St Fintan’s NS Sutton

Enrolment Policy





This policy was devised and formulated by the school community, involving the Board of Management, parents and staff of St. Fintan’s NS, in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Department of Education and Skills and the Catholic Bishop of Dublin, under whose patronage this school operates.

The enrolment policy of St Fintan’s N.S. is set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act 1998. The Board of Management will ensure that parents will be informed in relation to enrolment matters.







St. Fintan’s NS is a Catholic school under the patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin. It is a co-educational, primary school, which strives to provide a caring, happy and secure environment where the intellectual, spiritual, moral, physical and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and addressed while promoting respect for all faiths and/or value systems,

The school supports the principles of inclusiveness, equality of access and of participation in school life, with respect for diversity of tradition, values, beliefs and ways of life in society, whilst working within the context of the Rules and Regulations of the Department of Education and Skills.

The school promotes a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Catholic School provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the doctrines, practices, and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church and promotes the formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith.

It is a mainstream school which teaches the national curriculum to classes from Junior Infants to 6th class. It is funded by grants from the Department of Education and Skills.





Aims and Rationale

This policy aims to provide a fair, equitable and transparent process for all applicants in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Department of Education and Skills and the school’s enrolment policy.

It is necessary to have an enrolment policy in order to maintain and promote the ethos of St Fintan’s N.S. It also provides prospective applicants with a clear understanding of the procedure and requirements for acceptance to the school.

Applications for Enrolment

Parents seeking to enrol their child(ren) in St. Fintan’s NS must obtain an Application Form (available from the school office) between 15th September and the end of January, prior to the September of admission.

The Board is bound by the Department of Education and Skills Rules for National Schools which states that pupils may only be enrolled from the age of four years and upwards, though compulsory attendance does not apply until the age of six years.

Applications will not be deemed complete until all relevant documentation has been submitted with the Application Form.

  • Original Birth or Adoption Certificate (where appropriate)
  • Original Baptismal Certificate (if applicable)
  • Proof of address by providing two original household utility bills

Application forms must be returned to the school on or before 2.30p.m.

on 31st January 2018.


Selection Considerations

While recognising the right of parents to enrol their child in the school of their choice, the Board of Management of St. Fintan’s NS takes cognisance of the rights of the existing school community, and in particular, the children already enrolled. This requires balanced judgements in deciding questions of enrolments, guided by the principles of natural justice and acting in the best interest of all of the children.

Account is taken of the following:

  • Equality of access and participation in the school
  • Parental choice in relation to enrolment
  • Respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.
  • Inclusiveness, particularly with reference to the enrolment of children with a disability or other special educational need.

The Board of Management reserves the right to determine the maximum number of children in each class bearing in mind, in particular

  • Department of Education and Skills guidelines on class size
  • The size of classrooms and available space
  • The educational needs of children in a particular age group
  • That multi-grade classes may be necessary
  • The presence of children with special education/behavioural needs
  • The parameters of the school’s Health and Safety Policy

For current classes the maximum class size is 30 children (and from September 2017 the maximum class size for new classes will be 28 children) with due regard for the Department of Education and Skills’ regulations on Appointment and Retention figures for National Schools.

Selection Criteria

In the event that the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, the Board of Management will decide on a cut-off date-of- birth for all applicants on an annual basis giving priority to the eldest children. This will apply in each of the criteria set out in 1 – 4 below.

Priority will be given in the following order. Once the cut-off date-of- birth is reached in each category, the Board will move onto the next category:

  1. Siblings (including step-siblings resident at the same address) of children already enrolled in the school.

Catholic children who reside in the parish of St. Fintan’s, Sutton

Children of the current staff of St. Fintan’s NS

  1. Other children who live within the parish boundary
  2. Catholic children who live outside the parish boundary.
  3. All other children living outside the parish boundary.










Application Timetable

Children from Category 1 offers will be offered places in the first week of February.

Parents/Guardians will have two weeks to accept offer.

If there are still places available, a second round of offers will be made to children from Category 2, and the same procedure will apply for children in Category 3 and 4.

The Board of Management has the final say regarding places offered. 



Places for classes other than junior infants are allocated strictly on availability.

It is school policy that previous school reports and all other relevant documentation accompany these applications as well as the documentation mentioned in the section on Applications. Parents are required to provide relevant information and concerns regarding attendance, behaviour, educational progress and special needs in the interest of facilitating a smooth transition.

Pupils wishing to transfer from other schools are enrolled subject to the rules for National Schools and Circular 32/03 “Retention of Pupils in Same Grade in Primary School.”

In all cases the Board of Management will ensure that:

  • The school enrolment policy is followed
  • The transfer is in the best interest of the pupil
  • There is available space in the school
  • The school is satisfied with the reason for the transfer
  • At all times it is conscious of its duty of care under the Health and Safety Act and that the pupil poses no risk to himself or others
  • A copy of the child’s school report will be provided as per Circular 56/11
  • All details relating to the child’s educational progress, including attendance record will be forwarded to St. Fintan’s NS, as required Under Section 20.5 of the Education Act 2000

Applications for Transfers from other schools


Parents seeking to transfer their children from another school to St. Fintan’s must obtain an application form (available from the school office) between the 15th September and end of April, prior to the September of admission.

If there is availability in the class, a place will be offered to your child during May.

If there is no availability in the class, your child will be placed on a waiting list using the criteria as outlined for new entrants.

This waiting list will be kept open until 15th September of the year of application.

If, on that date, your child has not received a place, a new application can be made for the following year.

It is not the norm to accept a child during the school year, and applications for this can be made in exceptional circumstances, if there is availability in the class.










Children with Special Educational Needs

In relation to the enrolment of children with Special Educational Needs, parents are required to supply all relevant documentation including medical and/or psychological reports as appropriate. This is to enable the Board to establish the educational and training needs of the child relevant to his/her disability or special needs and to profile and plan for the support services required. Reports and HSE documentation can also help support the allocation of Special Education Teachers by the Department of Education and Skills for the school.

Parents of children with special educational needs should consider if relevant resources available to the school are adequate to the special needs of the applicant child/children, or to consider a special school which is designed and resourced specifically for the needs of children with special educational needs.

The Board reserves the right to refuse enrolment in exceptional circumstances.

  • Pupil has special needs such that even with additional resources available from Department of Education & Skills, the school cannot meet such needs and/or provide the pupil with an appropriate education.
  • In the opinion of the Board of Management, the pupil poses an unacceptable risk to other pupils or school staff and/or school property 





Primary Online Database (POD)

In 2014 the Department of Education and Skills commenced the Primary Online Database (POD) as an administrative and Management tool in effectively meeting the Department’s obligations under Section 6 and 7 of the Education Act 1998. From 2016/17 the enrolment counts on POD will become the basis for grant payments and teacher allocations. Therefore it is imperative that a record exists on POD for each pupil enrolled in the school. Unless a parent or guardian informs the school in writing that s/he does not give consent, the following data for each child will be transferred to POD. Please note consent is not required for point 1.

  1. PPS number, Name, Address and Date of Birth
  2. Nationality/Language spoken at home
  3. Religion
  4. Ethnic and Cultural Background
  5. The child is in receipt of Learning Support














Queries and Appeals

All enquiries and appeals should be addressed to the Principal by

  • Requesting an appointment with the Principal through the office
  • Writing to the Principal or the Chairperson of the Board of Management

Parents of children who have been refused enrolment may appeal the decision to the Board of Management by writing to the Principal who is the Secretary of the BOM.

Alternatively, parents may appeal the Board’s decision to the Department of Education and Skills under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 Appeals Process. Further information is available at

Ratification and Review:

This policy was formally ratified by the Board of Management of St. Fintan’s NS in accordance with the Enrolment Policy of the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin on 4 September 2017

The policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.

The next review date is April 2018.

Chairperson:                   Paul OConnor                    Paul OConnor

Principal:               Martin McInerney           Martin McInerney

Date:                    4 September 2017