Admissions

Our Lady of Fatima admissions for academic year 2024/2025 is now open. See below for our admissions policy and to download the enrolment form.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitiate to get in touch

Our Lady of Fatima Admissions Policy

School Address: Carrigeen St., Wexford Y35 HF83 

Roll number: 19266T 

School Patron: Bishop of Ferns. 

  1. Introduction

This Admission Policy complies with the requirements of the Education Act 1998, the  Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 and the Equal Status Act 2000. In drafting  this policy, the Board of Management of the school has consulted with school staff, the  school patron and with parents of children attending the school. 

The policy was approved by the school patron on 1st September 2020. It is published on the  school’s website and will be made available in hardcopy, on request, to any person who  requests it. 

The relevant dates and timelines for Our Lady of Fatima School admission process are  set out in the school’s annual admission notice which is published annually on the school’s  website at least one week before the commencement of the admission process for the  school year concerned. 

This policy must be read in conjunction with the annual admission notice for the school  year concerned. 

The application form for admission is published on the school’s website and will be  made available in hardcopy on request to any person who requests it. 

  1. Characteristic spirit and general objectives of the school

Our Lady of Fatima Special School is a Catholic co-educational primary school with a  Catholic ethos under the patronage of the Bishop of Ferns. 

“Catholic Ethos” in the context of a Catholic primary school means the ethos and  characteristic spirit of the Roman Catholic Church, which aims at promoting: (a) the full and harmonious development of all aspects of the person of the pupil,  including the intellectual, physical, cultural, moral and spiritual aspects; and (b) a living relationship with God and with other people; and 

(c) a philosophy of life inspired by belief in God and in the life, death and resurrection  of Jesus; and 

(d) the formation of the pupils in the Catholic faith, 

and which school provides religious education for the pupils in accordance with the  doctrines, practices and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, and/or such ethos  and/or characteristic spirit as may be determined or interpreted from time to time by the  Irish Episcopal Conference. 

In accordance with S.15 (2) (b) of the Education Act, 1998 the Board of Management of  Our Lady of Fatima School shall uphold, and be accountable to the patron for so upholding,  the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral,  religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are  characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school.  

Mission: 

Our Lady of Fatima is a school which provides education for pupils in County Wexford aged  4 to 18 with a Mild General Learning Difficulty. Our Mission in Our Lady of Fatima School  is to provide a happy and secure learning environment where we value and develop the  whole person to their full potential and celebrate each student’s uniqueness and personal  qualities. 

Vision: 

Our Vision is to be a model school in a caring, encouraging, positive and creative  educational environment. 

  1. Admission Statement

Our Lady of Fatima School will not discriminate in its admission of a student to the school  on any of the following: 

(a) the gender ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the  student concerned, 

(b) the civil status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the  student concerned, 

(c) the family status ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the  student concerned,

(d) the sexual orientation ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the  student concerned, 

(e) the religion ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the  student concerned, 

(f) the disability ground of the student or the applicant in respect of the  student concerned, 

(g) the ground of race of the student or the applicant in respect of the student  concerned, 

(h) the Traveller community ground of the student or the applicant in respect of  the student concerned, or 

(i) the ground that the student or the applicant in respect of the student concerned  has special educational needs 

As per section 61 (3) of the Education Act 1998, ‘civil status ground’, ‘disability ground’,  ‘discriminate’, ‘family status ground’, ‘gender ground’, ‘ground of race’, ‘religion ground’,  ‘sexual orientation ground’ and ‘Traveller community ground’ shall be construed in  accordance with section 3 of the Equal Status Act 2000. 

Our Lady of Fatima Special School is a school whose objective is to provide education in an  environment which promotes certain religious values and does not discriminate where it  refuses to admit as a student a person who is not Roman Catholic and it is proved that the  refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school. 

Our Lady of Fatima Special School is a school which, with the approval of the Minister  for Education and Skills, provides an education exclusively for students with a category  or categories of special educational needs specified by the Minister and does not  discriminate in relation to the admission of a student who does not have the category  of needs specified. 

Our Lady of Fatima Special School will cooperate with the NCSE in the performance by  the Council of its functions under the Education for Persons with Special Educational  Needs Act 2004 in relation to the provision of education to children with special  educational needs, including in particular by the provision and operation of a special class  or classes when requested to do so by the Council. 

Our Lady of Fatima Special School will comply with any direction served on the board or  the patron under section 37A and 67(4)(b). 

  1. Categories of Special Educational Needs catered for in the school/special class

Our Lady of Fatima School with the approval of the Minister for Education and Skills,  provides an education exclusively for students with Mild General Learning Difficulties.

  1. Admission of Students

This school shall admit each student seeking admission except where – a) the school is oversubscribed (please see section 6 below for further details) 

  1. b) a parent of a student, when required by the Principal in accordance with section  23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the  Code of Behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she shall  make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such Code by the student 

Our Lady of Fatima Special School is a Roman Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a  student a person who is not Roman Catholic where it is proved that the refusal is essential  to maintain the ethos of the school. 

Our Lady of Fatima School provides an education exclusively for students with Mild  General Learning Difficulties and may refuse admission to a student, where the student  does not have the specified category of special educational needs provided for by this  school. 

Students must have undergone psychological assessment and found to be functioning at  the level of MGLD, IQ 50 to 70 or at either end of the spectrum. 

A written report from a psychologist, no more than two years old, to be furnished to the  school which recommends a placement in a MGLD school. 

Our Lady of Fatima School must be the nearest MGLD school to the home of the child. 

  1. Oversubscription

In the event that the school is oversubscribed, the school will, when deciding on  applications for admission, apply the following selection criteria in the order listed below  to those applications that are received within the timeline for receipt of applications as  set out in the school’s annual admission notice: 

  1. Applicant with siblings attending/having attended Our Lady of Fatima School 2. Applicant with parents/grandparents having attended our Lady of Fatima 
  2. Applicant in the exact age range where the available place is 
  3. Applicant who has the designation exactly in the 50 to 70 IQ range and not in the  borderline range at either end of the spectrum
  4. What will not be considered or taken into account

In accordance with section 62(7)(e) of the Education Act, the school will not consider or  take into account any of the following in deciding on applications for admission or when  placing a student on a waiting list for admission to the school: 

(a) a student’s prior attendance at a pre-school or pre-school service. (b) the payment of fees or contributions (howsoever described) to the school; 

(c) a student’s academic ability, skills or aptitude other than in relation to admission to  a special school insofar as it is necessary in order to ascertain whether or not the  student has the category of special educational needs concerned 

(d) the occupation, financial status, academic ability, skills or aptitude of a student’s  parents; 

(e) a requirement that a student, or his or her parents, attend an interview, open  day or other meetings as a condition of admission; 

(f) a student’s connection to the school by virtue of a member of his or her family  attending or having previously attended the school other than, in the case of the  school wishing to include a selection criteria based on  

(1) siblings of a student attending or having attended the school and  (2) parents or grandparents of a student having attended the school.  

In relation to (2) parents and grandparents having attended, a school may only apply  these criteria to a maximum of 25% of the available spaces as set out in the school’s  annual admission notice; 

(g) the date and time on which an application for admission was received by the school, 

This is subject to the application being received at any time during the period  specified for receiving applications set out in the annual admission notice of the  school for the school year concerned. 

  1. Decisions on applications

All decisions on applications for admission to Our Lady of Fatima School will be based  on the following: 

  • Our school’s admission policy 
  • The school’s annual admission notice (where applicable) 
  • The information provided by the applicant in the school’s official application  form received during the period specified in our annual admission notice for  receiving applications

(Please see section 14 below in relation to applications received outside of the  admissions period and section 15 below in relation to applications for places in years  other than the intake group.) 

Selection criteria that are not included in our school admission policy will not be used  to make a decision on an application for a place in our school. 

  1. Notifying applicants of decisions

Applicants will be informed in writing as to the decision of the school, within the  timeline outlined in the annual admissions notice. 

If a student is not offered a place in our school, the reasons why they were not offered a  place will be communicated in writing to the applicant, including, where applicable, details  of the student’s ranking against the selection criteria and details of the student’s place  on the waiting list for the school year concerned. 

Applicants will be informed of the right to seek a review/right of appeal of the  school’s decision (see section 18 below for further details). 

  1. Acceptance of an offer of a place by an applicant

In accepting an offer of admission from Our Lady of Fatima School, you must indicate— 

(i)whether or not you have accepted an offer of admission for another school or  schools. If you have accepted such an offer, you must also provide details of the offer  or offers concerned and 

(ii)whether or not you have applied for and awaiting confirmation of an offer of  admission from another school or schools, and if so, you must provide details of the  other school or schools concerned. 

  1. Circumstances in which offers may not be made or may be withdrawn

An offer of admission may not be made or may be withdrawn by Our Lady of Fatima  Special School where— 

(i) it is established that information contained in the application is false or  misleading. 

(ii) an 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. 

(iii) the parent of a student, when required by the principal in accordance with section  23(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, fails to confirm in writing that the 

code of behaviour of the school is acceptable to him or her and that he or she  shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the  student; or 

(iv) an applicant has failed to comply with the requirements of ‘acceptance of an  offer’ as set out in section 10 above. 

  1. Sharing of Data with other schools

Applicants should be aware that section 66(6) of the Education (Admission to Schools)  Act 2018 allows for the sharing of certain information between schools in order to  facilitate the efficient admission of students. 

Section 66(6) allows a school to provide a patron or another board of management with a  list of the students in relation to whom— 

(i) an application for admission to the school has been received, 

(ii) an offer of admission to the school has been made, or 

(iii) an offer of admission to the school has been accepted. 

The list may include any or all of the following: 

(i) the date on which an application for admission was received by the school; (ii) the date on which an offer of admission was made by the school; 

(iii) the date on which an offer of admission was accepted by an applicant; 

(iv) a student’s personal details including his or her name, address, date of birth  and personal public service number (within the meaning of section 262 of the Social  Welfare Consolidation Act 2005). 

  1. Waiting list in the event of oversubscription

In the event of there being more applications to the school year concerned than places  available, a waiting list of students whose applications for admission to Our Lady of  Fatima School were unsuccessful due to the school being oversubscribed will be compiled  and will remain valid for the school year in which admission is being sought.

Placement on the waiting list of Our Lady of Fatima School is in the order of priority  assigned to the students’ applications after the school has applied the selection criteria  in accordance with this admission policy. 

Applicants whose applications are received after the closing date, outlined in the Annual  Admission Notice, will be placed at the end of the waiting list in order of the date of  receipt of the application. 

Offers of any subsequent places that become available for and during the school year in  relation to which admission is being sought will be made to those students on the waiting  list, in accordance with the order of priority in relation to which the students have been  placed on the list. 

  1. Late Applications

All applications for admission received after the closing date as outlined in the annual  admission notice will be considered and decided upon in accordance with our school’s  admissions policy, the Education Admissions to School Act 2018 and any regulations made  under that Act. 

Late applicants will be notified of the decision in respect of their application no later than  three weeks after the date on which the school received the application. Late applicants  will be offered a place if there is place available. In the event that there is no place  available, the name of the applicant will be added to the waiting list as set out in Section  13. 

  1. Procedures for admission of students to other years and during the school year

Students are admitted after the commencement of the school year only if they are not  able to take up the place on the first day due to exceptional circumstances. 

  1. Declaration in relation to the non-charging of fees

The Board of Our Lady of Fatima School or any persons acting on its behalf will not charge  fees for or seek payment or contributions (howsoever described) as a condition of- 

(a) an application for admission of a student to the school, or 

(b) the admission or continued enrolment of a student in the school.

  1. Arrangements regarding students not attending religious instruction

The following are the school’s arrangements for students, where the parents or in the  case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, who has requested  that the student attend the school without attending religious instruction in the school.  These arrangements will not result in a reduction in the school day of such students: 

A written request should be made to the Principal of the school. A meeting will then be  arranged with the parent(s) or the student, as the case may be, to discuss how the  request may be accommodated by the school. 

  1. Reviews/appeals

Review of decisions by the board of Management 

The parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18  years, the student, may request the board to review a decision to refuse admission. Such  requests must be made in accordance with Section 29C of the Education Act 1998.  

The timeline within which such a review must be requested and the other requirements  applicable to such reviews are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under  section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the  Department of Education and Skills. 

The board will conduct such reviews in accordance with the requirements of the  procedures determined under Section 29B and with section 29C of the Education Act  1998. 

Note: Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being  oversubscribed, the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998 Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school  being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board  of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.  

Right of appeal 

Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, the parent of the student, or in the case of  a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student, may appeal a decision of this  school to refuse admission. 

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (i) of the Education Act 1998 where the  refusal to admit was due to the school being oversubscribed. 

An appeal may be made under Section 29 (1) (c) (ii) of the Education Act 1998 where the  refusal to admit was due a reason other than the school being oversubscribed.

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to the school being oversubscribed,  the applicant must request a review of that decision by the board of management prior to  making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see Review of decisions by  the Board of Management 

Where an applicant has been refused admission due to a reason other than the school  being oversubscribed, the applicant may request a review of that decision by the board  of management prior to making an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. (see  Review of decisions by the Board of Management 

Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will be considered and determined by  an independent appeals committee appointed by the Minister for Education and Skills.  

The timeline within which such an appeal must be made and the other requirements  applicable to such appeals are set out in the procedures determined by the Minister under  section 29B of the Education Act 1998 which are published on the website of the  Department of Education and Skills.

CARING & RESPECTING FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL IN A SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

053-9123376

info@ladyoffatimaschool.ie

Carrigeen, Wexford, Y35 HF83