Enrolment Policy for ASD Class
Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt Na Mara
The Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt Na Mara have developed this policy for the autism unit in conjunction with the overall policy for the school. This policy is set out in accordance with the provisions of the Education Act, 1998, the EPSEN Act 2000 and the Education Welfare Act, 2002. The Board of Management trusts that by doing so, parents will be assisted in relation to enrolment matters. Furthermore, the Chairperson and/or Principal will be happy to clarify any further matters arising from the policy.
Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt Na Mara is a mainstream national school with two ASD classes, both school going age.
The aim of the admissions and transitions policy is to ensure that a fair and consistent procedure is used when deciding on individual applications to the ASD Unit. Our ASD classes aim to offer an autism specific learning environment within a mainstream national school. This setting facilitates optimum inclusion as part of the school community with access to mainstream activities as appropriate to each child’s individual needs and abilities.
Subject to sufficient places being made available in the ASD classes, the criteria for enrolment in the ASD classes, incorporating the Department of Education policy are as follows:
• An Enrolment Application Form, provided by the school, must be fully completed by the parents/guardians on behalf of the child.
• Each child must have a full current psychological and cognitive assessment, which must specify autism/autistic spectrum disorder.
• There must be a recommendation by a member of the Multi – Disciplinary Team in the report that a special class placement in a mainstream school is both necessary and suitable for the child.
• The Board of Management reserves the right to provisionally enrol a child for a period of time in order to fully assess the child’s needs prior to full enrolment in conjunction with the HSE representatives, the NEPS psychologist, the HSE occupational therapist etc. The Board reserves the right to defer or refuse enrolment if it believes the child’s needs cannot be properly met in this school.
• All relevant reports and assessments must be given to the school prior to the child enrolling. These should include a diagnosis by a psychologist or psychiatrist of an autistic spectrum disorder.
• The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse enrolment if they believe the school cannot meet the needs of a particular child. This decision is open to appeal by parents/guardians under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998.All placements are subject to a yearly review or at the request of the parent/guardian and/or the school. The review will include input from the parents/guardians, relevant professionals and the school (Teacher, Principal and Board of Management). Following the review a recommendation may be made that the child be enrolled in a school that can meet his needs or that their school day will be shortened for the benefit of students and staff.
• The Board of Management states that there will be no more than a two year age gap of pupil in either ASD class.
• In line with the schools’ code of conduct, the Board may decide to suspend or expel a child. This decision is open to appeal, by parents/guardians under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998. The parents of the child must accept and agree to the school’s Code of Behaviour and the terms of this policy.
• The Department of Education and Science states that the ratio for each class is a maximum of six pupils to one teacher and a minimum of two SNAs. Should the number of applicants exceed the number of places, a waiting list is put in place.
• In order to be placed on the Waiting List parents/guardians must supply the school with all reports specifying that the child meets all requirements to attend a School Going ASD class.
• If a place is secured in another unit/school please inform the school that you no longer wish to remain on the Waiting List.
• Once a place has been offered in the ASD class it is a requirement of the Board of Management that a written response from parents is sent, within FIVE days, to confirm acceptance of the place.
• When an applicant is successful for entry into the ASD Unit, the Principal will make an application on behalf of this pupil for school transport, to the local Special Educational Needs Organiser, provided that this is required by and agrees with parents.
• Successful applicants will be issued with an admissions contract. This will include start date and the projected date of transition to secondary school. This will be countersigned by parents and Principal with a copy being kept on the child’s file and by parents.
• It is hoped that all children will be fully or partially integrated into mainstream by 6th Class. Children will be integrated into an age appropriate class. In cases where this class is full priority will be given to children in the school’s catchment area.
• It is the school policy to facilitate the discharge of pupils from the unit once they have reached the age of twelve. Pupils who reach the age of twelve after the 1st September in any year will be permitted to complete that academic year. This means a June discharge in the following year. Discharge may also be recommended after the first academic year, if the admissions team, after consultation with the parents/guardians, feel that the placement is not appropriate. Discharge from the unit may also happen if the pupil is fully integrated into the mainstream school.
The priority bandings for enrolment in the ASD Unit will be as follows:
1. Pupils who ordinarily reside in the catchment area of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt Na Mara or who have other siblings already in the school.
2. Pupils who ordinarily reside in the County of Meath.
3. Subject to appropriate provision being made for pupils as defined in (1) and (2), pupils who ordinarily reside outside, but contiguous to, those areas, will be offered places subject to availability.
4. In all cases, places are subject to availability. If all available places in the Unit are filled, then the applicants will go on a waiting list and be prioritised when places become available.
This policy is subject to annual review by the Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt Na Mara.
The enrolment policy for the ASD Unit was ratified, subject to scrutiny, by the Board of Management of Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt Na Mara at a meeting on the 12th May 2017.
Chairperson, Board of Management.
Ms Cepta Burke