Mission Statement    

We at Roscommon Community College, aim to provide a quality academic, practical, social and moral education for our students suited to their needs and abilities in a warm, caring and friendly environment.

We also wish to foster mutual respect between students and staff and instil in our students a sense of self-discipline and community. 

Scope

This document sets out the policy of the school in respect of admissions to the school in the following circumstances:

  • Students applying for a place in First Year
  • Students from outside of the school applying for a place in any other year-group or programme
  • Students applying to transfer from another second-level school
  • Students applying to repeat any year of any programme within the school, including repeating the Leaving Certificate programme
  • Students from within the school applying for a place on any programme within the school

Rationale

 This policy aims to ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to enable the school:

  • to make decisions on all applications in an open and transparent manner consistent with our ethos, the mission statement of the school and legislative requirements
  • to make an accurate and appropriate assessment of the capacity of the school to cater for the needs of applicants in the light of the resources available to it and
  • to put in place a framework which will ensure effective and productive relations between students, parents and teachers where a student is admitted to the school
School Ethos
Roscommon Community College is under the auspices of Galway Roscommon ETB and was established in 1941.  Our College is a place where all levels of learning take place, where the academic, social, emotional and pastoral needs of our students are met and where there is a sense of community and partnership between all the stakeholders in the school.  As a sub committee of the GRETB, the Board of Management of the College is committed to the implementation of relevant educational legislation, in particular the Education Act (1998), the Education (Welfare) Act (2000) and the Equal Status Act (2000) - (section 5). The College acknowledges the need for openness, transparency and inclusiveness in its admissions procedures and adheres to these principles in the context of the life of the College.

 

Our School

Operating Context:  The Board of Management and staff of Roscommon Community College support the principles of:

  • inclusiveness,
  • equality of access and participation in the school,
  • parental choice in relation to enrolments,
  • respect for diversity of traditions, values, beliefs, languages and ways of life in society.

The school operates within the context and parameters of Department of Education & Skills (DES) regulations and programmes and the funding and resources available. 

School Resources

The financial resources of the school are provided by a combination of grants from the Department of Education & Science, voluntary contributions from parents and the parent’s council and fund raising.  The teaching resources are provided by the Department of Education & Skills.

Admission to the school is subject to the resources available to the school including classroom accommodation, class size, teaching resources and financial resources and subject to the capacity of the school to provide for the needs of those who apply for admission. Where the school lacks the necessary resources to meet the needs of any applicant or student it will make every effort to secure those resources – where the resources cannot be secured the school reserves the right to refuse admission or to postpone admission until necessary resources have been provided by the Department of Education & Science.

The implementation of the curriculum, the pastoral care programme, the school improvement plan and of school policies must have due regard to resources and funding available. The school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the DES, which may be amended from time to time, in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act 1998.

School Details

Roscommon Community College is a co-educational secondary school, under the auspices of GRETB and grant aided by the DES.  A Board of Management appointed by the ETB manages the school.  The Board, which operates under the Articles of Management for ETB Secondary Schools, comprises 7 members – Principal, Deputy Principal, two VEC members, two parent nominees and one teacher nominee.


Curriculum

The following programmes are offered by the school -

·       Three year Junior Certificate Programme

·       Transition Year Programme

·       Two Year Traditional Leaving Certificate Programme

·       Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP)

·       FETAC Levels 1,2,3 and 5

The school policy is that all students going into 5th yr who have the necessary combination of subjects will be registered for the LCVP and will be expected to pursue this programme for their Leaving Certificate. All 5th year students must have completed a Transition Year Programme in the school unless they have transferred in from another school.

Extra curricular activities include athletics, basketball, tournaments, debating, public speaking, gaelic football and hurling, camogie, rugby, badminton, debating, quizzes, GAISCE (The President’s Awards), Young Scientist, musicals and concerts, chess, Green Schools.

Adventure, Educational and Social School tours are also a regular feature of school life.

Procedures - Application, Enrolment Criteria & Decision, Appeals

Application for First Year

Our admission procedure is in keeping with the characteristic spirit of the school.  It complies with all current legislation such as the Education Act 1998, Education Welfare Act 2000, and Equal Status Act 2000.

How to Apply

Application Forms are available from the school office and are available on request.  A summary of this Admissions Policy should accompany each application form – the full policy is available on request.  The closing date for receipt of forms will be advised each year.

Parents should complete and sign the application form, giving all of the details required. Incomplete forms will be returned to parents.  Parents should sign the application form and date it.  When the school receives an application form, properly completed, it will be marked with the date (and time if appropriate) on which it was received. 

Parents may be required to furnish information regarding their child’s educational progress at a later date and/or to cooperate with the school’s attempts to identify the educational or other relevant needs of the child. The school may wish to meet with an applicant and her/his parent(s) or guardians to discuss the needs of the applicant.

Failure to fully complete the application form, failure to supply any relevant documentation requested by the school or failure to make a reasonable arrangement to meet with the school to discuss the application may result in a child being refused admission to the school. The school will normally organise an Open Day so that parents may inform themselves about the school. 

Decision Making Process

Decisions regarding admissions are a matter for the Board of Management.  However, this task is normally delegated to the Principal who decides on such matters in accordance with the school’s admission policy.  The Principal may refer any application to the Board for decision.

Parents will be informed within 21 days of the closing date for applications as to the success or otherwise of the application made.

The Board of Management may set a figure each year for the number of students to be accepted into First Year – that figure will depend on the overall number of students in the school and the overall capacity for which the school was designed. 

 

Enrolment Criteria

Where the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, places will be allocated according to the following criteria:

1.     Siblings in the school

2.     Teachers Children

3.     First come first served.

Note that secondary school students must be aged 12 on 1st January on the calendar year following the child’s entry into first year.  Evidence of age, normally a Birth Certificate, will be required. Students must normally reside in the catchment area to attend years 1-3 and must reside in the catchment area for years 4-6 unless there are exceptional circumstances. A decision on these exceptional circumstances will then be made by the Board of Management.

Local Catchment Area Schools

Abbey NS, Athleague NS, Balla NS, Fuerty NS, Creggs NS, Kilteevan NS, Rahara NS, Derrane NS, Ballymurray NS, Runnamote NS, Cloverhill NS, Clooneycolgan NS,Gael Scoil, Curraghboy NS, Covent of Mercy NS, Knockgroghery NS,   Four Mile House NS, Four Roads NS, Mount Talbot NS, St. Johns Lecarrow NS, Lismoyle NS.      

 

Transfer Policy

 

It is the policy of the School Authorities not to accept transfers during the school year. However, in the case of students whose family have moved into the catchment area and who are not enrolled in another post primary school, applications will be considered. All transfer applicants must be interviewed by the School Authorities. While it is appreciated that in certain exceptional circumstances transfers are unavoidable (e.g. a change of residence or a family moving into the area) as a matter of general policy transfers into the school are discouraged in the overall interests of the continuity of the student’s education. An application to transfer is defined as one from a student who has previously enrolled in another school in or outside the catchment area or from a student who makes application after the commencement of the autumn school term.

 

It is not the policy of the Board of Management to accept transfer applications from students previously enrolled in other local post – primary schools, however in exceptional circumstances applications from students wishing to transfer into the school will be considered but must be accompanied by a letter setting out clearly the reason(s) for the application and the following documentation:

 

(i)              Completed enrolment form

(ii)             The two most recent reports from the pupil’s previous school

(iii)           A written reference / report from the previous school detailing behaviour, attendance and contributions to the life of that school together.

(iv)           One additional written references, dated within one month of the date of application from a local Youth Club/Sports Club or similar organisation and/or a member of the Garda Siochana or a person of standing in the community.

(v)            A statement on special needs, if relevant.

(vi)           The college also reserves the right to request a confidential reference from the authorities in previous school(s).

Having due regard to the statutory and constitutional rights of parents and their children, the Board of Management reserves the right to refuse any application in particular circumstances, which might include but is not exclusively confined to the following: (i) An established prior record of poor behaviour from previous schools (ii) An established poor record of attendance and punctuality in previous schools. (iii) Lack of adequate resources to cater for particular needs of the student (vi) Insufficient educational attainment to participate in a particular course.

 

Applications to transfer into the school will be considered having regard to the overall wellbeing of existing pupils and the availability of physical space and resources. Following consideration by the School Authorities of individual applications to transfer into the school, where the authorities have good grounds for forming the fair and reasonable opinion that it would not be in the best interests of the existing students and/or the applicant to accept such a transfer, it is the policy of the school to refuse to enrol such applicants. Applications will not be accepted from students who are the subject of ongoing disciplinary proceedings in another school which includes any ongoing statutory procedures in accordance with the Education Act 1998 or the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.

 

Any student who has been permanently excluded from the school cannot, under any circumstances, reapply to be admitted to the school at a later date.

Special Needs Policy:

The school’s Special Needs Policy sets out how the school will

  • Take steps at an early stage to identify children with special needs who may be applying for admission to the school, and to become familiar with his/her needs.
  • request a copy of the child’s medical/psychological report/individual educational plan, if available or
  • Request immediate assessment (in order to assist the school in establishing educational and training needs of the child relevant to his/her special needs and to profile the support services required.
  • Request, in a timely manner, from the DES any additional resources deemed necessary e.g. special needs assistant, specialised equipment or furniture, transport etc.
  • Meet the parents to discuss the child’s needs and school’s capacity to meet the child’s needs.
  • Through the Board of Management, do all it possibly can to identify, plan, and provide for the needs of a special needs child seeking admission to the school.

Should it prove impossible to provide the necessary resources to provide for the needs of the student the Board reserves the right to refuse or postpone an application for a place in the school.

Information concerning students with special needs will be given to class, resource and support teachers at the beginning of the academic year, enabling staff to provide appropriate and immediate support.

Right of Appeal

Where a student is refused admission to the school his/her parents will be advised of their right to appeal that decision to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science and will be supplied by the school with a copy of the Appeal Form.

 

Assessment Test

Students will normally be advised of the outcome of his/her application prior to sitting for the school’s Assessment Test.  All applicants shall be obliged to sit for the school’s Assessment Test, which shall be held on a day, time and place determined by the school.  A candidate who fails to sit for the test without good reason (as judged by the school) supported by appropriate documentation will put his/her admission at risk.  The Board may decide to revoke an earlier decision to admit such a student and to offer the place to a student on the Waiting List.

The purpose of this Assessment is to help the school establish the educational needs of each student, determine academic strengths and to evaluate the special educational needs of incoming students.  

Admissions Procedures (Other Year Groups)

(Including applications to transfer from other schools)

How to Apply

 Application Forms are available from the school office on request. 

Applicants should complete the application form, giving all of the details required.  Incomplete forms will be returned to parents. 

Applicants will be required to furnish details about his/her prior second-level education including copies of his/her last two school reports that set out the results of in-house examinations.  Where an applicant has attended more than one second-level school they may be required to submit reports from each school and where appropriate applicants may be required to submit copies of the results of any state examinations.

The Principal may contact schools requesting further relevant information such as behaviour, attendance, educational progress, special needs etc., in relation to the applicant.

Applicants may be required to complete a further information form regarding his/her educational progress at a later date.  Where the school considers it to be necessary the school may require an applicant to provide a current education psychological assessment report.  Failure to complete any of the necessary documentation listed above or to supply any other relevant documentation requested by the school may result in an applicant being refused admission to the school

Decision Making Process

Decisions regarding admissions are a matter for the Board of Management.  However, this task is normally delegated to the Principal who decides on such matters in accordance with the school’s admission policy.  The Principal may refer any application to the Board for decision

Admissions for any school year will be considered as soon as possible after the application is received.  The school will respond to each application as soon as possible after receiving it but may not be in a position to make a decision on some applications until later in the school year. A decision will be made in respect of each application following the timing above and the selection criteria set out below. 

The school authorities must have as their first concern the welfare of those who are currently pupils of Roscommon Community College and for whom, therefore, this school was his/her first choice.

The school will only make an offer of a place in a year other than 1st Year after taking due cognisance of the best interests of those who constitute the pupil body of the school. The school management will have due regard as to the effect on class size, the dynamic of a particular group, discipline etc. The school will only make an offer of such a place where it is considered advisable to do so. This applies also to those who have left the school and who subsequently wish to return to the school.

The behaviour record of a student in his/hers previous school shall be an important factor.  The school reserves the right to refuse to admit a student whose behaviour in his/hers previous school has been unsatisfactory or where there has not been a satisfactory level of cooperation between the previous school and the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s).  The attendance record of a student in his/hers previous school shall also be an important factor.

The school will also consider the move in the best interests of the student under the following criteria -

  • Consequences of transfer
  • Subject choices/levels
  • Reason for move, etc.
  • No pupil is admitted to a year other than 1st year without a satisfactory reference from the principal of his/her current secondary school.
  • The school will not normally accept students into final year Leaving Certificate or final year Junior Certificate programmes.
  • Second Level schools in the local area all operate under the Department of Education & Science and have access to apply for the same supports and facilities. They are governed by the same legislation and so only students with sound educational reasons for changing from his/hers first choice of school will be considered.

Students will only be accepted at the beginning of the school year other than in the exceptional circumstances of a family moving into the local area.

Right of Appeal

Where a student is refused admission to the school his/hers parents will be advised of their right to appeal that decision to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science and will be supplied by the school with a copy of the Appeal Form.

Admission to specific programmes or subjects (or level)

From time to time it may arise that the demand for a particular subject or at a specific level for any subject or for a particular programme may exceed the number of places normally available on that programme.  The school will make every effort – within the constraints of the accommodation, teaching resources, accommodation and equipment – to accommodate all such students.  Where all students cannot be accommodated the following shall apply

  • Priority will be given to students from within the school.
  • Priority will be given to students who return fully completed application forms by the dates specified by the school.

Where it is not possible to accommodate all applicants,

·       Entry to specific subject levels will be determined by the student’s previous performance at that subject relative to the other applicants; his/hers results in state examinations where available will also be considered.

·       Entry to specific subjects will be determined by reference to the preferences indicated by students on his/her application form and by reference to the student’s previous performance at that subject relative to the other applicants; his/her results in state examinations where available will also be considered. Where this does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the school may survey the students’ previous teacher(s) about his/her suitability for the subject or alternative subjects and the school may also take into account the availability of other suitable subjects available to competing applicants.

·       Entry to specific programmes will be determined following a review of the application forms and an interview process designed to ascertain the relative suitability of the applicants for the specific programme.  Where this does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the school may survey the students’ previous teachers about their suitability for the programme.  The school may also take into account the availability of other suitable courses within the school to competing applicants.

Admission to repeat a year

All such applications are subject to the relevant Department of Education & Science Guidelines.  The Department normally restricts students to a maximum of six years at second level and does not allow students to repeat a year unless there are exceptional circumstances. 

·       Applications to repeat a year will be considered in the light of DES Circulars & Guidelines.

·       Applications will also be considered in the light of places available on the relevant programme.

·       Applications will not be considered until the written application and supporting documentation have been submitted to the school.

·       The school must be satisfied that the applicant, in light of the special circumstances that gave   rise to the application, applied him/herself to the best of their ability.

·       Students taking a programme for the first time may be given priority in terms of subject choices within the programme.

Admission to repeat the Leaving Certificate Programme

The school does not operate a Repeat Leaving Certificate Programme.  Students who apply to repeat the Leaving Certificate at the school will be considered

  • In the light of places available in the relevant subjects, the overall programme and overall enrolment within the school
  • In the light of the students previous behaviour & academic record, application to studies, attendance etc.

Transition from Junior Cycle to Senior Cycle

 

All student who wish to transition from Junior Cycle to Senior Cycle are required to participate in a Transition Year Programme (unless there are exceptional circumstances). Additionally all student who wish to transition from Junior to Senior Cycle have to have completed a Junior Certificate (unless there are exceptional circumstances).