attendance and educational progress has effect only when the child has been put on the register of the school to which the child is transferring and not before, in the best interest of Data Protection.

Decision Making

The Board will have regard for relevant Dept. of Education & Skills 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 Dept. of Education & Skills 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. Children applying to enrol in Holy Family School must have reached the age of 4 years by August 31st of the year they will commence school.

In the event that applications for enrolment exceed/are expected to exceed the number of places available, the following decision-making process will apply.

a)    Siblings of existing pupils attending the school

b)   Children living within the parish

c)    Children of current staff including ancillary staff

d)   Children of past pupils

e)    Other children living outside the parish boundary

f)    In the event that priority requires to be given to children in category ‘A’, older children will be given priority.

The Board of Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each separate classroom bearing in mind Department and Education Guidelines in relation to class size and staffing provisions.

Admission Day/Date

Junior Infants, with the exception of students transferring from another school, may only be admitted to the school at the beginning of the school year.

Enrolment of Children with Special Needs

Children with special needs are welcome to enrol in the school and every effort will be made to provide them with an appropriate education as well as include them in every aspect of school life. The special needs child will be resourced in accordance with the level of resources provided by the DES to the Board of Management.

a)    The Board of Management is entitled to be supplied with all relevant information and any available reports and requests same including the PPS number (Educ. Welfare Act Section 19)

b)   The Board may request that the child be assessed immediately in order to assist the school in establishing the educational needs of the child and to provide the support services required.

c)   The Board will endeavour to have all resources and supports in place before the child is admitted to the school.  The Board will request the Special Education Needs Organiser to approve the resources required to meet the needs of the child as outlined in the assessment. (See NCSE Circular 01/05 and Special Needs Act 2004). This may include visiting teacher services, resource teacher, special needs assistants, specialized equipment and /or furniture,  transport services etc.

d)   In exceptional cases where the school is awaiting the provision of supports and resources and where their absence constitute health and safety concerns the Board will meet with the family to highlight these concerns. 

e)  The school will meet with the parent of the special needs child and the child to discuss the school’s suitability for the child. If considered necessary, in acute cases, a full case conference may be called which will include parents, class teacher, principal, learning support teacher, resource teacher, psychologist, social worker and other partners in education involved in the child’s life.

Exceptional Cases

The Board of Management of Holy Family School reserves the right to refuse enrolment or, to rescind an offer of enrolment to any child, in exceptional cases.  Such an exceptional case could arise where either:

  1. The child has special needs such that, even with additional resources available from the Dept. of Education & Skills, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the student with an appropriate education, or
  2. In the opinion of the Board of Management, the student poses an unacceptable risk to other students, to school staff or to school property. (see Appeals Procedure below)

 Appeals Procedure

  • The Board of Management of Holy Family School in compliance with section 19(3) of the Educational Welfare Act 2000 will make a decision in writing in respect of an application for enrolment within 21 days of the closing date for the receipt of enrolment applications and will inform the parents/guardians in writing of that decision.
  • Parents/guardians will be informed of their entitlement to appeal a decision of the Board of Management in relation to a refusal to enrol in the letter issued 21 days after the closing date for the receipt of applications.
  • If the Board of Management refuses to enrol a student in the school, the parent/guardian of the student may appeal the decision at local level. The appeal must be submitted within 10 days of the date of the refusal to enrol. It must be made in writing, addressed to the Chairperson of the Board, and clearly state the grounds for the appeal. The Board of Management will respond within 10 days of the receipt of such an appeal.
  • If following the conclusion of the appeal procedures at school level, a parent/guardian is dissatisfied with the decision made that parent/guardian 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 Dept. of Education & Skills. It should be noted that such an appeal must be lodged within 42 days of the schools refusal to enrol.

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 Dept. of Education & Skills website at

Children of Other Faiths or No Faith

Bearing in mind the catholic ethos of the school, every effort will be made to ensure that the school is as inclusive as possible. While catholic education and the ethos of the school permeates the day, children of other faiths or none, where a request is made in writing, will be excused from attendance at formal religious instruction classes and specific catholic liturgies. It is the responsibility of the parents to make suitable alternative arrangements in order to facilitate this and to inform the school of these arrangements. It will not be possible to provide religious instruction in other faiths in the school.


This policy document will be reviewed as needs be or in any case in June of each year.

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Contact Us

  • Address: Balloonagh, Tralee, Co. Kerry
  • Tel: +353 (0) 66 71 241 61
  • Email us here

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